#46 Rich Orangeade

I have had a single Seville orange sat in my fruit bowl for about a month, Saturday was nice and sunny so I thought I’d make (#46) Rich Orangeade so that I could get Greg and Joff round and we can drink nice cool drinks and perhaps have some cake. In fact, have a proper Sunday high tea. It did of course piss it down all Sunday, natch.

The Seville orange was a little manky; it had done what fruit tend to do – go bad from the bottom up, but half of it was usable! To make the orangeade there was a three step process: thinly pare the zest from a Seville orange (in my case half, plus the peel of half a lemon to make up for it) and 6 normal sweet oranges. Put the peel in a litre of cold water and bring to a bare simmer for 5 minutes – the water shouldn’t boil properly because the bitter pithy flavour will be drawn out of the peel – then allow to cold. Meanwhile, do step two: boil 8 ounces of sugar with 3/4 pint of cold water for three minutes, then allow that to cool also. Step three: squeeze the juice from all the oranges, and when everything is cool, stir together. Finally add a little orange flower water (I added about 1/4 teaspoon and that was just right for me) and lemon juice – I used half a lemon. Allow to chill properly before being eaten.

Greg says:
The Orange-ade is simply Enid Blyton in a glass, if that doesn’t sound too graphic. Lashings and lashings say I! Once you taste that lovely floral kick that the blossom and lemon adds to it you can see the flavour that cheap cordial manufacturers have been harking after all this time, and failing to grasp. It’s lovely. Will be even better when the sun comes out. Come on . . . COME ON! 8/10

FYI: I noticed that the orangeade comes from a Victorian recipe and doesn’t require fizzy water. So what make an ‘ade’, I wondered…according to the Oxford English Dictionary, the suffix ‘-ade’ means: “The product of an action, and, by extension, that of any process or raw material; as in arcade, colonnade, masquerade, lemonade, marmalade, pomade.” So it seems that turning any fruit into a drink makes it an ‘ade’. Everyday’s a school day!

#46 Rich Orangeade. 8.5/10. A delicious summertime drink – the perfumed taste and aroma of the peel, the Seville orange and the orange flower water transforms it from just sweet orange juice into something pretty special!

#40 Elizabeth Raffald’s Orange Custards

I knew that we’d be hungover on Saturday after a big drinking session on Canal Street, so I knew I’d have to choose a recipe for a dessert I could prepare ahead for the meal we were having at Greg sister’s boyfriend’s in the evening. I wanted to do a sticky toffee pudding really, but it would have to have been cooked there. I went for (#40) Elizabeth Raffald’s Orange Custards as I had a couple of Seville oranges in, and it would be a shame not to use them. It was a bit of a risk however, as custards are either loved or hated. I realise that they don’t look that nice on the picture, but they were very good.

They were easy to prepare: In a blender the juice of one Seville orange, the blanched peel of half of said orange, granulated sugar, a splash of Cointreau (which I happened to have in! Get me!) and six large egg yolks were all whizzed up until the peel was just tiny specks. I then boiled half a pint of double and half a pint of single cream and slowly pored this into the whirring mixture. Pour the whole thing into eight ramekins and bake in a bain Marie for half an hour in a cool to moderate oven.

All would have gone well if my stupid oven hadn’t conked out! I got it sorted in the end though. I cannot wait to get my new oven in. My partly-done kitchen is getting pretty depressing now. My stuff is still in the lounge in boxes and bags…

Anyways, enough whingeing…

FYI: Elizabeth Raffald did many things in her short 18 year career (she started aged 14, but died at 32). She wrote the first English cookbook (The Experienced English Housekeeper), was the landlady of two inns, including the King’s Head pub in Salford, ran two shops, ran the first domestic servant’s employment agency, organised the first street and trade directory in Manchester as well as two newspapers as an eminence rose (not sure what that means, anyone know?) and had fifteen daughters! I think I might try and get hold of a copy of her book…

#40 Elizabeth Raffald’s Orange Custards – 8/10. Surprisingly orangey bearing in mind the fact you only need one to make eight. The Seville orange makes your tongue go all tingly – they really are superior to normal oranges when cooking.


Homemade marmalade is absolutely gorgeous! Greg and I had some on toast when we got in from work last night. It’s super orangey and not too bitter. It definitely better than any bought stuff and this is my first attempt. I’m going to make loads more jams and shit!

#24 Orange Marmalade: 9/10. Don’t want to give it full marks as I may be able to improve on it next year…

Greg says:
I agree, 9/10 for the marmalade, it’s SO good, the kind that a little old lady with a hair bun would give you if you knocked on her door to ask for directions in the countryside. It actually tastes like it has something to do with fruit which most marms/jams seldom do. Yum please.

Jenny says:
Yep, 9/10, fantastic marmalade. Tangy, chunky and sticky – bring me more toast at once!

Nic says:
“loving the marmalade neil! very impressed- good use of rind, deliciously fruity but not overly sweet. works well on old school toast and bagels. i’m assigning a score of 9/10. it’s on a par with my all time fave -the vintage Oxford one. more please! can i put in a request for lemon curd and/or ‘buttery’s no-butter peanut butter’ please!”

Ange says:
“Sometimes you don’t need foie gras or quail’s eggs to satisfy your well-educated tastebuds, on occassion only something homely and comforting will do. Take marmalade for example, you don’t need fancy melba toast or an organic rye bagel to enjoy its zesty goodness. I believe the only true way to enjoy marmalade is on cheap, thick sliced white bread, toasted a bit more than usual, the merest sheen of butter (not marge mind) and then a thick unctuous layer of boiled sugar and citrus!I looked forward to last weekend knowing that such a treat was within my grasp. Neil’s Marmalade (TM) made a satisfying pop when the lid was loosened and expelled a cool draught of lively orange. First taste was exquisitely sweet, dying down to a sharp, but exhilarating tang. A defining marmalade moment. Pat yourself on the back young Neil.I second the motion for lemon curd to be next though!”

#12 Orange Fool


Not sure if I made it properly to be honest; tasty though it was. It’s like no fool I’ve ever heard of. A fool is normally pureed fruit stirred into whipped cream. Not this one, this one’s more like a custard.

Mix three large eggs with half a pint of double cream, two ounces of sugar and the juice of three oranges in a basin along with some ground cinnamon and nutmeg until very thick. Place the basin over a pan of simmering water and whisk until it has thickened. After stirring it for about 15 minutes, I realised it as never going to become even a little bit thick! Oh dear. I soldiered on – the Grigson Padawan always ensures that the show still goes on. Poured it into wine glasses for that 70s kitschness. Top with candied peel and a sprinkle of orange flower water. The delicately perfume flower water made the whole dish very exotic, and although the fool wasn’t (in my humble opinion) a fool, or thick. It was pretty special. Very rich and creamy, but the acidic orange juice that cut through the richness allowed you to keep on eating!!

Simon says:
For dessert an orange fool was served up. It did not last long for no sooner was it tasted than it was finished. Sweet and rich, smooth and thick, the glasses were licked clean. 8/10

Then we got pissed in Levy with a dinner lady and her god-awful son. Woo hoo!

I say:
#12 Orange Fool: 7/10. I cocked it up, but not even I can totally spoil a Grigson pud!