Spiced Courgette Marmalade

by Sam Bilton on September 1, 2017 No comments

Makes 3 jars

This recipe is based on one provided by Mrs Beeton for vegetable marrow jam. The only changes I have made to the original are the inclusion of star anise (which can be omitted if you prefer) and I have used jam sugar with added pectin to improve the set. When does a jam become a marmalade? I’m really not sure but the citrussy notes of this preserve remind me of the latter which is why I have given it this name.


  • 1-1.5kg courgettes
  • 600ml cold water
  • 600g jam sugar
  • Juice and finely grated zest of 5 unwaxed lemons
  • 60g fresh ginger, coarsely chopped
  • 2 star anise (optional)


  1. Peel and deseed the courgettes then coarsely grate the flesh. Put 600g grated courgette in a large saucepan with the water and jam sugar. Bring to the boil then simmer for 20 minutes. Using a slotted spoon remove the courgette and reserve until required.
  2. Place the ginger and star anise in a small piece of muslin. Tie with string then lower into the saucepan. Add the lemon juice and zest then simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Return the cooked courgette to the pan and simmer for a further 30 minutes removing any scum as it rises to the surface (it does seem like a ridiculously long time but I have made this on several occasions and it really does take this long). Once the marmalade is ready remove the muslin pouch and pour the preserve into warm, sterilised jars. Allow to cool before labelling.

American Buttermilk Biscuits

Makes 8-10

Although we have embraced so many things from America their ‘biscuits’ curiously have not caught on. This recipe is from Carol Hilker’s F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Taste of France. They are like a savoury scone (without the cheese) and are a nice treat for breakfast or afternoon tea with jam or the marmalade above. Like scones they are best eaten shortly after baking but they don’t take long to make so you could prepare the ingredients the evening before if you wanted them first thing in the morning.


  • 260g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1½ tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 115g cold unsalted butter cut into 1cm cubes
  • 235g cold buttermilk


  1. Preheat the oven to 200℃. Grease a baking sheet or line with a silicone baking mat.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl then add the butter. Toss to coat in flour then place in the fridge for 10 minutes (if you are preparing the ingredients the evening before you can leave the bowl in there overnight).
  3. Quickly rub the butter into the flour (use a pastry blender if you have one) until the consistency is a little larger than pea sized pieces. Drizzle in the buttermilk and stir just until it comes together as a moist, ragged dough. Work the dough as little as possible.
  4. Generously dust a work surface with flour. Tip the dough out and dust with more flour. Using floured hands, gently pat the dough into a circle about 2.5cm thick. Using a 6cm cutter dipped in flour (Carol suggests a round cutter but I use a square one as you can get more biscuits out of the dough without having to re-roll it too much) cut out as many shapes as possible, without twisting the cutter (otherwise the rise will be uneven). You can gather the scraps and pat into another circle and repeat this process once more (the mixture will have lost the potential to rise after this).
  5. Place on a baking sheet leaving 2.5cm between each biscuit. Bake in the centre of the oven for 15 minutes until golden brown and well risen. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly before serving.
Sam BiltonSpiced Courgette Marmalade

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