Haw Berries & Kumquats

Posts Tagged ‘kumquats’

All I want this summer: iTea 找茶

itea cup

Four or five years ago, you used to be able to count with one hand the number of icy-dessert shops in Beijing. And now, in just the past year, we have a number of respectable shops serving refreshing, fruity icy treats. The latest, and my current favorite, is iTea (找茶), which aggressively expanded into Beijing a few months ago with six new locations. iTea seems to have hit upon a rather winning combination of clean, bright aesthetics; high-quality teas, ices, and slushes; and low prices.

Kumquat tart

kumquat slice and tart

I’ve grown up eating kumquats all my life, but it hadn’t ever occurred to me to do anything with them. They were usually associated with Chinese new year, when my grandparents sometimes had a little kumquat tree, its branches laden with golden fruit. But the success of the hawberry-kumquat pie, as well as a lemon tart that used not one but three whole lemons, led me to reconsider, and so was born this kumquat tart.

Haw berry kumquat pie 山楂金橘派

hawberry & kumquat pie

Filled with haw berry and kumquat jam, this pie is tart, sweet, and citrus-y, matching wonderfully well with a fragrant almond crust. As haw berries are so very representative of Beijing, I’ve decided to call this a hawberry Beijing pie.

Hawthorn Berry Kumquat Jam 山楂酱

haw berry jam on ciabatta integrale

Haw berries (shanzha; 山楂), or hawthorn berries, are near and dear to the heart of every Beijinger. So lusciously red, they ripen just in time for winter, adding the perfect dash of color to busy streets and gray, sunless skies. There’s no better way to preserve their tart, bright flavor than a thick haw berry jam, with a few kumquats for color and contrast. Ruby red, citrus-y, sweet, and tangy, it goes beautifully well with bread or sourdough english muffins, or in a linzer tart.

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