Even those who profess to be unmoved by tends will have found it hard not to notice that baking, home cooking and traditional home making are having a moment. The kitchen is once again the heart of the home, with calls for a return to eating around the table as a family rather than clustered around a television and baking goddess Mary Berry having become an unlikely style icon. Pounding bread dough may not be your thing and you may not have the time or the patience to craft intricate cupcake decorations, but you can dip a toe into the movement in a way that suits your sensibilities.
The marmalade pot revolution
Making your own jam and marmalade is endlessly entertaining and the results are delicious. If you don’t have an old family recipe to work from, a quick internet search will turn up a number of options to experiment with. For the best end flavour, concentrate on good quality ingredients and show some pride in the result by presenting it in an attractive marmalade pot. Wares of Knutsford has a wide range including decorative ceramic versions with cute matching spoons or clear glass jars to show off the beautiful, warm glow. Orange marmalade is the classic flavour but don’t hesitate to try other flavours to make your product unique.
Kumquat marmalade pot
- 24 kumquats, finely chopped
- 2 oranges, deseeded and finely chopped
- Approx. 1750g caster sugar
- Juice of two lemons
- Approx. 2 litres water
Add the chopped kumquats and oranges to a large saucepan, one jugful at a time. For each jug of fruit, add three mugs of water. Leave the fruit in the water overnight.
Put the saucepan over a medium heat and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently until the fruit, including the rind, is very soft. Remove from the heat. You will need to measure out the fruit again, adding an equal amount of sugar to fruit mixture. Add the lemon juice and stir well to combine.
Return the mixture to the pan and bring back to the boil. Keep boiling until the marmalade reaches setting point, 105ºC on a sugar thermometer. Remove the pan from the heat and, if necessary, skim the surface to remove foam.
Pour the mixture into sterilised pots for marmalade while it is still warm and seal the jars well. Once open, keep refrigerated.