I would definitely say that tangy citrus fruits have been the dominant ingredient in my kitchen the past few weeks. I’ve been hit by a surge of ideas and needed to realize them, at best all at once. I get impatient – when inspiration hits me I get all fidgety and need to work on the ideas as soon as possible.
It started with a bag of juicy, sweet blood oranges. After they disappeared within a wink of the eye, I went back and bought two further bags. I used some for the blood orange mascarpone cream, which was great but then ideas began pouring out of me and I was soon making blood orange savory and sweet recipes. Salads, stews, gelato and mousse all got a doze of blood oranges.
My OCD with citrus fruit continued when I saw gorgeous kumquats at the store this week and trust me I went back three times to replenish my desire for them.
My favorite way to enjoy kumquats? Why preserving them of course! So that I can indulge in them throughout the year. I tried something different with them this time, which worked out incredibly well – but I’ll tell you about that recipe next week.
Today I am sharing one of my guilty pleasures in life – after chocolate and everything chocolate that is. I adore candied fruit – not always the kinds you can buy in stores – more the kind made at home. Sticky, sweet and gorgeously luscious, candied citrus fruit being my absolute favorite. It’s the pairing of the zesty and tangy fruit playing off against the sweet syrup that does it for me. I also like adding a supplementary flavor to boost the aromas in my candied fruit. Spices and herbs bring a great additional essence and takes simple candied fruit to a whole different level.
Kumquats are truly perfect for candying – they have a unique flavor and can be paired with sweet and savory dishes quite easily. Kumquats are eaten whole skin and all – their wonderful complex flavor comes from the tart flesh and thick, sweet peel. You’ll notice a fresh and very citrusy scent followed by a slightly pungent almost bitter taste with an oily undertone and an after-taste that is reminiscent of apricots. With this bomb full of aromas it great for fruit jams, marmalades and candying. I added a sprinkling of thyme, which blends and enhances the flavors so perfectly.
Candied Thyme Kumquats
Printable version of recipe here
100g fine granulated sugar
2-3 springs thyme
250-300g fresh kumquats, sliced (see note below)
- Bring water and sugar to a boil in a heavy medium sized saucepan.
- Add the kumquat slices, reduce heat to a simmer and gently cook the fruit for 20-30 minutes until they are soft and the syrup is thick.
- Add the sprigs of thyme and allow to steep for a few minutes, then remove from heat.
- Allow for the fruit to cool then fill the fruit and herbs, adding some of the syrup, into a sterilized jar.
Notes: My advice would be to give the kumquats a quick blanch in some boiling water, then discard the water. If they have been heavily treated you will be able to get rid of the chemicals. This does not effect the taste in anyway.
Have a browse through my Food Guide section on the sidebar. You’ll find several brilliant tips, tricks, know-hows and food facts.
My snacking tip: some delicious simple home baked shortcrust cookies with a few dollops of the candied kumquats, put your feet up and enjoy the break of Spring!
My dessert tip: Bourbon vanilla ice-cream (homemade of course) with a spoonful of the candied kumquats and syrup. Scrumptious!
My breakfast tip: French toast and a nice slathering of the candied kumquats and a drizzle of the syrup. Exquisite!
I’ll also be sharing a lovely dessert with you next weekend and show you another delectable way to use these candied thyme kumquats – so maybe you’d like to make these ahead of time ;o)
Have a great weekend
You might like these fruity spreads from WFLH:
|Lemon Curd||Apricot Chutney||Spicy Raspberry Jam|
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