Have you ever tried kumquats? I’m amazed that many of my friends know about kumquats, but have never tried them. I suppose a lot of the problem is the confusion on how to eat a kumquat. Because, the kumquat is opposite of the typical citrus fruit. It has a sweet skin and a sour center. I first encountered kumquats when I was a student at the University of Arizona. The campus had several kumquat trees and I frequently grabbed a handful on my walks to class. I still love snacking on kumquats, today.
As they are in season right now. My local market has them, and they don’t cost a fortune. I wanted to make some kumquat bars, instead of lemon bars. And I paired it with one of my favorite aromatic spices, cardamom.
Typically cardamom are in pods. They are great to soak into your tea pot to infuse your tea and tantalize your senses. You can also find ground cardamom, which is what I used in my kumquat bars’ crust.
I halved and seeded the kumquats and puréed it in the blender with a shot of orange blossom water – another wonderful Persian concoction. And my Cardamom Kumquat Bars were born.
Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t get it right the first time. In my usual distracted manner I accidentally used baking soda instead of baking powder. If you don’t know your chemistry, think homemade volcano. My bars gurgled and bubbled in the oven, spilling everywhere. I had to throw my pan out, too.
The second time I made them, I accidentally turned the oven off midway baking when I meant to turn the timer off. It’s a new oven. I’m still working out the kinks. My kumquat bars were baked all the way and were runny. Duh.
Luckily, third time is a charm and I paid incredible attention to what I poured into the batter and what buttons I pushed on the oven.
A successful baking adventure is complete.