Wednesday, April 14, 2010
I'd been saving a bag of kumquats (kinkan) in syrup to serve as a special dessert one of these days. But "one-of-these-days" kept getting postponed, and in the meantime I decided to turn these little bitty citrus fruits into wagashi by stuffing them in a manner not unlike the stuffed dried persimmons I posted a couple months ago. The kumquats were smaller and more fragile than the dried persimmons, so it was a little tricky, but the results were definitely worth it!
kumquats in syrup, syrup drained and reserved for other use
shiro-an (white bean an)
granulated sugar (optional)
Pat the kumquats dry and slice them in half, preferably not all the way through, so that the peel is still connected on one side. Stick a fork in the center of the exposed flesh on one side of the halved fruit, and gently tug at it so it all comes out in one piece from the peel. This is surprisingly easy. Do that to the other half, then follow procedure for all the rest of the kumquats.
Remove any seeds, then chop the kumquat flesh. Mix it with an equal amount of shiro-an, and stir a much lesser amount of chopped walnuts into the mixture. Using a teaspoon, stuff the mixture into the two halves of each kumquat, then press the halves together so that they appear whole again. Sprinkle the stuffed kumquats with granulated sugar, and spear with toothpicks to serve. These sweet/bitter treats go great with hot green tea, and just as well with coffee.