Citrus season is in full bloom here in Florida and you will be seeing a lot of it in this blog. Tangelos, grapefruits, navels, key limes, kumquats… all of it. After several weeks of chocolate, big dinners and over-indulging, I am so excited to be making lighter and more refreshing desserts. Just the colors alone can lift up anyone’s mood and kumquats are particularly beautiful to look at. It’s almost like nature knows we are in great need of a good detox right after the holidays.
Kumquats are small with a sweet skin and very tart flesh and for those of you who have never tasted them, you will be surprised to know that they are eaten whole, skin and all. They are filled with tons of seeds so I find that the skin is often times more appetizing than the flesh itself and they are perfect for candying.
My 2 1/2 year old son has been helping me around the kitchen lately. As soon as he sees me take out eggs out of the refrigerator, he brings over his step stool and says “I want to help”. It is so adorable… We worked on a simple chocolate cake together a few days ago and I will share those photos with you soon.
Financiers are so so simple to make that I thought they were the perfect little cakes to make with him. He got on his step stool, helped me weigh and mix the ingredients and felt like it was the biggest accomplishment of his life. The following day when I baked them, he stuffed about three in his mouth and couldn’t stop eating them. Just priceless. So if you have children, I encourage you to bake with them. It can be great fun.
I also want to apologize for the overuse of pistachios in this blog, but I just cannot help myself. They make everything so much better…
100 grams sugar
100 grams water
1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeded
1 pint of kumquats
Bring some water to a boil in a small saucepan (enough to cover the kumquats) and add the kumquats. Blanch them for about 30 seconds and drain them. Discard the water. Repeat the process two more times. This will eliminate any bitterness from the kumquats.
Make a simple syrup with the first three ingredients by bringing them to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the blanched kumquats and simmer for about 15 minutes in low heat. You can drain them, let them dry and coat them in sugar or you can store them in the simple syrup in the refrigerator.
120 grams egg whites
125 grams sugar
Zest of half a lemon
55 grams flour
25 grams almond meal
30 grams pistachio meal
150 grams unsalted butter, browned and strained, cooled
Cook the butter in a small saucepan until it starts to foam and dark particles start to form on the bottom of the pan. It will smell nutty. Strain the butter and let it cool.
Whisk the first six ingredients together in a bowl. Slowly add the brown butter and whisk until it is incorporated. Let the batter rest in the refrigerator overnight.
Pipe batter into silicon mold, top with candied kumquat and bake at 375F for about 10 minutes or until golden. Time will vary depending on the size of the mold.