Marmalade puddings

Having a heart-in-mouth day as I sign off the printer's proofs on a recipe book that I am publishing for a pudding-obsessed friend. (It's called Proper Puddings and, yes, I will be telling you quite pointedly where to buy it as soon as I have a copy in my hand.) It has in fact been the reason for a prolonged silence on these pages, as it turned out to be extraordinarily time-consuming, in an interesting way. But it is done. The presses are turning, if that's what presses still do in the 21st century. And now we wait...

Of course before agreeing to take it on, I checked that contained a few marmalade recipes - one must have one's principles - and it did: it has a Steamed Marmalade Pudding and a divine-sounding Marmalade Bread & Butter Pudding, as well as marmalade as a variation in Eve's pudding and apple Charlotte, clearly an improvement on the original in both cases.

The real pleasure of marmalade as an ingredient is that it brings that essential sharpness to something otherwise intended to be as sweet as possible. I have always preferred citrusy puddings, as the last bite is always as good as the first, which you can't say about things like trifle, which tend to lose their allure halfway through the bowlful. The only exception to this arbitrary rule is perhaps chocolate mousse - though, even then, very dark chocolate is required, or it's just a melted Milky Way in a bowl, frankly. Having said that, even chocolate mousse might be improved by a dash of orange. Marmalade chocolate mousse? Hmm.

Excuse me, I am just off to the kitchen, I might be some time...


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