How can you not love cumquats, those little balls of sour goodness. Hard to find in this part of the world in shops, you have to know the location of a tree or have a good (Italian) neighbour. I was lucky this year, finding 2 trees in public spaces, and as few people know the delights of these golden globes, they were not much in demand. I came home with a basket full. This year I made Cumquats in Gin, and Cumquat Chutney.
Cumquats in Gin
To make the Cumquats in Gin, place equal quantities of pricked cumquats and sugar in a jar. Shake gently and some sugar will dissolve. Cover fruit and sugar with Bombay Sapphire gin. Gently rotate periodically until sugar dissolves. Don’t be too fussy if some sugar remains. Store in a cupboard for 3 months before eating. I then store mine in the fridge and it lasts for years, if we don’t eat them first.
How to Use Cumquats in Gin
You can eat those little globes as they are, or sliced into cakes or even salads with bitter greens. Serve with icecream. Pop one into your mouth with a late night coffee. You can strain the liqueur and bottle, but I like to leave it in the jar with those globes and use both as the inspiration strikes me. Sip some in front of a wood fire on a cold night. And in the evening with a glass of something good, and some top quality chocolate, these are divine.
Lucy tells me:
and the syrup from Cumquats and Gin, we recently discovered, sparks up a pile of bitter greens no end. Wonderful.