Wednesday 19 January 2011

Marmalade & Meringues

Hello...Happy Wednesday! It's the middle of the week already, and as I write the moon is bright and full in the clear sky. We woke to frost this morning and it's been  gorgeous sunny day...I think that the temperature will plunge again overnight but when it's gorgeous like this I don't mind a bit. My mother told me that she had to go out into the fields at the farm at 2am this morning to release a sheep that had got it's fleece trapped in the bramble hedge. I was worried for her, out in the dark & cold, but she said that she'd felt 'privileged to be outside in all that beauty'...which was a lovely thing to hear. I knew just what she meant.

First, today, I wanted to show you my new teatowel...that's it in the picture above - gorgeous, no? I love teatowels and collect them from wherever I visit (I have several kind friends who add to my collection too!) This is my new favourite...
So, it's marmalade season....bitter Seville oranges are one of the very few truly seasonal fruits - they are available for a very short time from mid-January here. Reading my friend Cherry Menlove's beautiful blog reminded me to buy them & MAKE MARMALADE!! So I prepared jars, labels...and scrubbed the gorgeous fruit (I also added in some limes & lemons for extra interest...)
this is the cooling period after boiling to soften the skins...then the chopping, which I love! Boiling with sugar until just right and potting into the warm jars...

and then labelling, leaving to cool - and that satisfying feeling of a job well done and the cupboard stocked! For us, for friends and family..for enjoying a little taste of bittersweet sunniness whenever and remembering the dark, rainy January day when I made...

That was for home. For The Coffee Tree today, I decided to use the egg whites left over from yesterday's Lemon Passionfruit Bars to make meringues. I love meringues - eating and making.

I made them last night and left them in the oven to dry out and crisp up. These were made with brown sugar for a caramel flavour and a touch of espresso coffee powder too..still a little chewy & toffee-like inside.
This morning, I mixed some sweetened chestnut puree with pure vanilla seeds and mascarpone to make a thick, luscious cream...

which I used to sandwich the pairs of meringue together. Chestnut puree has an amazing texture and tastes so deep and complex, it's almost alcoholic!

I think these looked so pretty, resting on their little paper cases - another individual delight!
They don't keep well, but hopefully they won't have to...a good dessert for a special dinner perhaps?

I hope you've had a beautiful day...and that you can see the moon, wherever you are!


  1. Rachel, I did see Cherry's blogpost the other day about the marmalade; some of the marmalade I have purchased, has not been good at all, so when I read her post, I thought, 'I may give this a try!' Now that you have made it as well, I feel compelled---I love the idea of seasonal fruits being utilized at their height of flavor. Around here, there is a raspberry farm and from August until first hard frost, which can come anytime after Sept 10, there are delightful berries to pick--and we do! The merinques look amazing!!! Do you ever make cream puffs? I know they are quite different, but the look of the halves with a luscious creamy filling is similar. I think our moms are similar in that they are pretty tough women in some ways!! My mom still climbs a ladder!! Well, hopefully the both of us will too when we have reached their ages!! I adore the way you blend flavors---you are just amazing!! May I attend your cooking school? :)
    Love and hugs for this Wednesday,

    oh yes....the tea towel is charming!! I thought the silverware were sitting upon it until I saw the 2nd picture!!

  2. What a wonderful accomplishment for a dreary January day! I'm reminded of the years I would make strawberry preserves from local strawberries. They are only available here for a few short weeks in early May. That marmalade is sure to be enjoyed later!

  3. lovely post rachel...i have jam making on my 2011 list this year...dying to try the ones out of Sarabeth. Have you got yours yet? i need to make something out of there end of this week....john and i have been outside turning over soil...and thinking about the Spring garden. Teddy loves it. He looks like he is smiling...running and jumping and playing...we throw the ball for him...and his favorite toy we call "firepop" is a stuffed firecracker left over from the 4th of july :-) he looks so cute running with it...

    i made an eggplant lasagna this morning...
    apron still on...well, i wear it all day i bet you do ......

    so HAPPY to visit with you today...

    hugs to you and alice

    sending love,
    kary and teddy
    oh, the moon comes in my window over my head about 3 in the morning...was so bright last night it woke me up...the Full Wolf Moon...i'll think of you tonight..across the world when i see it


  4. Oh, I shall look for the full moon tonight, dear Rachel!! I, too, thought that the silverware were real and on top of the towel! A lovely trompe l'oeil effect!! The meringues look heavenly! Sending love across the Pond & more sunshine, too....Sherry xx

  5. Oh how wonderful to make marmelade in the midst of winter...yummm that is my favorite! I love it on so many things especially waffles..

    The merinques look amazing too, I also love them as wel as making them!

    Thank you so much for this lovely post! And yes...the moon is beautiful.......

    xoxo Gert

  6. What a beautiful post Rachel! Your new tea towel is adorable! I thought the silverware were real in the first picture!! I made strawberry jam for the first time last summer and loved the experience of turning fruit into a spreadable jam to give to family and friends. I am sure your marmalade turned out fantastic! Your friends are family are in for a treat. Have a great day sweetie! xoxo

  7. Marmalade mmmm,
    Please pop over to Like it or Lump it if you get a couple of minutes as you have been given a Stylish Blog Award. Congratulations and hope to see you soon.

  8. How industrious you are! I would Love some marmalade, alas, it would never get through our stringent customs! I know that Dad would love a jar too! I think your tea towel is quite beautiful, but not as beautiful as you or your blogs! Love love love

  9. You know that cutlery on the teatowel looks incredibly 3d - I had a hard time realising it for what it was!

    So marmalade season hey? I thought I was good at keeping up with seasonal things but missed this one! Do you manage to eat all those jars in a year?!

    And I love merangues too - like your take on them!

    Thanks for popping by and leaving such lovely comments - going to hunt down Ottolenghi now!!! :) xxx


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