quats



kumquats and mandarinquats, though there are many a hybrid. like lime, lemon, orange and even yuzu, i'm told.
i'm often totally tempted to try any recipe on candied fruit like this at http://chezpim.com/bake/candied-kumquat. i came across this detail researching kumquats. stephanie has a beckoning kumquat tree, alas not as yet flowering. it is in the sixties, but still a portland january, the tree is hibernating, resting, certainly dormant, so making candied kumquats seems like some month down the road. i looked over a few of these recipes, hoping to snag some california fruit now making a local appearance. our 'new seasons' featured the first kumquats this year, as well as these gorgeous other quats, mandarinquats. these are of course a cross of mandarins and kumquats. they lack that sweet-sour appeal of kumquats, instead they are fragrant and only slightly astringent. me thinks, perfect for candying. 


pim's recipe is straight forward, three pounds of fresh fruit, four cups of water and three cups of sugar, a touch of salt if you like. preferably the quats should have just ripened and sent direct from the tree via fedex to your house. not having such a tree handy, i bought mine at the coop, fresh, but already some days in the arriving. subsequently the results were not quite as pretty as those in pim's pictures. some of my fruit, though not all, looked more like giant raisins, alas brightly orange. they tasted terrific, if for the visually impaired. so and at any rate, one way or another, once you own them, you prick these little fellers twice with a needle, stick the makings in a large pot, cover the fruit with a plate so it stays submerged and turn on the heat to get to a boil. turn it down to a simmer as soon as it rolls and cook for two or so hours. the quats will be soft and translucent by then, a fabulous orange in color.



turn off the heat, take out the covering plate, lid the pot and cool the whole thing over night. if in the morning, drain the quats from the pot and set them aside. reduce the liquid to a heavy syrup and you're almost done. i filled three jars with this juice, added my candieds and screwed down the lids. it's a bit messy, sugar is sticky, but a couple of warm-water rinses made the jars somewhat pristine. i won't keep these treasures for long, they'll be gone inside two weeks, as midnight candy, or as a colorful fruity addition to pork tenderloin. those few raisins i drained and, believe me, they're fabulous on any old breakfast toast. yes? 


as though there aren't enough cat pictures in blogs, here is our tinkertoy, aka trouble, always observing all goings on.