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Kumquat Basil Dreamsicle Bars

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Serves 12 | Prep Time 20 | Cook Time 0

Why I Love This Recipe

I have a couple of kumquats sitting in my refrigerator. It’s amazing how long these little suckers will last in the fridge (they go bad pretty fast on the counter).

Lucky for me!

Lucky for my fellow book clubbers!

For this months book club, our last official meeting before summer, we’re reading Good Chinese Wife. Since we live here, we can relate a little bit to the story, but more importantly it gives an interesting perspective to what a Chinese marriage is like. The book wasn’t all that we expected it to be but book club is still awesome because we’re an awesome bunch!

Back to the Kumquat Basil Dreamsicle Bars… Wow that’s a mouth full! They are a fun little play on a classic Orange Dreamsicle Desserts. They were incredibly easy to make and beautifully tart without being overwhelming. The magical part of this dessert is to let it sit in the freezer for at least 4 hours. I left it for only 3 before pulling it out to take it to book club and the middle pieces were still very soft.

No matter how fast I snapped away with my camera, they started to melt quite a bit. If only I made them an hour before. But I have to say… the pictures turned out amazing!

Ingredients You'll Need

1 Package Digestive Crackers
1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Butter, cubed and cold
Kumquat Batter:
1 cup Heavy Cream
1/2 cup Sugar
8-10 Kumquats, grate the rinds and set aside
10 ounce can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/3 cup Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed
1/3 cup Orange Juice, freshly squeezed
16 ounces Cream Cheese, room temperature
1 bunch Basil, chopped (about 1/4 cup packed)
Extra thinly sliced basil leaves to garnish


In a food processor, pulse the crackers, sugar and butter for 1 minute.

Line a 13x9 glass baking pan with parchment paper so it's hanging over the sides.

Press the crust onto the bottom of the pan. Press down hard to make sure it sticks together.

Place in the freezer while preparing the kumquat batter.

For the Kumquat Batter

In a blender add the lemon juice and orange juice with the peeled kumquats (not the kumquat rinds). Puree until smooth. Strain and set aside the liquid. Discard the pulp.

With an electric mixer, beat cream and sugar until the mixture is light, fluffy and holds its shape when the beaters are removed.

Add the kumquat rinds, condensed milk, juices, cream cheese and basil beating until well combined and thickened.

Pour the mixture into the cold crust and return to the freezer for 3-4 hours.

Before serving, remove the dessert from the foil and cut into bars.


The kumquat juice, lemon juice and orange juice need to equal 1 cup. If you have less than that add equal parts of lemon and orange juice to make a full cup.

For clean cuts, wipe the knife after each slice.

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