Here’s a trick I thought of tangentially, when trying to come up with a good use for Kumquats – using Greek yogurt in place of custard in a tart. I’d been turning Kumquats over and over in my mind, wondering what to do with them. I’ve just learned that you can eat the skin and all of Kumquats, and they give a kick that leaves you satiated from both a sweet and sour perspective. Because they are pretty strong, just a few go a long way. Due to their diminutive size, juicing them is obviously impractical, and due to their flavor a pint-sized portion lasts a long time.
Then I remembered all the times I’ve passed by the tantalizing cases of city-wide (any city, it seems at this point) patisseries, staring at the gorgeous treats but not daring to order lest the indulgence become a habit. And I realized that kumquats are the perfect citrus for little tartlets, since they are small enough to be used in abundance and would provide plenty of sweetness when candied just a little bit.
So for a few weeks I had kumquat tarts bouncing around my head, but wasn’t over the hump yet since tarts usually involve custard, which I don’t happen to find very satisfying, especially for the calories. Finally, it occurred to me to swap out the custard with plain Greek yogurt, which is versatile enough to work in sweet and savory recipes.
An educated guess told me that the tanginess of the yogurt would be a great balance to the sweet citrus. I took the yogurt a bit more savory, adding a splash of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt, you could also use some of the sugar water left from the fruit candying to sweeten it some. (Add any flavoring *after* the yogurt has been strained.) Either way, the tart has a great contrast of flavors from the kumquats and the yogurt, and beyond the taste is satiating due to lots of protein.
Kumquat and Greek Yogurt Tart with Pistachios
Hands-On Time: 30-40 minutes, in two parts if making tarts ahead.
Special Equipment: Food processor, tart pans/forms with removable bottoms, parchment paper, cheese cloth or fine strainer.
- 1 & 1/3 Cup Flour
- 1/4 Cup Sugar
- Pinch Salt
- 7 Tbsp Butter, chilled and cubed
- 1 Egg, lightly beaten
- Pulse butter, flour, sugar and salt in food processor until the mixture is incorporated.
- Add the egg and continue to process until the dough comes together, about :45 – 1 minute.
- Remove from processor and press the dough together to form a ball. Do not knead.
- Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
- Pre-heat oven to 400 Degrees F.
- On a floured surface, roll out dough to at least 1/8 of an inch thickness. Carefully press into tart forms, then let rest in the fridge at least 20 minutes.
- Pierce the tarts with a fork across the bottom, line with parchment paper (paper should overflow edges) and fill with pie weights or dried beans to prevent dough from rising.
- Bake for 15 minutes, remove beans and paper, and bake 5-10 minutes more.
- Cool completely.
- After this phase, tarts may be frozen for later use. Freeze them in the tart forms, wrapped in plastic wrap. Simply move tarts into fridge several hours before use.
- Low-Fat or Non-Fat Greek Yogurt, 1/2 – 2/3 cup per tart
- 1 Cup Kumquats, thinly sliced
- 1/8 Cup Sugar plus 1/8 Cup Honey
- Pinch Whole Cardamom Seeds (Not Whole Pods)
- 1 & 1/2 Cups Water
- Chopped Pistachios
- 3-4 Hours before, strain the Greek yogurt using a cheesecloth or fine metal strainer.
- If necessary, transfer pre-baked tarts from freezer to fridge.
- Add the sugar, honey and cardamom to the water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugars.
- Add the sliced kumquats and simmer, stirring occasionally, 20-30 minutes.
- Arrange a sheet of parchment paper over cooking wracks or a cookie sheet.
- Using kitchen tongs, remove fruit from the sugar solution and lay flat on the parchment paper to cool.
- Add a teaspoon of sugar solution per 1/2 cup of strained yogurt and spread across the bottom of the tart and layer to fill.
- Arrange the cooled fruit and garnish with pistachios.