It's about this time of year that the question of what to do with the last of the marrows raises it's gnarled green head over the edge of the vegetable bowl.
The marrow is unquestionably a beast, and sadly it's culinary uses are usually limited to being stuffed, but it can make the base of a most subtle and delicious jam. Its saving grace is that it doesn't have much flavour, and while this is usually its downfall, in this recipe it allows the ginger and lemon to shine through.
It's also a pretty jam.
The cooked marrow is translucent and jewel like chunks of it float in the jar, I've adapted this recipe to include a small amount of pumpkin, which adds a stronger orange colour to the effect.
Vegetables are rarely used in jam, but they can work well, try carrot jam if you're interested.
See here for the marrow, pumpkin and ginger jam recipe in more detail.
£1.50 1.8kg marrow and pumpkin
£1.96 1.8kg sugar
£0.25 25g root ginger
£0.90 rind and juice of 3 lemons
About £1.50 per kg of jam (about a tenth the cost of buying a jar from an artisan maker)
The first step is to remove the seeds and peel the vegetables, I find it easier to quarter them first then scrape the insides with a sharp edged spoon.
You can leave the pumpkin out if you wish, or try grating it to add another texture.
Chop into 1cm cubes, I used about 1 part pumpkin to 3 parts marrow, and would be wary of using much more than that as it can be a bit chewy. A really good sharp knife is essential for the pumpkin.
The diced vegetable is placed in a large bowl and mixed with about a quarter of the sugar. Make sure it's well stirred and then cover and leave overnight.
The sugar very satisfyingly draws out the juice from the vegetables, and there is no need to add any more liquid.
Peel the rind off the lemons with a vegetable peeler, and then bruise the root ginger with a rolling pin, this will allow the flavours out. Tie up the whole lot in a muslin bag and place in a preserving pan ...
... and add in the lemon juice ...
... then simmer for 30 minutes.
After adding the sugar, bring back to the boil for another 20 minutes to half an hour, until the jam has reached setting point.
Skim any scum of the surface and pot in sterilised jars.
20 minutes Chopping
10 minutes Preparing lemon and ginger
1 hours Cooking
20 minutes Potting
This is a delicious breakfast jam, as the lemon and ginger really shine through.