Cumquat infusions

From time to time I have mentioned ways that we use cumquat-infused brandy and vinegar in our home cooking. And I have previously provided the recipe we follow when we make the infused vinegar, including suggestions on how to put this vinegar to good use in the kitchen.

Our Greek neighbours’ cumquat tree is heavily laden with fruit this year, so, a few weeks ago, we selected a small crop to make fresh supplies of the two liquids. Here is how they look, not quite half way through the infusion process.

cumquats

The jar on the left contains the brandy, made using just 500g of ripe cumquats according to the recipe provided below. The sugar is now completely dissolved and the colour of the brandy is deepening under the influence of the vanilla bean and the fruit. The aroma is already quite intoxicating!

The second jar contains the vinegar, originally white but now taking colour from the fruit, some cloves and a small piece of cinnamon. The aroma of this liquid is also becoming quite appealing, in a piquant kind of way.

At the end of November, we will remove the fruit, strain the liquids and pour each one into a bottle, to be stored in the pantry and used between now and next season.

We use the infused brandy as a substitute for plain brandy when cooking with duck or anything else that marries well with a flavour of orange citrus.

Ingredients

500g cumquats, washed
500g sugar
600ml brandy
1 vanilla bean

Method

  1. Place cumquats in a large, sterile jar. Add sugar, brandy and vanilla bean and seal.
  2. Stir contents every few days with a clean skewer until the sugar has dissolved, then leave to mature for 2 months.
  3. Remove cumquats and discard.
  4. Strain liquid into a clean bottle and store in a cool, dark place.

About rmgtravelsandfood

Maggie and I are both in our late 60s and live in Melbourne, Australia. This blog is devoted to our shared passions for travel and fine dining at home. As cooks, we are skilful and adventurous within a framework of mainly traditional ingredients and techniques, and we aim to prepare nutritious food that looks good and tastes delicious. Our evolving repertoire is influenced by both our travels and Melbourne's vibrant food culture. From 2008 to early 2020, our priority travel destinations were overseas, although we have always spent a bit of time each year exploring parts of Australia. Our first overseas journey together was to Italy in the northern autumn of 2008. We later travelled in France (2009), Spain (2011), Singapore and Cambodia (2012/13). Most of our international adventures from 2014 to 2020 are covered in this blog. We have now reached a time in our lives when the prospect of long flights to distant places are unappealing, so we will travel mainly within Australia or to countries that are close to home.
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