Lest we forget, Kumquats are in season right now. Kumquats are these miniature oranges that one eats whole, skin and all. Not many people know that the Kumquat fruit grows in Spain or in Mallorca for that matter. Come to think of it, not that many people know the Kumquat fruit. If you have never tried a Kumquat, now is the time. The little gem originates from China, really, but some enthusiast brought it to the Mediterranean a long time ago. What a delight this fruit is. Beautifully scrumptious!
Here’s a recipe courtesy of my wife for a splendidly delicious dessert, Kumquat in Brandy. This is how it goes:
For 3 to 4 small sized jars, you need about 1 kg of Kumquats, half a kg of sugar and 1 litre of water. For the spice bag, you need a small piece of fresh root ginger (about 5 cm) and 1 tsp of cloves. For each jar, you add 2 cloves, a few shreds of fresh ginger and a rather generous shot of brandy. Try and buy the fruit from a good source. It would be best if they were organically grown. For the brandy, the better you can afford one, the better the result. We wanted to use Brandy Suau Reserva, but that was temporarily not available from the local source. Instead, we chose a ten year old Torres Gran Reserva. Five years would do, too, but don’t get the cheap supermarket stuff.
Wash the Kumquats, then prick them and place in a pot. Cover and put on low heat for about 25 minutes until just soft. Put sugar and water in a large pan with the spices tied in a piece of muslin. Bring to the boil and boil rapidly for 5 minutes. Add the softened Kumquats, return to the boil and simmer gently for 1 hour. Sterilize the jars by washing in hot water and drying in warm oven. Lift out the fruit with a slotted spoon and arrange in the hot jars with the cloves and ginger. Pour in enough brandy to half fill the jars. Top up with the syrup and seal.
The brandy soaked Kumquats will be ready to eat in a month’s time and will improve with keeping. Ours has now matured for just over four weeks and it is absolutely scrumptious. You could add some ice cream to this dessert, if you so wished, or some rich Greek yoghurt.
The photos were taken in Felanitx, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: March 14th, 2010. The time was 13:34:53 and 12:32:20, respectively.