Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Kumquat Tea

Kumquats are grown in many homes in Singapore and I was surprised by how little I know about these fruits until I lived in Beijing. To me, these are plants that are grown during Chinese New Year for luck or prosperity... or something along that line.

It has never occured to me that the fruits can be eaten.

In Beijing, fresh whole kumquats (including the skin and all) are eaten and enjoyed as a simple after-dinner snack. I think the variety that they have in Beijing has a thinner skin and therefore taste good when eaten this way. The kumquats I bought in Singapore have a much thicker skin and I didn't like eating it fresh as much.

I was still thinking about how to finish off all the leftover kumquats I had when I came across this post. Inspired by it, I decided to something with all the leftover kumquats I had. I didn't want to make candied kumquats because I know I won't end up eating them very much.. and they'd inevitably spoil in my fridge.

So I decided to make kumquat syrup. It's something like kumquat jam, except I'd be using it for kumquat tea instead of having it with toast.

Kumquat Syrup
A pint of kumquats
A few tablespoons of sugar, to taste (I used vanilla sugar)

What I did
1. Washed and blanched all the kumquats in hot water
2. Thinly sliced and de-seeded most of the kumquats, leaving about 4 to 5 whole
3. Placed all the kumquats (sliced and whole) into a small pot and pour water to just cover the kumquats
4. Put a few tablespoons of sugar into the pot (to taste.. I added sugar and some honey)
5. Boil until the water level is half that of the initial level. Press the whole kumquats to squeeze out all the juices inside
6. Continue boiling until the mixture is very thick and syrup-like. The entire process takes between 40 - 50 minutes
7. Let mixture cool and store in jam jar or air-tight glass bottle

To make kumquat tea, take a tablespoon or 2 of the syrup and mix with hot water. I also like it with iced water.. It makes a very refreshing drink on a hot day like today!

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