Oh yes, it's marmalade season again! Last year I got a little bit "marmalade-herical." There were oranges everywhere, jars filling every surface, and more than one little tearful moment as I feared (again) that my precious batch wouldn't set.
This year? Well, I'm having to be a bit more realistic. There are only so many free hours in my weeks now, and mass marmalade production, although wonderfully fun, can't actually fill all of them when there is laundry to get through, a hungry cat and boyfriend to feed, and several knitting projects waiting to be finished and given as presents. I am scaling down a bit.Well, I say that now. I have a hunch that in a weeks time we'll be drowning in dirty washing, eating toast for dinner and I shall be up to my elbows in jars, sugar and sticky jam funnels.
I love preserving. Why don't more people do it? Okay, I know it's coming back as a "cool" pastime, but seriously folks, I can barely express the joy I get at putting stuff in jars! The thought that this summer if I fancy a spot of marmalade on toast I can reach for, and crack open, ajar of my very own, months after the seville season has finished. I know, I'm gushing, but I just can't help it. Get thee to the grocery, bag yourselves some oranges (sevilles if you can) and start whacking that golden stuff in jars.
You know what marmalade is also good for? Getting your baking mojo back. I kid you not. This week, over tea and cake with a wonderful new friend, I confessed to feeling like I not only don't fancy baking, but even if I did I can't think of anything to make. A shocking admission from a self-professed baking obsessive. Then a little recipe in a magazine caught my eye. Marmalade and ginger cream sandwich cookies. It's marmalade season, and I adore ginger. I had to do it.So yesterday, in a quest to renew my mojo, I made these little cookies with last year's marmalade, while a new batch was on the stove. I am so glad I did. These are a lovely little treat, which go perfectly with a hot strong slightly sweet cup of tea. The marmalade (because I used the bitter seville type) stopped the cookie from being too sweet, and the sweet slightly hot cream in the middle balanced the marmalady kick of the cookie. Plus, as N said,"they feel almost like they should be healthy" because they are packed with oats.
I only made one change to the recipe, I didn't add any water to the cream. They suggest you add a tablespoon of boiling water to thin it out and make it spreadable. Frankly I don't think it needs this at all, and fear that doing so would actually make the cream too thin. Oh, and I used lemon zest where they suggested orange, as I had lemons on hand.Marmalade and ginger cream sandwich cookies (makes aprox 15 little cookies)
From, the Sainsbury's magazine.
50g unsalted butter
50g caster sugar
50g light brown soft sugar
zest of one lemon
1 large egg yolk
50g thick cut marmalade
50g plain flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
50g rolled oats
250g icing sugar
75ml double (heavy) cream
50g soft unsalted butter
75g stem ginger, drained of syrup and finely grated
Preheat the oven to 170C and line two baking sheets with parchment.
Cream the butter, sugars, zest and egg yolk until smooth, and then beat in the marmalade. Mix in the flour and soda, then stir in the oats.
Place rounded teaspoons of the mixture on the baking sheets, allowing space for them to spread. Make sure you have an even number! Bake for 15-20 mins (mine took 20 in a fan oven) until the edges are just golden. Remove and cool on a wire rack.
To make the filling, cream the butter and sugar until smooth and then add the ginger.
When the cookies are cool sandwich two together with a generous amount of ginger cream. Put the kettle on, make a nice pot of tea, and enjoy!
(I stored mine in the fridge overnight to stop the cream from becoming too soft, then removed them for half an hour before eating two for breakfast, oops!)
p.s. I made the crumpets (or rather pikelets,as I didn't have crumpet rings) they were lovely, but refused to photograph well. The recipe is over here, I recommend it...
p.p.s. Turns out my last post was number 300! Hurrah!