Between now and the end of February, I have two precious months to juice, slice, simmer and boil the king of citrus fruits, the Seville orange. Over the years, I have made my best batches of marmalade using organic Seville oranges. This January, a gift of a box of organic Sevilles from Ave Maria Farm will be getting my undivided attention and other cooking put on hold. Ave Maria Sevilles have always delivered excellent flavour.
Sevilles are medium to large in size, round but slighty squashed at the ends, with a rough, almost pitted surface. They have a rich orange colour, sometimes tinged with green. The juice from Sevilles is extremely bitter, so these are not oranges for juicing or eating. Once made into marmalade and potted into jars, it should keep for at least a year. I always make more than enough marmalade for family and friends and even freeze partially made batches, just in case I run out!
Marmalade is not just for spreading on toast. It works well as an ingredient in baking, especially in cakes and pastries. Google Marmalade Baking and a wealth of links will pop up. Try the BBC Food website, it has a comprehensive collection of recipes. In other links, some of my favourite recipes with marmalade come from food bloggers. Lavender and Lovage “Sticky Ginger Marmalade Tea Loaf” and What Kate Baked ‘Chocolate Orange Cake” are just two examples.
As well as cakes, I have a growing collection of recipes for tarts and bread based desserts. Here are the recipes for two of them, Marmalade Tart and Brioche and Marmalade Pudding. Both use Seville Orange Marmalade, but do try them with other marmalades if you don’t have Seville to hand.
Marmalade Tart Recipe
Oven temperature 200C (Fan oven 180C)/400F,Gas 6
175g plain flour
30ml icing sugar
Pinch of salt
100g cold butter
1 egg yolk
15-30ml cold water
100g Seville orange marmalade
175g soft brown sugar
4 egg yolks
grated rind of half a lemon
a squeeze of lemon juice
1. Place the flour,salt and icing sugar in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter and continue to process until the ingredients look like breadcrumbs. Mix the egg yolk with the cold water and pour down the feed tube until it forms a ball. Alternatively, make the pastry by hand.
2. Roll out the pastry and line a 24cm flan tin. Chill for 30 minutes. Line the tin with baking parchment and dry pulses or rice and place in the pre-heated oven. Bake for 12-15 minutes until the pastry is set. Remove the paper and beans or rice and bake for a further 3-4 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool. Spread the marmalade over the base of the pastry.
3. Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan, add the sugar, egg yolks, grated lemon and a good squeeze of juice. Heat gently to simmering point, stirring all the time, for it can catch rather easily, and then boil for 1 minute, still stirring ( contrary to what you expect the egg yolks will not curdle). Pour over the marmalade in the pastry shell.
4. Bake at 180C (Fan oven 160C)/375F/Gas4 for 10 minutes,to set the filling. Remove from the oven and cool.
5. When cold, decorate the tart with whipped cream and orange zest.
Brioche and Marmalade Pudding Recipe
2 egg yolks
75g caster sugar
150ml double cream
150ml soured cream
100g softened butter
120g Seville Orange Marmalade
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C ( Fan oven 160C) gas 4. Trim the brioche and slice thinly.
2. Whisk the eggs, egg yolks and sugar together until pale. Place the milk and cream in a saucepan. Bring them milk to the boil and whisk in the soured cream. Pour the hot liquid into the egg mixture, stir well and strain into a jug.
3. Butter both sides of the brioche and arrange in a single layer on the bottom of an oven-proof dish 26 x 30cm.
4. Spread half the marmalade on the top sides of the brioche. Repeat with another layer of brioche. Pour over the egg custard, and sprinkle with icing sugar.
5. Put the oven-proof dish in a roasting tin and fill the tin with water until it comes halfway up the sides of the dish. Bake the pudding in the oven for 25 minutes, or until the custard is set and the brioche crust is golden-brown. Dust with icing sugar and serve warm with single cream.