& COOKING ARTICLE
was pleased to discover last week that I'm not the only
one who loves marmalade. A few readers of this blog
share my taste for jam with a bitter edge, famously
beloved of Paddington bear until he sold out to Marmite
in an advertising campaign last year.
marmalade recipes in as many weeks might seem to be
overdoing it, but I did have to deal with those Seville
oranges that Philippe had squirreled away in the attic
for me. A few of them went into a surprisingly sweet-tasting
Moroccan salad of bitter oranges, red onion, black olives
and flat-leaf parsley from my latest cookbook acquisition,
Arabesque by Claudia Roden, but that still left me with
several kilos begging to be preserved.
are some good marmalade recipes to be found on blogs,
including one by the incomparable David Lebovitz and
a rather intricate variation on Simply Recipes, but
nothing would make me trade in the recipe I've been
using since I first came to Nice. It comes from the
cookbook Cuisine traditionnelle du pays niçois,
which is my bible of Niçois cooking. Written
by Bernard Duplessy, it's a tribute to the now-deceased
Mamé Clairette, who once ran an auberge in the
hills behind Nice.
bossy yet endearing way of recounting recipes reminds
me of my across-the-street neighbor Marie, who at 78
years old knows just about everything there is to know
about Niçois cooking. When she stews tripes à
la niçoise for 12 hours, stuffs sardines with
Swiss chard and onions or bakes tian de courges, she
often makes enough to feed us and several other lucky
neighbors. When I once commented on the deliciousness
of her tomato sauce, she retorted "It's normal!
What would you know about buying tomatoes?"
and I always make our confiture d'oranges amères
around the same time - she too snubs my oranges, as
she has her own sources - and compare the results. Imagine
my shock and pride when, having declared with typical
cockiness that my jam didn't stand a chance against
hers, she admitted defeat and asked me for the recipe!
secret to my marmalade is one I mentioned before: soaking
the pips in water for a couple of days extracts their
pectin and creates the wobbly orange jelly so coveted
by marmalade lovers. I prefer this method to that of
enclosing the pips in cheesecloth and adding them to
the pot, if only because cheesecloth is something that
always eludes me. Where do people buy it?
Paddington could taste this marmalade, I'm sure he would
instantly forget about his little fling with Marmite
. . . of all things!
D'ORANGES AMÈRES - the marmalade that won
This recipe takes three days, with the time-consuming
parts taking place on the first and third days. It's
not difficult, but you do need to plan ahead. The only
change I've made to the original recipe is to cut the
oranges in half before slicing them, which makes them
easier to pip and creates more manageable pieces in
the finished marmalade.
to 13 Seville oranges (bitter oranges)
1 sweet orange
2.5 to 3 litres water, enough to cover the fruit
2 1/2 to 4 kg of sugar, depending on the size of your
to make Marmalade
the oranges and lemons in half lengthwise, then into
thin horizontal slices, removing the pips as you slice
and placing them in a bowl.
the orange and lemon slices in the biggest bowl you
can find (or two bowls) and cover them with water
(I use filtered water). Cover with a plate and set
aside in a cool place overnight. Cover the pips with
water and set aside, covered, in the refrigerator.
next day, pour the fruit and its water (but not the
pip water) into a large saucepan or copper jam basin.
Bring to a boil and let the mixture bubble at a steady
boil for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let this
mixture cool, then weigh it and return it to a cool
place to rest overnight. You will need the same weight
in sugar, so now is the time to buy it!
next day, place the fruit with its water, the strained
pip water and an equal weight of sugar in a large
saucepan or jam basin. Bring to a boil, then let it
boil steadily for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, stirring
occasionally, until the syrup thickens slightly. To
test the marmalade, pour a little onto a small plate
that you have chilled in the freezer, then wait a
minute. Tilt the plate and if the syrup wrinkles,
it's time to transfer the marmalade to jars.
you will have sterilized your jars. I wash mine well
in soapy water, rinse them and place in an 180°C
oven to dry for at least 20 minutes. It's not the
most orthodox method, but it's easy and has never
failed me yet.
the jars nearly to the top and close the lids as soon
as you can. The marmalade could keep for years or
perhaps days, depending on how many marmalade lovers
about 12 jars
Jackson grew up in a Canadian prairie city known for
its giant mall. When her family moved to Paris for
two years while she was growing up, she discovered
patisseries and never looked back. Her early efforts
at making croissants and eclairs were total flops
but that didn't stop her. At 26 she left her job as
a food writer at a daily Canadian newspaper and moved
to Paris. After ten years in Paris, where she wrote
about restaurants for a number of guidebooks and magazines
and founded the company Edible Paris, she now spends
most of her time in Nice where she teaches Provençal
cooking in her home. She spends a few days every month
in Paris keeping up with restaurants, conducting food
tours, and sampling the finest patisseries and chocolates.
With a charming French husband and food-loving young
son, she considers her life just about perfect - www.petitsfarcis.com
Rosa Jackson - www.petitsfarcis.com
Published 23 March 2008
Hub-UK : email@example.com