July 28, 2013

Seasonal regional: puckering up

While I suspect that winter isn't ready to leave us just yet a few milder days have hinted at the promise of spring. So, with the house delicately perfumed by jonquils and a desire to freshen things up, it felt like the perfect time to play with some of the more invigorating members of the Rutaceae family in cumquats and grapefruit.

Renowned for being exquisitely sour, eating either raw is certainly not to everyone's tastes. But, take a few simple embellishments that help balance out the bitterness and you're left with two aromatic and uniquely flavoured fruits that are easy for everyone to enjoy. For instance, I found that grapefruit grilled to sweet caramel with a sprinkling of sugar and star anise made for a most refreshing start to the day.

And, thanks to some early season avocados, combined brilliantly with coriander fresh from mum's garden for a clean and virtuous Sunday lunch.

Of course, preserves are the first thing that come to mind when you find yourself with fruit in-excess, so there was also a quick, vanilla-flecked grapefruit jam, which, when spread thickly over a dense and fragrant coconut bread, made for a cracking afternoon tea.

The cumquats being riper than ripe on receipt also went straight to marmalade, and so became the perfect excuse to indulge in one of my all-time favourite desserts.

The epitome of comfort, when the weather's closed in and you find yourself in need of some relief from the many distresses in life, I find there are few better things with which to escape than marmalade sponge pudding.

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