Hello again! I hope you’re all having a lovely summer whatever you’re doing and wherever you are. I know Summer is all about salads and baking is probably the last thing on anybody’s mind in this heat, but I’m a baker at heart and nothing, not even the worst heatwave will deter me from my beloved oven.
So since my last post, I have been working hard on this recipe, trying to get it the way I remember it to be growing up. There are a few recipes online that looked promising but somehow neither of them seemed to be authentic to my memory…so after about a dozen try outs, and with the help of all my friends who have tried this and given me their honest opinions, I think I am ready to post it.
This recipe has a special place in my heart as it reminds me of my beloved nanna. Every Saturday, I used to stop by the Kiosk at the entrance of Valletta and get one to take to her on my way home from the disco (ha ha…disco…those were the days). Then we’d sit down and have a cuppa tea and a chat together while we shared the pastry. To tell the truth, I always ended up eating most of the tart as it was my favourite but Nanna didn’t seem to mind and we were both glad of the chance to spend some time together.
I have to say that this is a very rich dessert and a little goes a long way. One 4″ tart serves 6-8 people. They are usually sold in little four inch tarts but you can make one big tart if you prefer. This recipe makes exactly four 4″ tarts.
grated rind of half a lemon
1 egg yolk
pinch of salt
little bit of milk
75g almond meal
50g pure ground almonds
75g crushed rusks
60g chopped candied peel
1/2 cup orange juice
12g cocoa powder
pinch of cinnamon and cloves optional
50g of bittersweet dark chocolate
2 tbsp milk
2 tbsp butter
Make the crust by putting the dry ingredients in a bowl. Rub in the butter and shortening. Add the egg yolk and bind until the dough comes together nicely. Add some milk if you see the dough is too dry.
Put everything in a bowl and mix together.
Using your dish of choice, roll out the dough and place in your dish. Add the filling and bake in 375 degree oven for about 20 mins depending on your oven.
Prepare the Fudge Frosting
Put the chocolate, sugar, milk and butter in a pot and stir until melted. When the pies are done, cover with the frosting.
Let cool until the frosting sets.
This is a very heavy type dessert so a little goes a long way. Best served with some strong black coffee or espresso.
One tip I have for you is to make your own candied peel…it takes time, about three days to make it from start to finish, but it does not compare to what you get from the store.
In 2008, we had a “For Sale” sign out on our lawn! It was a bad time in Silicon Valley and hi tech companies were closing down regularly and laying off a lot of workers. Unfortunately, the company where Kevin worked also closed down.
We were very fortunate that within a few days, Kevin was offered a job with Web MD but the downside to that was that we would have to move to Portland, Oregon. I have nothing against Portland except for the weather and maybe the thought of not having a lemon tree in my back yard.
Kevin did accept the job, but because it was still during the school year, I stayed behind with the kids until school finished and got the house ready to sell.
During that Spring Break, the kids and I went to Portland for a week to get a feel of the place. The day we arrived, it looked like it was the perfect place for us. 80 degree weather…gorgeous market just a few minutes away from where we were staying!! What’s not to like? Until the warm sunny skies turned to rain the very next day. And then to hail on the third day, snow on the fourth, thunderstorm on the fifth, and to wrap things up, we went back to beautiful sunny skies on our last day. We had experienced a whole year of weather in one week!! I guess Portland was showing me what it was all about! Did I say that was in April??
So we said goodbye to Kevin and came back home and we continued our skype relationship for the next few months.
So what does this have to do with a grapefruit tree? Well, I’m coming to that.
I was hoping against hope that we would not find a buyer for our house after that whole weather thing. Every time a potential buyer would come to view the house, I would give them the evil eye! And you don’t want to see my evil eye…it’s not pretty at all! But we did get an offer and that was one of the saddest days of my life! When Kevin saw how sad we all were, we came to the agreement that Portland was not to be, and I think that was one of the saddest days of Kevin’s life because he loved and still loves Portland. But always having the family’s best interest at heart, he packed his things and came back home. He did get to keep his job with Web MD and commuted back and forth for the next four years! Kevin, I don’t know how we can ever thank you for this!
And this is where the grapefruit comes in…
Kevin loves grapefruit!! So to commemorate the day of his return, a grapefruit tree was planted! It’s been over 5 yrs since that awful sign was on our lawn and this year was the first year that Kevin’s been rewarded with fruit!
And when you have grapefruit, you make marmalade!
Now I do not recommend this recipe unless you really like grapefruit AND marmalade. It is sweet but also quite bitter. But funny thing about sweet and quite bitter is that once you take a bite, you can’t help but take another bite, and another, and another! Vera true this ta’! I was almost not going to blog this recipe because I don’t like grapefruit OR marmalade, but after tasting it, well….you be the judge!
I got the recipe from here and tweaked it just a little bit. I used golden brown sugar instead of granulated sugar and I used Curacao instead of Campari because I did not have any Campari. I don’t think it made much difference. I also halved the recipe in case it was a complete flop!
Grapefruit and Curacao Marmalade
3 pink grapefruits
1/3 c. Curacao
Golden Brown Sugar –about 2 1/2 cups depending on the amount of volume of prepared fruit.
Peel the grapefruit and cut the rinds into 2” pieces. Bring a medium sized pot of water to a boil. Drop in the rinds and boil for 1 minute. Drain and discard the water. Repeat two more times using fresh water each time. When done drain the rinds well.
Taking care to catch the juices, cut the peeled grapefruit flesh into 1” slices and pick out the seeds. Discard the seeds.
Place the chopped fruit and accumulated juices into a food processor fitted with a cutting blade and process for 1 minute, until the mixture is well-chopped and frothy.
Measure the amount of chopped fruit and juices using a large measuring cup. Return 1 cup of the fruit to the food processor. Pour the remainder into a large heavy pot.
Measure out the same amount of sugar as thetotalamount of the fruit and juice mixture. Place the sugar in the pot with the fruit.
Get rid of as much pith as you can from the drained rinds
Add the boiled, drained rinds into the food processor with the reserved 1 c. of fruit. Pulse for two to three minutes until the rinds are cut into small bits.
Stir the chopped rinds into the fruit and sugar mixture in the large heavy pot. Stir in the Curacao.
Bring to a boil, stirring, and reduce heat to maintain a constant simmer. Cook for 25 minutes, stirring gently to prevent scorching and boil-overs. The color will darken as the marmalade thickens.
If you have any doubts you can test the marmalade: put 1 T. on a small plate, put the plate in the freezer for three minutes. The marmalade is ready if it no longer is runny.
Pour into sterilized jars, seal and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.