This week’s recipe for Tuesdays with Dorie was supposed to be a chocolate raspberry tart, but I couldn’t bring myself to buy fresh raspberries this week. Not because they’re hard to find (although they are) or expensive (although they REALLY are) but because they’re out of season and that is no longer allowed. I’m currently reading Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, and aside from making me feel guilty about basically every purchase I’ve ever made at a grocery store, ever, it’s also really inspired me to try to start eating locally and buying food mindfully, with an emphasis on seasonality. (If you haven’t read the book–and I highly recommend it–it’s a nonfiction account of her family’s attempt to spend a year eating food they either grow or raise themselves, or grown within a very small area around them. Fascinating and very compelling.)
But enough environmental preaching, back to the dessert. Since most raspberries available this time of year are probably flown in from Chile or similar warm climates, they’re obviously verboten. However, citrus fruits are seasonal and plentiful in southern California right now, so I spent some time thinking about how I could incorporate citrus before deciding to use kumquats, those delicious little sweet-tart balls of exploding pleasure, by candying them. How do you candy kumquats, you ask? Quick and easy instructions are down below under the cut!
This recipe had a fruit layer on the bottom of the tart, and then a ganache-type mixture poured on top and baked. After sitting for a few hours, the tart has the most amazing texture, somewhere between a set pudding and a silky ganache. It slithered around in the mouth before melting away entirely, just in time for the next bite. I was a little unsure about how the texture of the candied kumquats would work. I knew I would like the flavor combination–candying removes a lot of the tartness from the kumquats, leaving just the beautiful floral citrus notes. But I was afraid the slices would be too hard or chewy after baking.
Good news–they actually seemed a little softer after their time in the oven! There was a little texture, no doubt, but I didn’t mind it at all and thought the chewy slices were a nice contrast to the smooth chocolate and crunchy tart shell. The tart was finished with big rosettes of whipped cream and decorated with some kumquat slices on top and slivers of orange peel.
At the risk of giving away what big pigs we are at my house, this 9″ tart is now gone, a mere 36 hours after it was made. And there are only two of us here. Put your snouts in the air, oink like you don’t care!
For those looking to recreate the magic, the (original) recipe can be found on Rachelle’s blog.
To make the kumquats for this tart, I used 12 oz of kumquats, with a few reserved to use as decoration and for munching purposes. Start by thinly slicing them into rounds between 1/8-1/4 inch wide. You’ll spend some time picking out the small seeds from the little devils, but try not to eat too many of them as a reward for all of your hard work.
Once they’re all sliced, combine 1.25 cups of granulated sugar and 1 cup of water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Once it’s boiling, add the kumquat slices and turn the heat down so the mixture barely simmers. Cook until the kumquats are translucent, about 15-20 minutes.
After straining them (depending on what you’re making, you may want to save the yummy syrup to soak cakes or something) they’re ready to be used!