One of our cumquat trees is hanging heavy with fruit, looking gorgeous in the Autumn sun. The other one is covered in flowers! Go figure the timing! It is a different variety though, so perhaps that accounts for it.
We use a lot of cumquats, loving cumquat tea, poached cumquats, cumquat jam, cumquat pickles and many other ways of using them. I saw a house with a cumquat tree hedge recently, and I have just gone wild thinking about how I can do that at my place!
Today we are roasting the cumquats, and using them with some of our thyme that is flowering in the garden, and the seeds and juice of passion fruit, and sitting it all on an eggless custard type mixture that I love to make. I call it Indian custard, but its real name is Besan Payasam.
BTW, In Australia we spell passionfruit as one word. They are abundant here and we take them for granted. We eat them fresh from the garden, we use the pulp for our national dish Pavlova, and we used to drink Passiona soft drink by the litre back in the day.
Roasted Cumquats with Flowering Thyme on Besan Custard (Payasam) and Passion Fruit Syrup
this makes 2 smallish serves. We don’t eat a lot of dessert and rarely make it. When we do we, prefer just a little hit of sweetness at the end of a meal.
A double quantity of Besan Payasam (Eggless Indian Custard)
6 – 10 cumquats, halved cross ways and seeds carefully removed
rind and juice of 2 more cumquats
juice of half an orange
juice half lime
0.5 – 0.75 cup caster sugar
2 fronds flowering thyme (optional)
to garnish (optional) – choose 1 of:
crispy julienned ginger
juice and pulp of 2 passionfruit
toasted almond flakes
Preheat the oven to 220C.
Scatter the sugar in a small oven pan. Press the cut sides of the cumquats into the sugar and allow to sit for a few minutes. Turn the cumquats over and sit on the sugar. Pour the citrus juice and 2 Tblspn water around the cumquats. Add the rind to the juice mixture. Place the flowering thyme over the top of the cumquats (if using).
Place in the oven and cook, basting occasionally, until the cumquats are tender and beginning to caramelise, about 20 mins. Check regularly as the time will depend on your oven.
While the cumquats are roasting, make the Besan Payasam. Place into 2 small serving bowls. Allow to cool a little.
Gently place the cumquat halves on the top fo the custard, drizzling the pan juices over the top. Take some of the roasted flowering thyme leaves (if you used them), crush them and sprinkle over the cumquats.
Garnish as desired. Serve and enjoy.
recipe notes and alternatives
Indian bay leaf works very well as an alternative to the flowering thyme when roasting the cumquats.
Sometimes I stir through some thick cream through the payasam (custard).