Coconut and vanilla rice pudding with cardamom oranges
Just a short voyage, a mere 2 hours, and you can find yourself on the shores of the Mediterranean, fresh and bright, which feels almost dreamlike compared to our rather cold and grey London. Just like home if the sun is out then the day feels warm and crisp but as soon as it goes in drops dramatically – this daily change in temperature is marvellous for the certain types of the citrus family, blood oranges especially (it’s the very cold nights that cause the red pigment in the oranges to happen). The orange and lemon trees are laden with fruit and flowers, many will carry on through the seasons. Some though are short lived like the Seville oranges, they flourish over winter and produce a very bitter flesh that although are not good for eating straight off the tree do make the perfect marmalade, and are well known for their essential oils. We have been out harvesting the orange trees at Lucy’s house in Mallorca. Most of the trees bare the bitter orange – a mix between the grapefruit and the tangerine. These we boil, peel, hang, squeeze and then set into jars to make our Tart marmalade. We have found that making marmalade is not all fun and laughs, people take it terribly seriously, so much so no one will tell us their tricks of the trade, so we are just going to have to learn it ourselves. And that learning process actually is where the fun is. We have got pots boiling away in our kitchen, overseen by Rav our pastry chef who has been helping us come up with the perfect recipe. Our Majorcan marmalade is now ready for the tasting down at Wild by Tart! In amongst the bitter orange trees are lemons, tangerine, blood oranges and navel oranges, all sweet and ready to eat, bursting with vitamin C and spreading a heady aroma of orange blossom and lemon sherbet. These we gathered up and ate for breakfast with yoghurt, juiced, added to salads, made into cakes or caramelised with honey and cardamom (our all time favourite). This particular weekend we had a couple of friends staying, who had recently decided to become vegan - for pud we made rice pudding using coconut milk, topped with the caramelised oranges and drizzled with pomegranate molasses, it was heavenly. If you can find blood oranges we would suggest going for these, they look so spectacular, always ceases to amaze.