Baking with Kumquats: a Pistachio Pavlova, Chocolate Financiers and a Pot of Jam

Winter in Florida makes me happy.

Bright blue skies, the possibility to wear my favorite purple scarf, lush landscape, cold breeze coming in through the windows and lots of citrus. Oh the citrus! I told you about my friend N.’s citrus trees and how I usually take the longer route to the mail box just so I can smell the lime tree on her front lawn. It’s just one of the simple pleasures of life.

We started the new year with lots of pints of Florida kumquats. I think this was the first time my parents had ever seen or tasted a kumquat. “What do they taste like?”, asked my mom. “Well, try one!”, I told her. She looked at me in surprise wondering how she would peel such a thing. “There will be no flesh left!”, she followed. So I just took one and put it in her mouth. She was taken back by the sour punch as she expected something sweeter, perhaps like a clementine, but she soon got used it.

We poached most of the kumquats in simple syrup and used them in different desserts we made throughout the days. First a pistachio pavlova with lemon curd made with N.’s fruit fresh clementines and the poached kumquats. And later, inside some gluten free chocolate financiers that were as fudgy and moist as the best brownies you have ever tasted.

Our little boy’s best friend D. came over for a play date one afternoon and they loved the financiers which made me the happiest mother on earth. They wore they favorite costumes, as always and covered their mouths in chocolate. Spiderman and the princess. Never fails.

We used the rest of the two pints of kumquats to make a marmalade that is out of this world. It reminded me of the bitter orange marmalade I use to eat in London every morning for breakfast.

I hope everyone had a great start to the new year and that you are sticking to your resolutions. I certainly did as I broke a new record. Yes, I will confess. I fell asleep at 8pm on New Year’s Eve while I was lying in bed nursing M. We both fell asleep comfortably under a cozy blanket. So peacefully.

Pistachio Baked Meringue

makes 6 small pavlovas

155 grams egg whites
pinch of salt
155 grams sugar
155 grams powdered sugar, sifted
35 grams chopped pistachios

Place the egg whites with the pinch of salt in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whip until peaks start forming. Slowly sprinkle in the sugar. Whip for 2 minutes until shiny and stiff.

Combine the sifted powdered sugar and the chopped pistachios and fold them into the meringue base.

Make six mounts of meringue on a sheet pan lined with parchment. Bake at 225F for about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 min.

Poached Kumquats

300 grams sugar
300 grams water
1 pint of kumquats

Blanch the kumquats in boiling water 3 times using clean water every time.

Make a simple syrup by boiling the sugar and water together until sugar is dissolved. Reduce heat to low and add the kumquats. Simmer them on low heat with the lid half on for about 20 minutes or until soft.

Store them in the poaching liquid in the refrigerator.

Lemon Curd

100 grams eggs
50 grams sugar
100 grams lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
50 grams butter

Whisk the eggs, sugar, lemon juice and zest in a medium bowl. Place this over a water bath and cook until it thickens. Strain the curd through a fine sieve. Let it cool slightly.

Add the room temperature butter one teaspoon at a time and blend using a submersion mixer. Let it set in the refrigerator for about 1 hour.

Gluten Free Kumquat and Chocolate Financier

120 grams egg whites
125 grams sugar
100 grams almond flour
15 grams cocoa powder
pinch of salt
150 grams brown butter, cooled
Poached kumquats

Mix the whites and the sugar with a hand whisk. Add the almond flour, cocoa powder and pinch of salt. Add the cooled brown butter and whisk until well combined. Let it rest in the refrigerator overnight or at least 4 hours.

Pipe the batter into molds and place half a poached kumquat on top. Bake at 350F for about 8 minutes or until done.

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90 Responses to “Baking with Kumquats: a Pistachio Pavlova, Chocolate Financiers and a Pot of Jam”

  1. heidi leon says:

    bueno mujer; de verdad que tu eres la reencarnacion de la Mujer Maravilla. Estos postres se ven deliciosos; y ademas el financier es gluten free! (yo tambien ando haciendo una dieta gf para combatir un problema en la piel).

    Y bueno, asi me puedo seguir: la mermelada me parece super tentadora. Pero lo que te a quedado mas bonito es esa chulada de bomboncito que es tu beba! :-)

    pd. me pudo fascinar el tenedor con la peq inscripcion de basil. wow. super cute.

    Te deseo un excelente 2010 para ti y los tuyos.

  2. Ash says:

    This looks fantastic!! I wish they sold kumquats at the supermarket here!
    Hope you have a great holiday and wishing you the best for the new year!!

  3. Heidi says:

    Just found your blog and wanted to say that I just can’t get enough of these pictures here. Truly amazing and inspiring!!

  4. stin says:

    I just love, love, LOVE your blog! So inspiring, and the pictures are great!! Thanks!!

  5. Great creations! I love the unique flavor of kumquats!



  6. Pavlovas are probably my favorite dessert to make for friends! And how gorgeous your citrus ones are!! ;)

  7. shulie says:

    So beautiful and appetizing!! I made some Meyer lemons and clementine jams this Winter and gave them as Holiday presents. They went over with so much delight!!

  8. Gorgeous food photos – gorgeous children!

  9. Flo says:

    Tentador como se ve todo, creo que lejos lo que más me gustó fue esa hermosura con vestidito y medias a rayas.
    ¡Que tengas un muy buen año!

  10. Catherine says:

    Hello Aran. Everything looks incrediblely tasty as usual !! I wish you (and the recently extended family …) a marvellous 2010 ! Hope it will see your talent flourish even more !

  11. Sarah says:

    Hi Aran, I love your blog and visit often for inspiration. Do you take your photos in a studio or outside? They are very good.

  12. Aran says:

    Sarah- I take all my photos at home. I have a room set up as a studio but you’d be surprised to see how simple my set up is. i only use natural light and i shoot by a window that is not that large, but I make it work for me. Thank you very much!

    Thank you everyone and happy new year to you all!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Sigo tu blog desde el principio y para mi es como un libro de cocina donde siempre vuelvo atras y busco y rebusco….tendras un estudio sencillo pero tus fotos son preciosas. tengo unas caras sobrantes que ya no sabia que hacer con ellas….financiers!! Beso Carmen ZH

  14. So beautiful and fresh! Makes me think of spring when it really shouldn’t :-) Love that you fell asleep with babe in arms on New Year’s Eve. So lovely. :-)

  15. Kitty M says:

    Aww your little girl looks as sweet as yoru desserts – I love her little cat dress! x

  16. Valérie says:

    Tu m’as convaincue : je vais tenter les kumquats pochés ! Ta pavlova est superbe en tout cas. Bonne année à toi et à ta petite famille !

  17. Parigote says:

    Kumquats are so delicious ! And pavlova is a good idea, so refreshing !

  18. Asha @ FSK says:

    Oh they all look so fabulous! I am not a big fan of kumquat but perhaps baking with them is a good idea.. gonna try out one of these soon!!

  19. Olwen says:

    I was wondering about the small pavlovas. Are they soft in the middle like marshmallow or crisp all the way through? I’m not a great pavlova cook, but the recipes I know have a little acid and water in, and are normally made as one large pavlova. (I’d normally buy pavlovas — we have a local factory shop that sells them called the Pav and Pie shop)

  20. fresh365 says:

    Lovely! What a great mix of family photos and treats! I am on a citrus kick and have been eye kumquats.

  21. Mimi says:

    It’s cirtus time here in California as well. Great recipes to take advantage of such delicious fruits. Lovely photos of your family and baking.

  22. Seanna Lea says:

    Those look delicious. I love financiers and pavlovas. I tried pavlovas early last year, but I think my instructions were faulty. Yours are much clearer, so it is time to try again!

  23. Your pavolovas are stunning! I WISH I had a friend with citrus trees…but I live in NYC and am lucky if I meet friends with dining rooms! Happy New Year :)

  24. Mónica says:

    Mmmm…qué buena pinta! Probaré tu receta tan pronto como sea posible.

    Feliz Año Nuevo!!!

  25. I can’t find kumquats anywhere! I wish I could, this looks amazing.

    beautiful photos, as always. :)

  26. Aran says:

    Olwen- yes, most pavlova recipes have a bit of vinegar and cornstarch added. You can find a recipe in my blog. I made this one as a baked French meringue so it’s crunchier inside but still moist if it’s not over baked.

    Thank you!

  27. Aran says:

    Olwen- here is the link to the more traditional pavlova recipe. These are also individual.

  28. cindy* says:

    all that citrus! so gorgeous aran!

  29. shaz says:

    Happy New Year Aran. I love pavlova, and that citrus combination sounds fabulous and not one I would have thought of. M is so beautiful, it’s amazing to see how much she’s grown in such a short time!

  30. Happy New Year! I hope you have a nice holiday and wish you all the best for the rest of 2010! I love pavlova! Your citrus combination looks great and goods thing you have thought of it.

  31. Joy says:

    What a beautiful post – happy new Aran and I hope this year brings you just as many blessings. I will most definately be trying out your pavlova recipe!! :)

  32. everything in here looks good!

  33. YUM! and yum! Winter in Florida is much like winter in AZ, there isn’t much cold and its a beautiful time of year!

  34. Jas. says:

    ooh it all looks scrumptious Aran! Your little bub is so gorgeous. I love that you fell asleep together. May 2010 be as sweet as that moment.

  35. Sini says:

    Wonderful pictures.
    I love kumquats. They make very good marmelade! Something different than the classic orange.

  36. Nicisme says:

    Happy New Year Aran, wishing you and your lovely family all the best for 2010!

  37. Isn’t it wonderful when you get to try a new food. Wonderful recount of your mom trying kumquats for the first time. Love those gorgeous little forks in your photos. So cute. BTW, I feel asleep before midnight on NYE, and had NO excuse! :)

  38. Mélanie says:

    All the pictures are beautiful, but my favorite is from your daughter!! She’s so cute!
    Happy new year to you and your family

  39. Laura says:

    Aran, I love kumquats too, and have some candied in the fridge. I will try your chocolate financier recipe since I love the combination of the two flavors.

    New Year’s Eve 2000 saw me fall asleep at 9 pm with a 4 month old daughter too. The best way to celebrate a new year and a new life.

    I love your daughter’s cheeks, she is growing fast.

  40. Anamaris says:

    Aran, I’ve been lurking you for a while now, since last year (heh). I just wanted to say, I think you have an exceptionally GORGEOUS blog. I want my blog to be like yours when it grows up.

    Oh, y tus fotos… Que envidia, mujer!

  41. Judith says:

    Dear Aran – another lurker here, thanks for a fabulous blog.

    I was waiting for this first January post to see if you would make a Roscón de Reyes for the Epiphany – my one and only effort, many years ago, was as heavy as lead, and I had my hopes pinned on you! However the pavlova looks wonderful, as does everything else you make.

    Feliz día de Reyes,

  42. J2Kfm says:

    We have those pickled kumquats here, mostly imported from China, if I’m not mistaken.
    They’re kind of an acquired taste, at least to me. :)
    reminded me of medicinal stuff.

    happy New year.

  43. So beautiful! And the pavlovas look wonderful – but what looks really, especially awesome is that marmalade. I have a serious thing for all kinds of jam – usually a dozen different kinds open in my fridge at once! Do you have any tips (or perhaps even the recipe) for your marmalade?

  44. Saara says:

    your blog is just too amazing…!!

  45. We just moved away from our home in FL for a few years and your post made me homesick. :) Beautiful photos as always.

  46. Leesa says:

    Hi Aran,

    I’m new to your blog but I simply adore your gorgeous photos.. très belle présentation… J’adore TOUT!

    All my best, Leesa

  47. Zerogluten says:

    Ni la reciente maternidad ni las visitas ni la falta de tiempo hacen que bajes el nivel de tus presentaciones.
    Yo como tu madre, descubrí los kumquats gracias a tí, y no sabes lo que te lo agradezco. Son toda una delicia.
    Por cierto, mi Batman creo que haría buenas migas con tu Spiderman y la princesa, aunque para princesa, la tuya, que está super linda.
    Besitos sin gluten guapísima

  48. Queen "B" says:

    Aloha, really enjoyed your lovely post, as much as I enjoy the food, your comment on nursing the babe on New Years was my Favorite, you see mine are all teenagers now and as much fun as we do have, those precious moments with them as babes are truly a blessing and they are over in a flash I hope you savour and…enjoy them…darling

  49. Aran says:

    Katie- the kumquat marmalade is an adaptation of Ina Garten’s orange marmalade. you can find her recipe here

    Judith- I didn’t make rosca de reyes this year. Too much going on, but I did last year and you can see it here It’s a brioche recipe and then shaped like a round.

    Thank you everyone!

  50. TangTang says:

    Hi there,

    Happy New Year!

    I have been reading your blog for quite a while, however seldom leave a comment.

    Love your blog, your pictures and thanks for your recipes.

    In our country, Kumquat can also be used as a medicine too. It’s our tradition to put sea salt to cover washed kumquat and keep it for years. When we start to have sore throat, we take one out and put hot water and honey to serve as a drink. It soothe the sore quickly.

  51. Judith says:

    Thank you for that pointer, Aran, and my apologies – you are right, you certainly have a lot going on right now!!

    Gracias!! Judith

  52. James B says:

    I have a jar of Kumquats in Brandy that I done for the last year. I havent yet tried them – mm I think I may now go and open the jar.

    Your posts always delight me!

  53. Junglefrog says:

    I don’t think I have ever had kumquats but they look delicious and I am a big fan of sour taste so gotta see if I can find them in these parts. Gorgeous photos as usual and that photo of M is just very sweet.. :)

  54. Aran says:

    Tangtang- what a wonderful tip. i will definitely keep that in mind.

    Thank you all of you for your wonderful comments. I really do appreciate your time. Thank you.

  55. cookeaze says:

    I must be one of the only people who hasn’t tried these yet.Chocolate is a fantastic way to start the new year! Thanks for your talent..

  56. I’m supposed to be cutting back on desserts this year. What kind of a new year’s resolution is that when I follow your blog! I’m doomed! Especially when I see your new creation. There’s always next year for resolutions huh? :)
    I wish you a Happy New Year. Health and happiness to you and your family!


  57. Deeba PAB says:

    Beautiful…I love citrus & this array is awesome! Gorgeous picture of your little boy & his friend too! I love your ‘broken’ record…
    Hugs to you!!

  58. cutlex says:

    I love the smell of citrus too.. It’s refreshing and there’s this something in it that I can’t describe. It’s plain good.

  59. blogger says:

    You are the sweetest and the most special person I’ve ever notice. All of your recipes and pics always bring me peace, love and happiness.
    So, I wish you all the best in these and in the comming years.
    Your daughter is just adorable and your little (growing up!!) boy is my favourite character of your blog!! LOL!! He’s always perfect in all the pics!
    But, my dear…those Pistachio Meringue ate the ‘awwwwwest’ thing I’ve ever saw in my life!!!
    Thanks for sharing you inspiring life and family with us!

  60. gorgeous! Stunning photography.

  61. vickys says:

    Gluten-free! You have officially won me over, :) Thanks for sharing. I had a rough gluten-free morning so this makes things feel much more hopeful.

  62. J’adore ton blog, même si je ne comprends pas tout j’apprécie beaucoup tes photos !
    Quelle chance d’avoir tous ces fruits et légumes gorgés de soleil !

  63. Hi Aron,

    Rockin idea. I used some kumquats last summer at out farmers market. I filled a stuffed fougasse filled with ricotta, spinach, Thai basil, roasted red peppers and some local chevre-twas a great pie and sold out within 30 minutes.
    What would your best pizza be using clementines?
    thank you for your fab blog.

  64. you seriously are amazing… each post is beyond fabulous… thank you for all of your amazing efforts! i love to follow your blog… x pam

  65. too cute :) i love those forks.

    i seem to have forgotten to make a new years resolution. oh yeah; to be happy!!

    happy new year!

  66. veron says:

    Delicious, Aran! I’ve always wanted to make a chocolate financier but have never gotten around to it, I think it is time!

  67. Teresa says:

    What beautiful images. I can only image how tasty everything is. I’ve never tried a kumquat before but I’m pretty curious about them now.

  68. antonia says:

    Estoy alucinada con tu blog. Aunque sólo fuera por ver las fotos… Me encanta pero soy muy torpe y no consigo suscribirme para que me llegue un mail cada vez que hagas una entrada…

  69. Aran says:

    Antonia- puedes suscribirte a traves de RSS. esta en la columna de la derecha debajo de los archivos. gracias!

    thanks everyone. hope you are enjoying citrus season!

  70. BNDQ8 says:

    i never got what to do with kumquats..we have them here in the markets but i have never boughts it neither have i tried it..hmm.. i guess i ould try it out with ur recipe :)

  71. Dina says:

    beautiful desserts and a beautiful babies and children!

  72. beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! Wow…

  73. Aimée says:

    Your little one is just precious. Precious!

    Can’t believe my baby is almost 2. Sounds like you are really enjoying the early days—that is good.

    Pavlova just might be my favorite dessert ever–yours look positively ethereal. Delish!

  74. Hi,
    Your blog always bring a smile to my face with its lovely photos and imaginative recipes :)
    I tried making the chocolate and kumquat financiers at the weekend (picture of outcome on my blog) and they were very yummy so thank you very for the recipe…..just a very quick question, why do the kumquats need to be blanched 3 times?

  75. little-Chan- t is to remove some of the bitterness from the rind, but it’s ok if you don’t do it. It will taste good as well. After all they are candied! :)

    Thank you!

  76. Yesterday I bought an almost new white white white puffy coat and I’ve been burying myself in its warm and coziness ever since. I’m now looking at these beautiful pavlovas and thinking that they will coordinate quite well with my new appetite for white. Do you think apricots would work in place of the kumquats? I think I’ll go on a kumquat search…

  77. suzanjill says:

    i just wanted to comment on your beautiful blog – love the photos and the recipes (I have yet to try any of them yet though since our kitchen has been under construction for some time now…but I cannot wait to try them out).

    Also – i bit unrelated – but where on earth did you get that adorable dress for your beautiful little girl? She’s is so precious and I love the little outfit!

  78. suzanjill- thank you very much. the dress is from Oilily and yes, it is adorable. she looks so cute in it.

    Thank you so much everyone!

  79. kanishk says:

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  80. I loved the brownies that are showing in
    the last picture. I really love chocolate
    brownie, its very yummy i eat it with the
    vanilla ice cream.
    Mio Navman Spirit V505

  81. looks good. If anything is like this, I would not mind to break my new year’s resolution.

  82. Is there a gram converter that you recommend? I don’t have a clue how many eggs to use…

  83. Sassy Critic- 1 egg weighs about 50 grams. 1 egg white about 30 grams, so that’s about 5 egg whites you will need. To convert grams to ounces all you need to do is divide the gram amount by 28.375 and that will give you the ounces you need.

    Hope that helps!

  84. Carola says:


    Your photos are gorgeous, my sincere congrats!!

    Also I’d like to ask something about the Chocolate Financiers, how much chocolate do you use and when? Which kind of chocolate? Sorry if I’m not paying enough attention but I can’t find the chocolate in the ingredients or the recipe; also my mother tongue is not English so it can be a little awkward for me to cook in English :-)

    I want to try them, they look superb in the pics!

    Thank you for sharing this.

  85. Aran! los hice en cupcakes con marengue y salieron muy bien!
    pero me salieron mucho más blanquitos… a qué le llamás brown butter? yo lo hice con manteca derretida, supongo que eso hizo la diferencia.
    Igual estaban INCREIBLESSS!


  86. I’ve never had kumquats before, even though I’ve seen them in my grocery store. Your recipes have inspired me to buy some and get cooking. Seriously, your pictures are so beautiful.

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