Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Kumquat Pie

Kumquat Pie

So it started with a question from my child "What's a kumquat?"  Seeing an article in the paper that it is indeed kumquat season here in Florida I knew I needed to answer the question in a real, tangible way - by buying some kumquats.  Tasting them raw did not impress anyone in the family as they were quite tart, but I knew I could change their opinion - with pie, of course!  They LOVED it!  This recipe is basically the one I use for key lime pie (which the family adores) with a meringue topping.  I baked it in a square 9" baking dish, but a regular pie pan would work just as well.

1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup melted butter

3 egg yolks
1/2 cup kumquat puree*
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk

3 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare the crust by mixing graham cracker crumbs with butter to form a crumbly dough.  Press the mixture into the pie pan or baking dish.  Bake the crust in the oven for about five minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Prepare the filling by beating the sweetened condensed milk with the egg yolks in a mixer at high speed for about five minutes, until the mixture is light and lemon colored.  Stir in the kumquat puree.  Pour the mixture in the cooled pie shell and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes.
While the pie is in the oven, prepare the meringue topping by beating the egg whites in a clean bowl with the cream of tartar with a mixer on high speed.  When the egg whites reach a soft peak stage, gradually add the sugar in a stream and continue to beat until the meringue is glossy with stiff peaks.
When the pie has baked for 20 minutes, remove from the oven.  Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees.  Spread the meringue over the top of the pie, making sure to reach the edges of the pie with the meringue.  Place the pie back in the oven for about 5 minutes, until the meringue begins to get a bit of color on the peaks.  Allow the pie to cool to room temperature before placing it in the refrigerator to fully chill before serving.

*Kumquat puree - Slice top third of the kumquat open.  Squeeze the juice of the kumquat over a bowl with a strainer to catch the seeds.  Place the de-seeded kumquat in a small food processor.  Puree the kumquats with the strained juice.  The whole fruit is edible (minus the seeds).  You will need just about a pint of fruit to make the 1/2 cup of puree.

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