What You Can Do With Your Marmalade

mamalade

So, you’ve read The Book of Love. Now what do you do with yourself? The sequel, The Fragment of Dreams, won’t be released until next April. So how to kill time until then?

I suggest you turn to the end papers of The Book of Love, to the Blood
Orange and Amaro Marmalade recipe. The best place for the marmalade is on toast, as an accompaniment to your morning cup of tea. This is not a marmalade that improves with age, so hop in and eat it as soon as you can. The bitterness that cuts through the sugar fades over time, in a similar fashion to memories of sleepless nights with infants – you only remember the sweetness of their breath, and not the fact that you wanted to leave the bawling infant with the circus.

Should you be sated with toast and marmalade I offer this recipe …

This dessert, like tiramisu, is assembled, rather than cooked and uses savoiardi (ladyfingers) as a sort of building block. It’s a Neapolitan dish from one of my favourite books, Naples At Table by Arthur Schwartz, (HarperCollins). If you’ve lived in Naples or Campania, holidayed there or are lucky enough to know people who were born there and really enjoy cooking, then you’ll recognise many of the recipes in this book. These are the everyday cook’s recipes, many of which I’ve seen made by locals or eaten in Campanian homes, simple recipes yet full of cultural history and mythical associations.

I’ve fiddled with this recipe to suit my tastes – it is an American book, and we do things differently when it comes to food – so if you want another version of it, track down the book.

naples72

Delizia Di Marmellata

500g fresh ricotta
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons caster sugar
½ cup of marmalade
¼ cup Amaro or Grand Marnier
¼ cup water
18 savoiardi

Beat the sugar into the ricotta until the sugar is dissolved. Blend the cream into the ricotta so it is spreadable but not runny. Melt the marmalade a little – maybe 15 seconds in a microwave. Pour the water and liqueur into a shallow dish and choose a flat plate on which to assemble the dessert.

Dip the savoiardi in the liqueur and water, rolling quickly and arrange six of them snugly together on the plate. Spread this layer with some of the ricotta mixture and drizzle with the marmalade, repeat the layers finishing with the savoiardi which you glaze with the marmalade. Refrigerate for three to four hours and serve with candied orange peel as a garnish.

marmal

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