Could you/would you ever candy this strange kumquat mandarin hybrid and then use the fruit to make a sort of bitter sweet marmalade tart/cake/pie situation? Why yes indeed. The recipe is a little persnickety. But all things - caramelized and upside down - involve a judgement call.
Marmalade Tarte Tatin
This recipe calls for Mandarinquats - a pretty teardrop shaped fruit with an edible bitter peel and big pits (that need to be discarded).
For Candied Mandarinquats
- 4 cups sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, split
- 25 Mandarinquats (30 or so kumquats can be substituted instead)
Fill a large saucepan with 3 cups of cold water. Set over high heat and bring to a boil. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Add vanilla bean and fruit. Cook just until liquid returns to a boil and then remove from heat. Place a lid or plate (slightly smaller than circumference of saucepan) directly on top of fruit so that fruit is completely submerged in hot syrup. Allow fruit to stand for at least 24 hours. You can stop here - halve the candied mandarinquats and serve over ice cream or Greek yogurt and granola. Use the syrup to make a glaze for cakes or spoon into hot water for a simple digestive tisane. Or.... continue onto marmalade tart.
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 stick cold butter, cut into small pieces
- 1/4 cup ice water
Whiz together flour, salt and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Cut or pulse in butter until dough resembles a fine meal. Add ice water and pulse until dough just comes together. Remove dough from food processor and quickly pat into a flat disc. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until needed, at least 2 hours.
- Candied Mandarinquats and syrup, from above
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon brandy or pure vanilla extract
Strain fruit. Reserve syrup. Scrap seeds from vanilla bean into syrup. Slice each mandarinquat in half and discard seeds. Heat a 9 inch cast iron skillet over a low flame. Melt butter, add 9 tablespoons of syrup and bring liquid to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer so to form a dark amber caramel - thick but not too thick - brown but not too brown. It should look delicious and pliable. Stick with what you are doing. Remove skillet from heat and arrange fruit, cut side up, so that fruit covers the entire surface of skillet - fruit should be snug.
When ready to assemble tart. Heat oven to 400. Remove pastry from refrigerator and let stand a few minutes at room temperature to make for easy rolling. Dust a clean work surface with flour. Roll out pastry creating a nice 10 inch circle of even thickness. Lay pastry over fruit, tucking in pastry and swaddling fruit. Place in oven and bake until pastry is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Reduce heat and cook an additional 10 - 15 minutes. Caramel will bubble up over the edges of pastry. Remove from heat and let stand about 20 minutes just so juices, caramel and pastry has time to collect itself. Carefully invert skillet onto a serving plate (beware of hot drippy juices). Tada!