Sunday, February 1, 2015

Kumquat Season

Click for photo caption.
For a little departure, let's talk kumquats.

One of the things I miss about Florida since we've moved to New York is the regular parade of agricultural festivals.  Two of them come to mind as particularly unique.  The first is the annual Caladium Festival in Lake Placid, near Lake Okeechobee that takes place in the heart of summer near the peak of the hurricane season.  One has to be a hardy festival goer to attend this summer event that is oven beset with wild thunderstorms.  Yet the tours of the caladium gardens and farms are well worth the sweat.

However, my favorite festival in Florida is the annual Kumquat Festival in Dade City.  Most of the kumquats in the U.S. are grown near this quaint small town and this event is ALL about the kumquat.  You can find all kinds of things made from kumquats.  Since this is the heart of the season, you can usually find kumquats in your local supermarkets.  I love kumquats raw (you eat them skin and all), but the recipe below is one of my favorite kumquat desserts.  It isn't particularly healthy, but a little indulgence every once in a while is worth it--especially for kumquats.

Refrigerator Kumquat Pie (Modified slightly from the Kumquat Grower's Association Website referenced below).

1 Graham Cracker Crust
8 oz of cool whip
2/3 cup pureed kumquats (pureed in a food processor so they turn to pulp; the puree should measure 2/3 cup.  freeze any remaining for the next pie)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup lemon juice

Mix the wet ingredients well.  Pour in pie shell.  Refrigerate or freeze until ready to serve.

For more kumquat recipes, see the kumquat growers website here.

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