We went on holiday. Don’t do that if you have an allotment. What was a courgette at the weekend was a marrow as big as my thigh by Thursday.
So what on earth can you do with a giant marrow other than the usual roasting?
I saw a recipe for Courgette and Ginger Jam, and altered it a bit to gave it a try with my huge marrow.
You’ll need a big old jam pot or heavy based saucepan and a sugar thermometer if you have one. If not, don’t worry, I have a good trick for that! You can also test the jam without a thermometer by putting a plate/saucer in the freezer well before you start cooking your jam. plonk a little spoonful of the jam onto the frozen saucer, and wait for it to cool. If you then poke it with your finger and the jam wrinkles up, it has reached setting point. No wrinkles? Keep boiling it a while longer!
Id also recommend investing in some good jam jars. Places like Wilko’s often have them on sale through summer/autumn and if you get pretty ones they can make great Christmas gifts. That’s where most of mine went!
Here are the ingredients you’ll need;
- 4 lemons
- 2kg marrow
- 2kg jam sugar (with added pectin)
- large knob fresh root ginger, about 95g
To make the jam, grate the zest from the lemons but be careful not to also grate off the pith, which is the white inside layer. This is really bitter. Then juice them, and reserve the juice, shells and seeds.
Tie the pith and seeds up in a muslin bag or a clean tea towel if you don’t have muslin.
Chop your marrow into rounds and remove the seeds from inside.
If you want to include the skin (I did – looks good and makes it marmalade-y) grate the skin off the rounds using a cheese grater. If you don’t want to include it just peel your marrow and throw it. Then chop the remaining marrow into cubes of roughly 2cm.
Put the marrow and the grated skin (optional) into a preserving pan with 2 tbsp of the lemon juice, then cook on a medium heat, stirring often, until the pieces are turning translucent and soft but not mushy. Make sure the skin doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
Cook off any juices before stirring in the sugar, the rest of the juice, and the muslin bag. Stir until the sugar dissolves.
The grate up the ginger, and stir this into the pan along with the zest of the lemons.
Bring to the boil, then simmer for about 10 minutes until the marrow has softened completely and the jam has reached setting point (105°C or “wrinkly on a plate”).
While this is boiling, wash your jars thoroughly in hot soapy water, then dry in a low oven. You can also run them through the dishwasher, but this will take much longer and I find it harder to get them ready perfectly on time.
Pot the jam into sterilised jars while the jars are still hot.
Lid, label and store your jam in a cool dark place for a few months and the flavour will only get better!
Now no more excuses for chucking out soft courgettes or big tough marrows when your plants really get going or if you miss one during picking
I love ours on toast or with some cheese and crackers.
Best of all is on top of my Courgette Cake!
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