Kumquats

It is the season here of the Kumquat. Those bite sized bright orange fruit with a sweet peel and tart juice, that originally came from China. We rarely saw them in the UK, perhaps in syrup, or as decoration on a pudding , but that was all.

But in Spain they grow profusely , they are in the fields surrounding the village, and are eaten raw here (!), or cooked in various ways.

I have to say that we do live in citrus heaven in Andalucia. It was quite breezy the other day, and consequently I even had a scattering of lemon blossom flowers surrounding me as I swam in the pool!

The Kumquat is featuring on menus locally at the moment. Indeed last night we went out to supper with friends  to Papalo in Nerja, a favourite place to eat, and one of the postres on the menu, was a kumquat cheesecake with an orange puree.

It was delicious, sweet and tangy at the same time.

Our neighbour Isobel popped round the other day with a huge carrier bag full of fruit for us. As we have dozens of jars of marmalade and jam at the present ,we decided to make something different. It does make a good jam though as well, as the pips have a high pectin content.

Kumquat syrup. It can have water ,fizzy or still, added to it , to drink like a cordial, or you can add it to alcohol , ie gin, ( cocktail hour!) ,or drizzle on puddings and ice cream.

The recipe is easy. Basically it is equal amounts of fruit, sugar and water.

You simply cut the fruits in half ,and add to the water when the sugar has dissolved, in a heavy bottomed pan. You then bring it to the boil, and then turn it down and simmer for 2 hours, until syrupy.

Mash the fruit, then sieve the whole thing through muslin, and pour into a bottle or kilner jar ,when it is completely cooled.

A small fruit that packs a large taste punch!

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