If you have some kumquats to make into an incredible kumquat dessert, then you’ll certainly fall in love with these decadent Cardamom Kumquat Bars.
I love baking up new and unusual treats. I especially love finding new uses for some of my favorite fruits. Put the two together and you know something delicious is baking in my oven!
Fruit desserts are my favorite and I can’t get enough of them. I recently found kumquats at my middle eastern market and I scooped up a bag full to bring home and create some kind of kumquat dessert. I had just perfected my lemon bar recipe, so I figured why not try making some kumquat bars, too?
What are kumquats?
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. And some people get loquats and kumquats confused.
The kumquat is part of the citrus family, while the loquat is kinda like a plum. The kumquat is kinda opposite of the typical citrus fruit. It has a sweet skin and a sour center. And the entire fruit is edible.
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.
How to make kumquat bars
Once I decided to adapt my lemon bar recipe to become a kumquat recipe, the idea popped into my head use one of my favorite aromatic spices, cardamom. We Persians LOVE our cardamom.
Typically cardamom are found in dried 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. Feel free to grind it up yourself if you only have pods.
Although the entire kumquat is edible, chose to remove the seeds from the kumquats I used in these kumquat bars. I halved and seeded the kumquats and then puréed it in the blender with a shot of orange blossom water – another wonderful Persian concoction.
Already everything was off to an aromatic and delicious start!
Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t get these kumquat bars right the first time I made them. 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 and making a huge mess for me to clean up. I had to throw my pan out and start all over again.
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 and I’m still working out the kinks. My kumquat bars were baked all the way and were runny. Duh.
I was seriously getting discouraged by my failures, but mostly I was angry that I was so ridiculously distracted. I really wanted to eat these kumquat bars so I attempted to make them a THIRD time.
Luckily, third time is a charm as I paid incredible attention to what I poured into the batter and what buttons I pushed on the oven. The buttery shortbread crust was perfection. The sweet and sour kumquat filling was beyond incredible. I loved the hints of cardamom and orange blossom water.
My adventure baking up these kumquat bars is now complete. Unfortunately, we ate them up quickly and I am getting another hankering for kumquat deliciousness. Time to make another batch!
More kumquat desserts and recipes
- 22 kumquats, halved and seeded
- 4 TBS orange blossom water
- 3 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup unsalted melted butter
- 6 TBS granulated sugar
- 1 TBS ground cardamom
- 3 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 TBS powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350ºF and line a 9x13 baking pan with aluminum foil and grease with non-stick spray.
- In a blender add kumquats and orange blossom water
- In a large bowl, mix together 2 cups flour, butter, 6 TBS sugar and cardamom until fully incorporated.
- Press dough evenly onto the bottom of the foil-lined pan and bake for 20 minutes, or until edges start to turn golden brown.
- While the crust is in the oven, whisk together in the same bowl kumquat purée, 1 cup flour, 3 cups sugar, eggs and baking powder until incorporated.
- Pour filling over hot crust and place back in the oven.
- Bake for 20 minutes and let kumquat bars cool completely before removing from the pan.
- Top bars with powdered and slice to serve.
Cooking Tips: If you can't find orange blossom water, substitute with orange extract or orange liquor like Grand Marnier.
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Serving Size:1 bar
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 258 Total Fat: 9g Saturated Fat: 5g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 44mg Sodium: 103mg Carbohydrates: 44g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 30g Protein: 3g