Ricotta Tart with Candied Kumquats

We love Spring. Spring means more sunshine. More daffodils. Lots of fresh green veggies. And, a sad goodbye to citrus season.

But not quite yet. Now is the time for that interesting little jewel of a fruit: the kumquat!

In California, where we live, it's a pretty commonplace fruit. There's always a neighbor down the street with a tree or two, it's luscious little orange orbs going untouched.

Because, well, kumquats, aren't really that tasty on their own. They're very tart and have lots of tiny, irregular seeds. They need some love to live up to their full potential.

Love in the form of candying, that is.

Our mouths are drooling already. Candied citrus in Springtime? Hallelujah!

This is an incredibly simple tart that can be done in three parts. Assembly takes only 5 minutes and then it's ready to serve. You can buy a frozen tart or pie crust for this and make it even easier too (like I did). The candying of the kumquats is surprisingly easy, if a little sticky.

Recipe after the jump.Ricotta Tart with Candied Kumquats

Makes one 12" tart. Recipe from Gourmet Magazine by way of Epicurious.com.

Candied Kumquats:

  • 4 cups fresh kumquats (1 1/2 lb with leaves; 1 lb without)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups

Tart:

  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, lightly toasted (or one teaspoon ground fennel)
  • 2/3 cup ricotta
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 (12- to 13-inch) baked sweet tart shell

Thinly slice kumquats crosswise with a sharp knife, discarding seeds. Bring water and 2 cups sugar to a boil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved, then simmer syrup, uncovered, 5 minutes. Stir in kumquats and simmer gently 10 minutes. Drain and cool kumquats in a sieve set over a bowl, then return drained syrup to pan and boil until reduced to about 11/3 cups, 3 to 5 minutes. Finely grind fennel seeds in coffee/spice grinder, then transfer to a bowl and whisk together with ricotta, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, and a pinch of salt just until ricotta is slightly smoother. Whisk in sour cream until just combined and spread evenly over bottom of tart shell. Arrange kumquats as evenly as possible over ricotta using your fingers or a small spoon, separating slices as necessary with a skewer, then brush kumquats with some of reduced syrup. Remove side of tart pan.

Cooks' notes: Kumquats can be candied 1 day ahead and chilled in syrup (before reducing), covered. Warm mixture before proceeding.  Ricotta filling can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.