Kumquats are in season. I know it’s not May yet but I like the play on words for the title and am too excited to wait till the right month to share this recipe!

I’ve adapted an Epicurus recipe for kumquats poached in lime juice and vanilla syrup and teamed it with steamed Conference pears.

I used to poach pears in the simmering basket of my Thermomix but discovered many recipes on Cookidoo where pears are steamed instead with the same result so use this technique as you can do many more pears – good for a dinner party!

It’s an exquisite dessert served with ice cream or sorbet. I like it with a sorbet of nothing but frozen very ripe pears with stem ginger and/or a little Aleppo Chilli blended at speed 10 for a minute and then whipped up with the Thermomix butterfly whisk at speed 4 for a minute.

With yogurt and a sprinkle of nuts and seeds, a very posh breakfast it would make too.

The poached kumquats on their own would make a great topping for ice cream or maybe in a cocktail. Or one or two kumquat halves dropped into a Roku G&T with the mandatory sliced ginger! In fact, add a splash of this Japanese gin to the poaching liquid for a boozy dessert.

Endless ideas!

I used coconut sugar to try and keep things low on the GI index. You could also do it with honey or maple syrup or refined sugar if you will. Just adjust cooking time of the liquid till you reach the desired syrupy consistency. To be super healthy, don’t use sugar but poach the kumquats in 120g satsuma juice (I think orange juice would over power it). As ever, I use my Thermomix as my trusted cooker to adapt anything and everything!

The love just keeps growing! A quick note to the uninitiated who speak negatively of the Thermomix undermining culinary creativity and skill: think again.

Where did the idea come to me? Lying in bed in the morning browsing the net and my Cookidoo App, with the kumquats and pears lying dormant in the kitchen fridge downstairs. Less than half an hour later I’d created a gourmet dessert I’d never have bothered trying pre-Thetmomix! I never hesitate letting people know I am lazy. Really, really lazy. If I had to put immense effort into experimenting I would not bother. So thank you again my wonderful Thermomix for taking care of temperature control and time to minimise mistakes I make from being distracted or memory loss!

It has enhanced my culinary journey without a shadow of a doubt. And now the plug BECAUSE YOU REALLY NEED TO SEE IT TO BELIEVE IT… Get in touch with me for an inspirational, no obligation demonstration of the TM5 and learn more about the TM6 coming in June with its 160C, still blade cooking, sous vide and integrated recipe platform…..


20 kumquats, halved crosswise & deseeded.

6 firm Conference pears, peeled, halved, seeds scooped out.

Juice of 1 satsuma/clementine

3 limes

1/2 a vanilla pod (slit & seeds scraped out)

500g water (for poaching pears and then reserve 120g of this liquid for the syrup)

120g sugar of choice

Pinch of salt


1. Prepare the pears and kumquats.

2. Add zest of one lime to the pears. Squeeze the juice of half a lime and the orange/satsuma over the pears and toss.

3. Place pears in the Varoma tray (use both levels if your pears are large). Reserve the satsuma juice.

4. Add 500g water to TM bowl. Place Varoma on the lid and steam pears 20 mins/VAROMA/speed 2.

5. Squeeze the juice of the remaining two and a half limes in with the satsuma juice. Add the vanilla seeds and pinch if salt and mix.

6. Discard all but 120g of the water the pears were poached in. Note: if using just satsuma juice and no sugar to poach, then discard all the water. Add the lime juice mix with the split vanilla pod and the sugar to the TM bowl with the hot 120g of water. Cook 3 mins/100C/REVERSE/Speed 1. As soon as the temperature reaches 100C and the sugar has melted, add the kumquats.

7. Cook 3 mins/100C/REVERSE/Speed:Stir.

8. Place pears in a heat proof dish. Scoop kumquats out of the TM bowl and place on the pears along with the split vanilla pod. If you are happy with the consistency of the syrup pour this over the pears now. If you’d like a thicker syrup, return the TM bowl to cook at 100C for longer at speed 2. Then pour the syrup over the pears and chill for atleast two hours. Serve as you will and enjoy!

NOTE: I did the kumquats again and this time did not use the fruit from Spain that I bought at Costco but got some from my local greengrocer. They were smaller and much more tart than the Spanish ones so when I did them in just juice, they were not as good! I ended up adding a tin of lychees to the kumquats and pears. And I can’t say I liked the orange syrup as much …. should perhaps have used cinnamon or five spice powder instead of vanilla with the juice – vanilla and orange was reminiscent of cough muxture!

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