Monday, 19 October 2009
kumquat in rambutan syrup
This is delicious over pancakes and probably good with ice-cream. It also works with chicken dishes. Another recycling recipe from the farm kitchen!
The kumquat part:
Kumquats (Citrus fortunella), are a member of the citrus family. They grow on a small tree with sparse branches and highly glossy leaves: kumquats are often used as an ornamental because of their leaves. The kumquat is unusual for a citrus in that the whole fruit is eaten, in fact the peel is much sweeter than the flesh. The tree originated in China but can be found throughout Asia, the tropics and subtropical regions, Japan, California and Florida. Traditionally kumquats are eaten raw or preserved in sugar syrup, pickled, or dried.
preparing the kumquats:
wash, prick with a sharp knife and boil in water for 30 - 40 minutes or until soft. Set aside to cool. Reserve the cooking water.
preparing the rambutan syrup:
This is the recycling part. I was peeling rambutans to dry and throwing the peeled ones in a large bowl. After shelling a bowlful, I found I had a good 2 cups of rambutan juice in the bottom of the bowl. Rambutans are juicy little fellows - it would be possible to extract more juice by placing a heavy weight on top of the peeled fruit and leaving overnight in the fridge or on the countertop for a few hours. This way you get to enjoy the fruit too! Actually rambutans freeze very well, and make a delicious ice cold nibble - instant sorbet.
Add the rambutan juice to the kumquat's cooking water, add sugar to taste and bring to a boil. Taste again for sweetness (if you overdid it, add a drop of lime juice), and simmer until the syrup reduces in volume by a half. Add the cooked and drained kumquats, cook for another 5 minutes, then can appropriately in sterilized glass jars.
Drying kumquats is also fun - slice thinly and lay on drying trays. I dry ours until they are quite crunchy, then use them as a sweet citrus chip!