I'm pretty lucky here in Palm Springs - right outside my door are lush fruit trees, which I've spotlighted several times in this blog (using grapefruit, tangerines, lemons, limes).
So...I finally decided to tackle the illusive Kumquat tree... Kumquats are beautiful, tiny little citrus fruit - and I've always been daunted by the prospect of peeling these tiny wonders. But they are so good - tart, uber-citrusy - so I decided to take it on. And this tart is super easy and sooooo good! Best of all - no need to peel/juice these little cuties - just throw them in a blender, skin and all - who knew?
Make a tart crust: Yes, you can always just buy a shortbread crust...or make this super-easy version. In a standing mixer, blend together 6 tablespoons of softened butter and 1/3 cup powdered sugar. Throw in a teaspoon of vanilla, 2 egg yolks, and 1 1/4 cups of flour, along with a pinch of salt. You should have created a soft and crumbly mix. Put onto a lightly floured surface, and pat into a round disk. Wrap in plastic wrap, and let sit in the fridge for about a half hour.
Bake your crust: Remove from the fridge, and roll on a lightly floured surface, to a round of about 1/8 inch thick. Take a springform pan, place in the middle of the dough, and cut in a circle about an inch past the pan. Then place the circle into your springform pan, with the edges going up the pan about an inch. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes, until light golden brown. Let it cool, remove the outer springform circle, and spread a layer (about 1/4 cup) of some type of cirtrusy marmalade on the crust - for this recipe, I used Apricot Marmalade.
Prepare your Kumquat filling: Place about 2 cups of kumquats, whole, into a vitamix or blender. Blend until completely pureed. In a separate small bowl, mix together 3/4 cup of granulated sugar and 2 teaspoons corn starch. In a medium size saucepan, stir together the Kumquat puree with the sugar mix. Whisk in 2 egg yolks, and 2 large eggs. Heat this over medium heat, whisking constantly until it starts to boil. Once the boiling starts, whish constantly for exactly 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, add 1 stick of butter cut into slices (8 tablespoons), along 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Once well combined, pour the filling onto the tart crust. Place in the fridge and allow to set for at least a few hours. Serve with whip cream (maybe a mint leaf or two).