Marmalade Time Again

M

Marmalade Time Again.

The Malaga oranges have just arrived in the shops, I know there are millions of people out there who reckon life is far too short to make marmalade but believe it or not I can’t wait to get started.

I love making marmalade. I love the smell that permeates through the whole house, the way it steams up the kitchen windows and the smug feeling of delicious satisfaction when you survey the result of your hard work – jars and jars with thick peel glistening through the glass. I even love the chopping and slicing that many find ridiculously labourious, for me it’s therapeutic, a ‘high stool’ job where I can just effortlessly slice and dream for as long as it takes to do the job. A sharp knife is definitely a bonus otherwise it does become tedious.

One could and many do just chuck the peel into a food processor and press the pulse button – it’s faster of course but I’m not keen on the sludgy texture that method produces.

Marmalade aficionados take all this very seriously after all it can ruin your day if the morning toast and marmalade are not just right, so I know it will resonate with lots of people.

Favourite recipes have been passed down in families for generations, some of us love dark bitter marmalade, others prefer a fresher fruitier preserve, I came across this recipe for Kumquat marmalade in Sydney. Kumquats are far less expensive in Australia but it is so worth making at least one batch. Of course its gorgeous on hot buttered toast but it’s also terrific with goat cheese and rocket on crostini as a little nibble or a starter add a couple of tablespoons into a duck gravy with a squeeze or two of lemon juice to make a cheats orange sauce.

Some people like to add a little fresh ginger or whiskey to their marmalade and very good it is too. It also has an extra cachet if you want to sell some at your local farmers market.

For those who enjoy more of a ‘little chip’ marmalade simply slice the peel into the finest julienne you can manage.

 

Seville Whole Orange Marmalade 

Most recipes require you to slice the orange peel first, but with this one you boil the oranges whole and then slice the cooked peel later. With any marmalade it is vital that the original liquid has reduced by half or, better still, two-thirds before the sugar is added; otherwise it takes ages to reach a set and both the flavour and colour will be spoiled. A wide, low-sided stainless-steel saucepan is best for this recipe, about 35.5cm (14 inches) deep and 40.5cm (16 inches) in diameter. If you don’t have one that big, then cook the marmalade in two batches.

Makes about 5.8–6.75kg (13–15lb)

2.25kg (4 1⁄2lb) Seville or Malaga oranges (organic if possible)

4kg (9lb) sugar, warmed

Wash the oranges and put them in a stainless-steel saucepan with 5.2 litres (9 pints) of water. Put a plate on top of the oranges to keep them under the surface of the water. Cover the saucepan, then simmer gently until the oranges are soft, about 2 hours. Cool and drain, reserving the water. (If more convenient, leave overnight and continue next day.)

Put a chopping board onto a large baking tray with sides so you won’t lose any juice. Then cut the oranges in half and scoop out the soft centre. Slice the peel finely and put the pips into a muslin bag.

Put the escaped juice, sliced oranges and the muslin bag of pips into a large, wide stainless-steel saucepan with the reserved cooking liquid. Bring to the boil, reduce by half or, better still, two-thirds. Add the warmed sugar and stir over a brisk heat until dissolved. Boil fast until setting point is reached. Pot in sterilised jars and cover immediately. Store in a dark, airy cupboard.

Kumquat Marmalade

Kumquats are expensive and fiddly to slice, but this is so worth making. I was given this recipe by an Australian friend called Kate Engel.

Makes 3 x 370g (13oz) pots

1kg (2 1⁄4lb) kumquats

1.8kg (4lb) sugar, warmed

Slice the kumquats thinly crossways. Put the seeds into a small bowl with

225ml (8fl oz) of water and leave overnight. Put the kumquats in a larger bowl with 1.5 litres (2.5 pints) of water, cover and also leave overnight. Next day, strain the seeds and reserve the liquid (this now contains the precious pectin, which contributes to the setting of the jam). Discard the seeds. Put the kumquat mixture into a large saucepan with the reserved liquid from the seeds. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes or until the kumquats are very tender.  Remove the lid and reduce to about half the original volume.

Add the warmed sugar and stir until it is fully dissolved. Bring the mixture back to the boil and cook rapidly with the lid off for about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the

heat while testing for a set by putting a teaspoon of the mixture on a cold saucer (it should barely wrinkle when pressed with a finger) 

Pour into sterilized jars. Cover, seal and store in a cool, dry place

Helen Morgan’s Lime Marmalade

Makes 10 x 200ml (7fl oz) jars

juice and coarsely grated zest of

8 organic limes

2kg (4lb 8oz) sugar, warmed

Put the lime zest and juice into a stainless-steel saucepan. Tie everything that remains into a muslin bag and add to the saucepan with 3 litres (51⁄4 pints) of water. Bring to the boil and simmer until reduced by two-thirds. Remove from the heat. When cool enough to handle, take the muslin bag out.

Place the remaining mixture in a food-processor and whizz until smooth. Add back to the saucepan, bring to the boil and add the warmed sugar. Stir to dissolve. Bring back to the boil and cook until set, about 10–15 minutes. Pour into sterilised jars and seal immediately. Store in a cool, dry place.

How to Heat the Sugar

Heat the sugar in a stainless-steel bowl in a moderate oven for about 15 minutes. It should feel hot to the touch. Be careful not to leave it in too long or the sugar will begin to melt around the edges of the bowl and will eventually caramelize.

Why heat the sugar?

The faster jam is made, the fresher and more delicious it tastes. If you add cold sugar to jam, it will take longer to return to the boil and will taste less fresh

Seville Orange Marmalade Ice Cream

Here is a great way to show off your homemade marmalade. Remove this ice cream from the freezer at least 10 minutes before serving.

Serves 12–16

Ballymaloe Vanilla Ice Cream

zest of 2 organic oranges

4 tablespoons Seville Whole Orange Marmalade

For the Sauce

half a pot (185g/61⁄4oz) Seville Whole Orange Marmalade

juice of 1 orange

Make the Ballymaloe vanilla ice cream, adding in the orange zest to the mousse, and then folding the softly whipped cream into it. Pour into a bowl, cover and freeze.

When the ice cream is semi-frozen, remove it from the freezer. Chop the marmalade peel into 5mm (1⁄4in) pieces and fold with the rest of the marmalade into the ice cream. Cover and freeze.Serve with a little sauce made by thinning the marmalade with orange juice.

Almond Meringues with Kumquat Marmalade and Cream

Serves 6 – 8

Almond meringues

1 1/2 ozs (45g) almonds

2 egg whites

4 1/2 ozs (125g) icing sugar

Filling

kumquat marmalade 3/4 of a 370g (13oz) pot

whipped cream or crème fraiche

First make the meringue.

Check that the bowl is dry, spotlessly clean and free of grease. Blanch and skin the almonds. Grind or chop them up. They should not be ground to a fine powder but should be left slightly coarse and gritty. Mark two 7 1/2 inch (19cm) circles or heart shapes on silicone paper or a prepared baking sheet. Mix all the sugar with the egg whites at once and beat until the mixture forms stiff dry peaks. Fold in the almonds. Divide the mixture between the 2 circles or heart shapes and spread evenly with a palette knife. Bake immediately in a cool oven, 150°C/300°F/regulo 2 for 45 minutes or until crisp they should peel off the paper easily, turn off the oven and allow to cool.

To finish

Put one of the discs of meringue onto a lovely serving plate, spread with a layer of softly whipped cream, top with an even amount of kumquat marmalade. Top with the other disc of meringue. Decorate the top with a few rosettes of cream, kumquats and maybe a few fresh mint leaves.

Marmalade Bread and Butter Pudding

Serves 6-8

This is a variation on basic bread and butter pudding.   If you like, leave out the marmalade and serve plain, or add chopped rhubarb, chopped chocolate, grated lemon or orange zest, raisins, sultanas, cinnamon, nutmeg etc.  This is a great way to use up stale bread, and in fact is better if the bread is stale.

12 slices of good –quality white bread, crusts removed

50g (2 ozs) soft butter

3-4 tablespoons marmalade

450ml (16fl.ozs) cream

225ml (8fl.oz) milk

4 eggs

150g (5 1/2 oz) caster sugar

2 tablespoons granulated sugar 

To Serve

softly whipped cream

marmalade sauce

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4.  Butter the bread and spread marmalade on each slice.  Arrange the bread butter side down in the gratin dish or in individual cups or bowls (cut the slices if you need to).  I like to have overlapping triangles of bread on the top layer.

Place the cream and milk in a saucepan and bring to just under the boil.  While it’s heating up, in a separate bowl whisk the eggs and the caster sugar, then pour the hot milk and cream in with the eggs and whisk to combine.  Pour this custard over the bread and leave it to soak for 10 minutes. Sprinkle the granulated sugar on top. Place in a bain marie (water bath) and cook in the preheated oven for 1 hour.  The top should be golden and the centre should be just set.  Serve with softly whipped cream and marmalade sauce (see below).

Note: If you want to make this a day ahead of time, don’t heat up the milk and cream, just pour it cold over the bread.

Marmalade Sauce

1 jar (400-450g/14ozs – 1lb) 3 fruit or homemade marmalade

60ml (2 1/2 fl ozs) water

juice of 1/2 – 1 lemon

Put the marmalade into a saucepan.  Add the water and the juice of 1/2 – 1 lemon to taste.  Heat all the ingredients gently.  Place in a jug and serve with the bread and butter pudding.

FoolProof Food

French Toast Fingers with Citrus Marmalade Butter

Serves 4-6

4 eggs free-range and organic if possible

225 ml (8fl oz) full cream milk

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

12 slices, best quality white yeast bread, ¾ inch thick

Sunflower oil or clarified butter

Marmalade butter

110g (4oz) butter softened slightly

2-3 tablespoons citrus marmalade, chopped

Icing sugar in a dredger

First make the Marmalade butter.

Cream the butter and beat in the chopped marmalade. Transfer to a serving bowl. Whisk the eggs well in a bowl with the milk, sugar and vanilla.  Cut the bread into rectangular pieces and soak the bread fingers in batches until they are well saturated but not falling apart. 

Heat a large, preferably non-stick pan over medium heat, add a little oil or clarified butter. Cook the soaked bread fingers, turning, until golden brown, about 1 minute per side.  Serve immediately, or keep warm in the oven.  Repeat with the remaining ingredients.

Transfer the French toast to a hot plate, dredge over a little icing sugar and serve with Marmalade butter.

Hottips

Catex Catering Exhibition is on again at the RDS in Dublin from Tuesday 8th – Thursday 10th February this year. Over 200 exhibitors of equipment, food and beverages disposables, and services. To see the full schedule of events check out www.catexexhibition.com

Congratulations to Michael Quinn – past Ballymaloe Cookery School student who is now Head chef of Waterford Castle –who won Just Ask Restaurant of Month Award in December 2010. Michael is well renowned for using local produce on his menu and he was delighted with the recognition, “The award is about the fantastic artisan producers I work with at the castle. Without these people, chefs like me would find it difficult to succeed. Now is the time to support our own local producers instead of sending our money abroad. We need to think and buy local.” Waterford Castle Phone: +353 51 878 203

How to Keep a few Chickens in the Garden – What could be nicer than a ready supply of beautiful, fresh, free range, organic eggs, or a delicious, plump, succulent free range, organic chicken for the pot? Darina Allen will show you how at Ballymaloe Cookery School Saturday 5th March 9:30am to 5:00pm. To book www.cookingisfun.ie 021 4646785

Ballymaloe Vanilla Ice Cream

zest of 2 organic oranges

4 tablespoons Seville Whole Orange Marmalade

For the Sauce

half a pot (185g/61⁄4oz) Seville Whole Orange Marmalade

juice of 1 orange

Make the Ballymaloe vanilla ice cream, adding in the orange zest to the mousse, and then folding the softly whipped cream into it. Pour into a bowl, cover and freeze.

When the ice cream is semi-frozen, remove it from the freezer. Chop the marmalade peel into 5mm (1⁄4in) pieces and fold with the rest of the marmalade into the ice cream. Cover and freeze.Serve with a little sauce made by thinning the marmalade with orange juice.

 

Almond Meringues with Kumquat Marmalade and Cream

 

Serves 6 – 8

 

Almond meringues

 

1 1/2 ozs (45g) almonds

2 egg whites

4 1/2 ozs (125g) icing sugar

 

Filling

 

kumquat marmalade 3/4 of a 370g (13oz) pot

whipped cream or crème fraiche

First make the meringue.

Check that the bowl is dry, spotlessly clean and free of grease. Blanch and skin the almonds. Grind or chop them up. They should not be ground to a fine powder but should be left slightly coarse and gritty. Mark two 7 1/2 inch (19cm) circles or heart shapes on silicone paper or a prepared baking sheet. Mix all the sugar with the egg whites at once and beat until the mixture forms stiff dry peaks. Fold in the almonds. Divide the mixture between the 2 circles or heart shapes and spread evenly with a palette knife. Bake immediately in a cool oven, 150°C/300°F/regulo 2 for 45 minutes or until crisp they should peel off the paper easily, turn off the oven and allow to cool.

To finish

Put one of the discs of meringue onto a lovely serving plate, spread with a layer of softly whipped cream, top with an even amount of kumquat marmalade. Top with the other disc of meringue. Decorate the top with a few rosettes of cream, kumquats and maybe a few fresh mint leaves.

Marmalade Bread and Butter Pudding

 

Serves 6-8

 

This is a variation on basic bread and butter pudding.   If you like, leave out the marmalade and serve plain, or add chopped rhubarb, chopped chocolate, grated lemon or orange zest, raisins, sultanas, cinnamon, nutmeg etc.  This is a great way to use up stale bread, and in fact is better if the bread is stale.

12 slices of good –quality white bread, crusts removed

50g (2 ozs) soft butter

3-4 tablespoons marmalade

450ml (16fl.ozs) cream

225ml (8fl.oz) milk

4 eggs

150g (5 1/2 oz) caster sugar

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

To Serve

softly whipped cream

marmalade sauce

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4.  Butter the bread and spread marmalade on each slice.  Arrange the bread butter side down in the gratin dish or in individual cups or bowls (cut the slices if you need to).  I like to have overlapping triangles of bread on the top layer.

Place the cream and milk in a saucepan and bring to just under the boil.  While it’s heating up, in a separate bowl whisk the eggs and the caster sugar, then pour the hot milk and cream in with the eggs and whisk to combine.  Pour this custard over the bread and leave it to soak for 10 minutes. Sprinkle the granulated sugar on top. Place in a bain marie (water bath) and cook in the preheated oven for 1 hour.  The top should be golden and the centre should be just set.  Serve with softly whipped cream and marmalade sauce (see below).

Note: If you want to make this a day ahead of time, don’t heat up the milk and cream, just pour it cold over the bread.

Marmalade Sauce

 

1 jar (400-450g/14ozs – 1lb) 3 fruit or homemade marmalade

60ml (2 1/2 fl ozs) water

juice of 1/2 – 1 lemon

Put the marmalade into a saucepan.  Add the water and the juice of 1/2 – 1 lemon to taste.  Heat all the ingredients gently.  Place in a jug and serve with the bread and butter pudding.

 

FoolProof Food

French Toast Fingers with Citrus Marmalade Butter

 

Serves 4-6

4 eggs free-range and organic if possible

225 ml (8fl oz) full cream milk

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

12 slices, best quality white yeast bread, ¾ inch thick

Sunflower oil or clarified butter

Marmalade butter

110g (4oz) butter softened slightly

2-3 tablespoons citrus marmalade, chopped

Icing sugar in a dredger

First make the Marmalade butter.

Cream the butter and beat in the chopped marmalade. Transfer to a serving bowl. Whisk the eggs well in a bowl with the milk, sugar and vanilla.  Cut the bread into rectangular pieces and soak the bread fingers in batches until they are well saturated but not falling apart. 

Heat a large, preferably non-stick pan over medium heat, add a little oil or clarified butter. Cook the soaked bread fingers, turning, until golden brown, about 1 minute per side.  Serve immediately, or keep warm in the oven.  Repeat with the remaining ingredients.

Transfer the French toast to a hot plate, dredge over a little icing sugar and serve with Marmalade butter.

Hottips

 

Catex Catering Exhibition is on again at the RDS in Dublin from Tuesday 8th – Thursday 10th February this year. Over 200 exhibitors of equipment, food and beverages disposables, and services. To see the full schedule of events check out www.catexexhibition.com

Congratulations to Michael Quinn – past Ballymaloe Cookery School student who is now Head chef of Waterford Castle –who won Just Ask Restaurant of Month Award in December 2010. Michael is well renowned for using local produce on his menu and he was delighted with the recognition, “The award is about the fantastic artisan producers I work with at the castle. Without these people, chefs like me would find it difficult to succeed. Now is the time to support our own local producers instead of sending our money abroad. We need to think and buy local.” Waterford Castle Phone: +353 51 878 203

How to Keep a few Chickens in the Garden – What could be nicer than a ready supply of beautiful, fresh, free range, organic eggs, or a delicious, plump, succulent free range, organic chicken for the pot? Darina Allen will show you how at Ballymaloe Cookery School Saturday 5th March 9:30am to 5:00pm. To book www.cookingisfun.ie 021 4646785

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Darina Allen
By Darina Allen

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