A kumquat is a feisty little fruit, delivering a mouthful of drama in a small bite. The bite of sweet skin lulls you into complacency before the tart juice of the flesh kicks in and pops making you purse your lips in a ‘where did that come from’ kind of way. A polarising experience in your mouth.
This weekend I had a little bit of a rainy Saturday afternoon play in the kitchen, trying them out in sweet and savoury recipes.
They add a little sunshine to this cheesecakey tart recipe. Candying them seems to balance the extremes of flavour. Here, I’ve added a little basil as it seems to ramp up the citrus notes without making your lips purse. Adding a little coconut milk to the ricotta adds another flavour and gives it a lovely creamy texture.
I used a dark sugar for this recipe and it gave the kumquats a dark hue and a deep flavour. If you use white sugar, they will take on a clearer glaze.
1 cup dates
3/4 cup walnuts and almonds
2-3 tbsp coconut milk
100g kumquats, sliced
1 tbsp sugar
Fresh basil leaves
Pulse the dates and nuts in a food processor until the mix starts to come together in a dough.
Use the mixture to line six small tart tins and place in the fridge for an hour.
In a pan mix the water and sugar together and bring to the boil. Add the sliced kumquats and simmer for a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat and add a few basil leaves. Stir and then cover and leave for about an hour.
Place the ricotta and coconut milk in a bowl and mix together. Add a tablespoon of the sugar water from the kumquats and stir.
Remove the tarts from the fridge and fill with the ricotta mixture. Top with slices of kumquats and drizzle with the remainder of the juice. Top with some shredded basil and refrigerate until ready to eat.