At the end of every season it happens. Suddenly, it dawns on me that I have casually overlooked an ingredient, a special fleeting something that, in a few weeks time, will be no more - until next year. This quarterly epiphany causes an inexplicable sense of panic, and I end up purchasing mass quantities of said ingredient.
This winter it was the kumquat that sent me into a buying frenzy. Since their arrival in mid-December, I’ve been ignoring them in favor of Mandarin oranges, Barhi dates, Sierra Beauty apples, Cocktail grapefruits and Warren pears; there was simply no room (in my tote or tummy) for more fruit. When it finally occurred to me that eight weeks had passed without a single bite of those sweet, tart, orange jewels, I purchased pounds. Pounds! And have since been candying, slicing and dicing kumquats every day.
The first kumquat recipe I’d like to share is for a gluten-free tea cake. Once you see that the recipe excludes flour, butter and oil, some of you may be skeptical. But I assure you - this cake is moist and incredibly delicious! Please don't pass it up...kumquat season is almost over!
(Recipes for Endives with Kumquats, Black Olives + Ricotta Salata and Celery with Kumquat, Hazelnuts + Parmesan are coming soon.)
Place kumquats in a medium saucepan with enough cold water to cover by 2-inches. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook kumquats for 35 minutes, or until tender. Drain kumquats and allow to cool to room temperature. Cut each kumquat in half and remove any seeds with the tip of a paring knife. Add seeded fruit (flesh and rind) to the bowl of a food processor; puree mixture until a rough paste forms.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs until combined. In a small bowl, whisk together the almond flour, sugar and baking powder; add almond mixture to the eggs and stir with a spatula until combined. Add the pureed kumquats to the batter and mix well. Pour batter until buttered pan and bake for approximately 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Allow cake to cool completely before cutting and serving.
*Because this a gluten-free cake, the crumb is incredibly delicate and moist; the cake tends to stick to the pan and can fall apart easily (this is also why it needs to cool completely before cutting). Therefore, I opt for a small loaf pan made of paper; if you want to use a glass or metal pan, make sure to butter the pan, line it with parchment, and butter it again. (PS - Paper loaf pans are perfect for holding homemade gifts!)