Honeyed Kumquat Pudding

The most enchanting sight on a trip to Israel was the kumquat orchards — rows of perfect little trees laden with their small, sweet and sharp fruit, which looked from a distance like shining gold coins weighing down the delicate branches. It seemed like a scene from a children’s fairy story in which we were giants walking among the trees, eating the magic fruit.

On my return to England I made this upside-down pudding cake to remind me of that day. Serve with cream or crème fraîche.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons clear honey
  • about 225 g/8 oz kumquats
  • 100 g/4 oz butter
  • 150 g/5 oz light muscovado sugar
  • finely grated rind of 1 orange
  • 3 medium or large eggs
  • 50 g/2 oz ground almonds
  • 50 g/2 oz self-raising flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 level teaspoon ground cinnamon

Method

Generously butter a 20 cm/8 in cake tin. Spread the honey over the bottom of the tin. Cut the kumquats in half lengthways and remove any pips you can see. Arrange the halves skin-side down in the tin, close together in a circular pattern so that they cover the bottom of the tin completely.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Cream the butter and sugar thoroughly together, then whisk in the orange rind. Whisk the eggs lightly in a bowl and then whisk in the butter and sugar mixture alternately with the ground almonds. Sift the flour, salt and cinnamon together and fold into the cake mixture with a metal spoon. Then spread evenly on top of the kumquats. Cook in the centre of the oven for 45-50 minutes, until a small knife inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave in the tin for a few minutes, then turn out on to a serving plate so that the kumquats are on top. Put the cake under a hot grill just to brown it slightly on top. Serve warm.

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