As growers of courgettes the country over will appreciate, marrows are an inevitable hazard! Fantastically prolific and sooo easy to grow it’s laughable, these little gems will keep you busy all summer. I remember many years ago an old lady telling me her favourite jam was marrow and ginger jam so that seemed to be an obvious solution to my oversized vegetable problem. The finished result is, indeed, a beautifully subtle blend of lemon, ginger and spices set in a marmalade-esque base. Here’s how:
1.75kg marrow peeled, deseeded and cut into small cubes
Juice and pared rind of 4 lemons
3 whole cloves
25mm root ginger
100g crystallised ginger
Steam the the marrow chunks for about 25 mins until tender. Transfer to a bowl and add the lemon juice. Tie the rind, cloves and bruised ginger in a muslin bag and add to the bowl. Add the sugar and stir well. Cover the bowl and leave for 24 hours to infuse.
The next day tip the contents of the bowl into a large preserving pan. Gently heat until the sugar has dissolved then boil rapidly until the marrow is clear and thick. Remove the muslin and fill warm, sterilised jars. Yield approx 2.75kg.
I tend to have a problem getting preserves to set but this worked-even for me. The ginger gives it a wonderfully warm flavour and the lemon rind adds a tang of its own complemented beautifully with the spiciness of the cloves. I was truly surprised at the result. Nutrition wise-I don’t think we can claim the 1-of-your-5-a-day and I’m not sure how much of the actual fibre of the marrow is left….it is an awful lot of sugar too. But if you are a preserve addict and are going to eat it anyway then I guess you can at least claim it is from organic materials(the marrow bit) and contains no gunk.