Pickles | Heat treated vinegar preserved pickles/ Sustainable Winter recipes

Cumquat pickles with cardamom, pink pepper, star anise and fennel

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  • cumquats in green glass bowl
  • cumquats with spices
  • cumquats
  • pickling cumquats with strainer
  • pickling cumquats straining into bowl
  • pickling cumquats packing jars
  • pickling cumquats brine pour

Cumquats are a tart citrus fruit – they are like little sour bombs. Pickling them with spices, sugar and vinegar mellows some of the sourness but it is still there. The flavour of pickled cumquats is like that of super sour sweets with an outer covering of granulated sugar: sweet and sour at the same time. Cumquats have strong associations with lunar new year and symbolise gold and wealth. Cumquat pickles are great in martinis which are incidentally a wonderful golden colour. These cumquats are homegrown ones that I sourced from Rozelle Collectors Markets.

Cumquat pickles with cardamom, pink pepper, star anise and fennel

Print Recipe
Serves: 4 500ml jars Cooking Time: 1 hour (30 minutes preparation, 15 minutes to sterilise jars and 15 minutes to heat treat)


  • 4 500ml glass jars
  • 1 kg cumquats
  • 2 2/3 cups white wine vinegar
  • 1 1/3 cups coconut sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons cardamom pods
  • 2 teaspoons pink pepper
  • 4 star anise
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 4 ginger slices



Prepare the cumquats by removing the leaves and stems and washing


Make your brine by adding the vinegar, sugar, water and spices to a medium saucepan and stirring over medium heat to dissolve the sugar


Prepare your jars by sterilising them - see Resources


Once the brine has boiled add the cumquats in batches and simmer for a few minutes until the skins turn glossy then remove from the brine


Pack each jar with the ginger and cumquats and pour over the hot brine


Remove any air bubbles with a butter knife running it around the edge of the jar and gently banging the jar on the work surface


Wipe rims with a clean tea towel and add the clean lids


Heat process for 15 minutes – see Resources


Store for a month before using – once opened store in the fridge and use within 6 months


Inspired by Pickled cumquats Cornersmith: Recipes from the café and picklery (2015: 234) I used Lirah vinegar sourced from Cornersmith Homegrown cumquats sourced from Rozelle Collectors Market

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