Seville oranges are in season right now so it is time to roll up your sleeves and make Marmalade! I learnt a couple of things last week, firstly that Seville oranges have a short season from the end of December to mid-February, and secondly that there is a high concentration of pectin (natural gelling agent) in the pith and seeds of citrus fruits. What this means is that to make marmalade you only need 3 ingredients and decent amount of time on your hands.
Now I confess before I embarked on making Marmalade last weekend I gave Mummy Mortimer a ring to see if she had any top tips. Her advice was to cut the oranges in half and to cook them first in a shallow pan with a little water to soften the rind. It was a great shout and meant that I could make the marmalade in two stages and the rind was incredibly easy to cut into slivers.
My tip is to put at least 4 side plates in the freezer for testing when the jam has reached setting point. When you think the jam is ready to test – spoon a small amount onto one of the plates and place back in the freezer for 1 minute and then push the marmalade gently with your fingers to see if the jam wrinkles. If it does then you will know that it is ready, if not keep boiling.
The beauty of making your own marmalade is that you can adjust the balance of sugar in the recipe to suit your own palate. I personally prefer a sharp marmalade so I work on the following ratio 750g sugar to 1 litre of liquid and then add more sugar as needed.
The process of making marmalade whilst lengthy is very easy and I recommend you giving it a go if you can get it your hands on some Seville oranges. At the end of the process you’ll have at least 3 jars which you and either keep and enjoy over the next few months or give to friends and family as gifts. Enjoy!
“A wise bear always keeps a marmalade sandwich in his hat in case of an emergency”
~ A Bear Called Paddington ~
It is not every day that I wake up wanting pancakes but today I did. In truth I had been thinking about making these pancakes for a couple of days and today I finally gave in and decided to make them. I think they took less than 5 minutes to prepare and cook which is not bad for first thing in the morning.
I have been wanting to make a pancake that really summed up breakfast for me – something that was filling and which involved fruit so you don’t feel too guilty when you eat them. My answer came in the form of porridge and banana pancakes and I can assure you that they tasted delicious and they kept me full all morning.
Porridge Oats and Banana Pancakes
Ingredients: (makes 4 small pancakes)
¼ cup / 30g plain flour
¼ cup / 30g porridge oats
½ an individual pot / 60g natural yogurt (plus a little to serve with)
1 tbsp sugar
½ a banana sliced into thin pieces (plus a few slices to serve with)
1-2tsp runny honey
vegetable oil (for cooking with)
1. Heat a little oil in a frying pan whilst you prepare the pancake batter.
2. Whisk the egg and the yogurt together in a bowl.
3. Add the flour, porridge oats and sugar to the wet mix and whisk well.
4. Spoon a little of the batter into the frying pan and drop a few of the banana pieces into the batter mix. Cook each pancake for 1-2 minutes on each side. Depending on the size of your frying pan you may be able to cook more than one pancake at a time.
5. Serve the pancakes with some fresh banana, a spoonful of yogurt and a little honey drizzled over the top. Enjoy!