Candied Kumquat Passion Fruit Chiffon Pie

See the paper bag in the picture below versus the size of the tree? BFF's kumquat tree is enormous! I remember back when it was a about eight feet high and now look. Her boys would use them for ammo in their sling shots. Her sister would occasionally use them in recipes or to make centerpieces. I've used them to make kumquat chicken and citrus marmalade.

When you have access to an entire tree of kumquats (or any fruit for that matter) you try as many recipes as you can to make use of them. For some time I had been wanting to use kumquats in a pie, I just wasn't sure how. Then I decided that if I made my vanilla ginger candied kumquats, I could use them as a garnish and element to the pie and use the syrup to get the kumquat flavoring into the pie filling.

For the passion fruit flavoring I've used the puree concentrate sold by Perfect Puree. It can be found at the larger Whole Foods stores in Roseville and Folsom. The smaller Arden store doesn't have it. The concentrate is $10 a container, but it will last you through several recipes. If you like the flavor of passion fruit, I highly recommend it.

Candied Kumquat Passion Fruit Chiffon Pie

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup ground almonds (or other nut)
2 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1/4 cup water
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/3 cup passion fruit puree
1 cup syrup from candied kumquats*
4 large egg yolks
1 cup candied kumquats, drained*
1 1/4 cups chilled whipping cream

For crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and ground almonds in medium bowl. Add melted butter and stir until mixture is evenly moistened. Transfer crumb mixture to pie plate. Press crumbs firmly and evenly onto bottom and up sides to top of dish. Bake until crust is firm and slightly darker in color, about 8 minutes. Cool crust completely. 

For filling:
Pour enough cold water into medium bowl to come halfway up sides; add 2 cups ice cubes and set aside.
Pour 1/4 cup water into small bowl; sprinkle gelatin over. Let stand until gelatin softens, about 15 minutes.
Whisk 3/4 cup sugar, kumquat syrup, passion fruit puree, egg yolks, and salt in heavy medium saucepan to blend. Whisk constantly over medium heat until mixture is just thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and thermometer inserted into mixture registers 160°F, about 6 minutes (do not boil). Add gelatin mixture; whisk until gelatin dissolves and mixture is smooth, about 1 minute. Place saucepan in bowl with ice water until filling is cool to touch, whisking occasionally, about 8 minutes. Transfer filling to large bowl.
Using electric mixer, beat whipping cream in another medium bowl until peaks form. Fold 1/4 of whipped cream into fruit filling until incorporated. Fold in remaining whipped cream in 3 additions.

Take a third of the candied kumquats and spread across the bottom of crust. Transfer half of whipped filling to cover the kumquats creating a bottom layer. Take another third of candied kumquats and scatter over the first layer. Top with the rest of the whipped topping. Use last of the candied kumquats to decorate the top of the pie.  Refrigerate pie until filling is set, about 4 hours.

 *If you do not have freshly made candied kumquats, use canned ones or substitute another canned fruit in its own syrup, such as peaches.