The Year of the Kumquat

 A very small portion of them shown here.
When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade, or in my case Lemon Mead, and when you've been blessed with a load of kumquats, you need to be creative with them.  We haven't really had a whole year of them, it just sounded good, and sometimes feels that way.  Bob has had a strange obsession with the fruit ever since Thanksgiving when I made a Cranberry Kumquat Sauce.  I know it was only partly my delicious creation, with the other driving factor being humor.  Really, the name is not that funny.  He started with Facebook posting a W.C. Fields film clip on kumquats.  Yes, that was funny, ha ha ha.  Then Googling and posting all sorts of information on the fruit, health benefits, recipes and etc.  And which has caused other people to give him kumquats.

Bob notwithstanding, I still needed to deal with the second large bagful of those tasty little citrus, thanks due to Nancy, whom some of you might remember from my fabulous post on chocolate making.  First up was marmalade, which I simplified.  I did not like the sound of most of those lengthy recipes.  So, rather than mincing them all, one at a time, I tossed the halved, seeded fruit into a food processor and voila.

Isn't it interesting that with kumquats, the pectin is in the edible seeds, and you cook them along with the fruit and sugar, in their own little cheesecloth baggie. So cute.

 Simplifying things in the kitchen is often successful.  On this occasion it worked up until the last moment, when distracted by a post I was reading online, (wouldn't you know) I let the preserves (note I'm now calling them preserves, rather than marmalade) slightly scorch on the bottom.  However, we are not saying scorched anymore, we will be saying lightly caramelized.  Much tastier sounding.  And I would not say that if it were not totally, deliciously true.  Trust me. And Bob agrees.

I believe marmalade is supposed to have a certain clarity, which whizzing in a food processor with the segments diminishes.  Hence, calling this preserves.  The various recipes instructed to halve, squeeze juice, remove segments from rinds, and the seeds, tossing the segments, saving out the seeds, mincing the rinds, on each little fruit.   In Hawaiian there is a word for all that - pilikia.

Left with 5 lb.s, of fruit, ice cream was next up.  I found a dandy recipe, using simply (there's that word again) kumquats, honey and cream.  Actually, I'm lying.  It called for sugar and we (in the Royal sense) decided to go with honey.  Also, it called for 1/2 milk, and I used cream plus a wee bit of half and half.  And didn't bother with the lemon juice.  Superfluous in my view.

This recipe makes more than will fit in most ice cream makers, so was cut down.

And the Hawaiian word for this is ono.  Not to be confused with the fish of that name.

Kumquat Ice Cream

 makes 32 servings

    2 pints kumquats, halved and seeded  (I quartered the fruit)
    5 cups milk
    4 cups heavy whipping cream
    3 cups sugar (or honey)
    2 tablespoons lemon juice (or not)


    Puree kumquats in a food processor until smooth; transfer to a large bowl. Stir milk, cream, sugar, and lemon juice into kumquat puree.
    Pour kumquat mixture into ice cream machine and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions.

    Cook's note:
    This recipe is for a machine that can hold 4 quarts of ice cream.  Mine holds 1 1/2 quarts.

Too bad, I think we could handle 4 quarts.  Seriously good.  Now if anyone has suggestions for the remaining fruit, let me know.

P.S - Valentines Special - and this is where a book comes into the picture!

One of the best upside-down cakes EVER!!  I totally mean that.  Kumquats beat out pineapple all over the place.  The flavor is soooo intense.  I used the Alice Waters' Cranberry Upside-down Cake recipe, in which she also suggests other fruits that might be used instead of cranberries.  Only mistake was not mentioning kumquats.  From her The Art of Simple Food, which is one of my favorites, a real go-to kind of cookbook.


jama said...

Kumquats *are* funny. :) Everything you made with them looks delicious, or should I say real ono . . .

Beth F said...

I love kumquats. My grandmother used to make marmalade every year. I should revive her tradition.

Tina said...

My goodness, I hVent had a kumquat in years. They are available I. Florida and I have considered planting a tree.
Like the sound of that I e cream. Mmmm

Joy Weese Moll (@joyweesemoll) said...

Good call to go with preserves -- the marmalade process sounds like way to much work.

I've rarely eaten kumquats. A Chinese restaurant used to give us some for dessert.

That cake is a piece of art!