Saturday, 2 March 2013

queasy free cumquat cupcakes

a friend of mine and i were travelling around the island of corfu on mopeds many decades evening after a long day in the saddle we arrived in a tiny village and proceeded to look for sustenance only to find that the only eating establishment in the village had been booked out for a wedding..we hung around the front of the taverna like ravenous beasts sniffing the air as delicious wafts of charcoal roasted lamb floated past our nostrils when one of the wedding party invited us to join them ..i don't remember eating anything that evening although i must have but i do remember having many shots of cumquat liqueur which is a particularly sickly alcoholic beverage and a speciality of the island..and i also recall dancing a lot..

as the last guests left we realised that we hadn't even thought about accommodation and i realised i was missing one of my sandals..who knows when i'd even taken them off..anyway, undaunted, we hopped on to our trusty steeds and zoomed off into the night in search of a suitable place to sleep..

the next bit is really clear to me..i was woken, hungover, by the furnace like heat of the sun..bleary eyed i looked around and saw that we had slept in an olive grove and that in the distance was a small dwelling and emerging from it was an old lady who started walking towards us..i thought she was on her way over to tell us to get off her property but she turned around and disappeared from view..after a while she reappeared and started walking towards us again but this time she was carrying something..

our contrition over trespassing was eclipsed by curiosity so we stayed put and waited for her to reach us..she arrived smiling and talking greek to us with a pail full of just extracted steaming goat's milk which she beseeched us to drink..we didn't want to appear ungrateful and so, despite our hangovers, we took turns to drink from the pail..when she left my friend looked very queasy and she..well..i think you can guess what happened..

queasy free cumquat cupcakes 
tea with hazel



150 gms self raising flour sifted
55 gms plain flour sifted
155 gms castor sugar
155 gms unsalted butter
2 eggs
50 mls milk
25 mls cumquat infused brandy*
1 teaspoon (tsp) vanilla extract

cumquat curd**

2/3 cup castor sugar
60 gms unsalted butter yolks 4 eggs
100 mls cumquat juice
2 tsp cumquat zest


double cream
crushed candied cumquat peel



cream butter and castor sugar until pale and fluffy
~ beat in eggs one at a time 
~ add flours, milk, brandy and vanilla and beat until mixture is smooth
~ divide the mix between 12 cupcake cases and bake at 175 deg c for approximately 15 minutes or until golden and cooked in the centre 

cumquat curd

~ beat the sugar and egg yolks until well incorporated
~ place in the top of a double boiler with other ingredients and cook until thickened


~ cut a cone from the centre of each cupcake 
~ place a large tsp of cumquat curd in the cavity
~ top with a tsp of double cream
~ sprinkle with crushed candied cumquat peel


*   a year ago i unfused cumquats with brandy, sugar, a cinnamon stick and a few cloves
** adapted from a recipe in 'a cooks' companion' stephanie alexander 

i made these after a request for cupcakes by a friend as part of a birthday dinner
by the way..beware of greeks bearing pails of milk..


  1. This is a funny story Jane. I am not a big fan of milk (to drink) and the thought of warm milk makes me feel queasy even without a hangover!

    Your cakes look and sound delicious. I have not had much experience with cumquats, I bet the curd is beautiful. Happy Sunday to you.

    1. hi jane..i agree but i'd like to get my hands on some fresh goat's milk now to make yoghurt or ricotta..what a treat that would be..

      if you like lemon curd i think you'd like cumquat curd..i have heaps of them growing on a tree i planted only 4 years ago..and they're hardy and seem resistant to the gall wasp that afflicts lemon trees..

  2. Don't you just love Meditteranean hospitality?!!
    Your story made me LOL and brought back memories of Liquorice Grappa in Italy
    and Ouzò in Greece. I met my partner in Crete. x

    1. yes wcd..i am always humbled by the kindness of the people when i visit greece..last week i used up the last of a 3 litre tin of home grown/produced olive oil i was given by the owners of one the hotels we'd stayed in in 2011..i savoured every precious drop..

      i met my ex husband on an island called aegina! x