Sunday, 5 February 2012

Mmmm Marmalade

A couple of Sundays ago, the Husband and I spent a happy evening comparing marmalade techniques and slicing up orange peel. The next day we made marmalade. We’re just so rock ‘n’ roll, it hurts.

Anyway, having used Nigel Slater’s method last year, and decided that there was too much water in it to boil off, we did some surfing and came up with a combination of Dan Lepard and Nigel Slater’s which worked pretty well. Last year’s batch of just Nigel was very dark – probably because of the additional bubbling that all the extra water took – but we liked his method of dealing with the oranges, whereas Dan’s method  involved a whole litre less water, and the resulting marmalade is more to our taste. However, when it came to putting the jars away we realised that we still had a couple of jars left over from the last lot. Plus a lemon, orange and elderflower marmalade that we made from the fruit left over from making from elderflower cordial. We only have limited shelf space, so we needed urgent marmalade recipes and Dan has obliged twice this week.
I made his marmalade flapjack from Short & Sweet on Wednesday. It’s a great and easy flapjack recipe, and the resulting bars were very yummy. I thought they might be a bit dark, partly because it uses treacle not syrup, and also because of the darkness of the marmalade, but no, they were very good. This evening, however, was the real winner. From last week’s Guardian magazine, where he writes a column – marmalade carrot puddings .:

They are kind of an individual sponge pudding thing. I made half quantities, fudging it with the eggs again (the recipe says 3 medium eggs but I only had large ones - our chickens are slowly coming back in to lay, finally after what seems like months of moulting and petulance - and one small bantam egg from when we chicken sat for our neightbours), and goodness only knows what a dariole mould is, but the recipe worked fine in ramekins. The puds were a real hit, and were really really tasty.
I used dark muscovado sugar because that’s what I had in the cupboard, and I expect that a combination of light muscovado and this year’s marmalade would have resulted in a slightly lighter pudding, but the ones I made today were no less delicious for it. Blue considered the pudding and remarked that it looked just like a sort of mini Christmas pudding (it doesn’t really, at all, but I sort of knew what he meant) and inspiration struck. Forget ice cream or custard. What these little beauties taste really good with is the left over brandy butter from Christmas.

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