We don't claim to be experts in the growing of or useage of fruit, at all, but we're keen to learn more and share what we learn along the way. We have space in the country to give extra trees a chance to grow, and see what happens. We've made many mistakes already and will probably continue to do so. Some years we've had a lovely crop of plums or cherries, and other years, like last year, the birds swoop in and steal eveything we have before we can get to it. Last year all our quinces disappeared completely. Clearly we need netting, but that costs money and it's always one of those things we put off until mid year, and by that stage we generally forget that it was a priority.
We tend to do very well with figs though, and make very tasty fig paste each year. Peopel tell us it's suberb, so it's not all in our head (or our taste buds!) When we reached our quince tree in time, two years ago, we also managed to create some delicious quince paste. Now, while we await our crop of figs, and note with interest and some degree of trepidation, our budding persimmons...
A dear friend kindly gave us 10 kilos of juicy cumquats recently, which we were terrifically excited about. We made an immediate, though warped, attempt to make chutney with one kilo of them, which mysteriously turned into marmalade. We figure this will be OK for use in warm dishes in the future - It will have to be as we added pink peppercorns to it. We're thinking Morroccan... Should work with tagines and cous cous, come Autumn.
Spooked by our failed attemp to create chutney, we then went about our merry way, and neglected to refridgerate the rest of them. This was partly because we have a fairly small and standard fridge, and couldn't possibly fit them all in. With the heat, we soon discovered that was a grave error. We salvaged 3.5 kilo's. Gave 2.5 of those to an experienced local cumquat user who actually wants to create marmalade, and I kept 1 kilo for further experimentations of my own.
Fear not - We do not intend to turn Polly Prov into a cooking blog, but sharing a bit about how people get fruit to the kitchen, prior to doing things with it, seems rather important, we now realise. In seeking ideas for what to do with cumquats, I stumbled across this blog, so share it here: https://gatherandgraze.com/2014/05/21/two-great-recipes-using-cumquats-kumquats/ Enlightened by the options here, I set about on a mission to make cumquat curd. It's a sticky business taking all the seeds out, and made my finger-tips all soft and crinkled. Here's two images of the process of turning all the little quarters into puree... I found it rather exciting.
Apparently you can freeze the puree if you're not in the mood to take it to the next stage just yet. So, I left it in the fridge overnight, and then... I could do whatever I wanted with it, whenever I next had time on my hands.