Monday, 27 August 2012

To Marrow, And To Marrow, And To Marrow**


These are the two marrows which niece Lucy left on the doorstep of Cornerstones for us. You can see by the ruler just how big they are. The one on the left is certainly an interesting shape.

Together they weighed in at 2kg. I googled ‘marrow recipes’ to decide what to do with them. Delia was surprisingly unhelpful – if you search for marrow recipes on DeliaOnline, all you get is this …

“Courgettes are baby marrows, and don’t I know it! I used to grow them, but if I wasn’t vigilant about picking them every day in season they seemed to turn into marrows overnight – and marrow for supper night after night is not a good idea!”

After discussion with Bob, I decided to try out three recipes – stuffed marrow, marrow jam, and marrow cake! The jam would keep, and the cakes would freeze, so I wouldn’t be stuck with the nightly diet of marrow so despised by St Delia.

I began by cutting a length from the end of the straight marrow, for stuffing, then prepared enough marrow for the cakes, then finally used the remaining marrow for the jam. Here’s the BBC recipe from Antony Worrall Thompson/Saturday Kitchen

Chorizo and couscous stuffed marrow


Ingredients [this serves 4 – I halved these quantities]

  • 1 large marrow
  • 100g couscous
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1red onion finely sliced
  • 100g chorizo cut into small chunks
  • 1 roasted red pepper finely sliced
  • 2 vine ripened tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tbsp parsley roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp mint roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp coriander roughly chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation method

  1. Preheat an oven to 200ºC/Gas 6.

  2. For the chorizo, pepper and couscous stuffed marrrow, slice the marrow lengthways and scoop out all the seeds, then place on a roasting tray.

  3. Place the couscous in a bowl along with the lemon juice and enough boiling water to cover.

  4. Cover with cling film and allow to soak for five minutes.

  5. Meanwhile, heat a frying pan until hot then add the olive oil. Add the red onion and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes until just softened. Add the chorizo and fry for a further two minutes until just crisped and the juices are released. Add to the couscous, along with the pepper, tomatoes and herbs.

  6. Mix well and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Spoon into the centre of the two marrow halves.

  7. Place in the oven for 20 minutes and cook until piping hot and the marrow is just tender.

  8. To check if the marrow is done, place the tip of a knife into the side, if it offers just a little resistance it is done.

We both really enjoyed the stuffed marrow – and were surprised that the filling was more moist than we’d expected, and conversely, the marrow was less watery than we had anticipated.

The Marrow Cakes were from the AllRecipes site



  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 250ml vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 375g plain flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 225g grated marrow

Preparation method

Prep: 15 mins | Cook: 45 mins
  1. Preheat oven to 170ºC / Gas 3. Grease two 1lb loaf tins
  2. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the eggs until fluffy. Beat in the sugar, oil, and vanilla. Gradually mix in the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. Fold in the marrow. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.
  3. Bake 45 minutes in the preheated oven, until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean.

These freeze well, and can be served as is, or buttered. The final project was jam. For the last two years we have found plenty of plums to forage when we’ve been on holiday – this year they were not ripe. But now I do have some jam to see me through till next year. I remember someone used to give my Mum a jar of marrow and ginger jam each year when I was a child, and I loved the taste.

Marrow and Ginger Jam


Begin by preparing your marrow – remove the dark green skin with a potato peeler, then cut marrow into four lengthways. Run a spoon down the centre core to remove all the seeds. Chop your marrow into 5cm chunks, then weigh the prepared veg. Assemble the ingredients as follows -

  • for every 350g of marrow, you need
  • 350g of sugar
  • 1tbsp lemon juice
  • 1cm piece of root ginger [peeled and roughly chopped]
  • ½tsp ground cinnamon.

Now place all the ingredients in a food processor, and process till there are no lumps and an even consistency is achieved. I do this in batches, and tip all the processed mixture into the bottom of my pressure cooker [but any large pan will do] Stir well to combine.

Heat over medium heat till all the sugar is dissolved. Then bring to the boil and continuing boiling for about 30 minutes [If you have a jam thermometer, heat to 105º] Pour into warm, sterilised jars and cover immediately. 1200g marrow made me these five jars.


Marrow is like pumpkin – it really needs a lot of flavour-boosting – so its good to add things like ginger, cinnamon, chorizo and coriander.

Another childhood memory – a relation who refused to eat marrow “because he didn’t like the feel of it in his mouth”

[**apologies to Macbeth]


  1. Marrow and ginger jam reminds me of wartime years!
    When we have very big courgettes I cut them up and roast them with peppers,tomatoes, onion and garlic, and Basil. Then freeze the lot as Ratatouille,

    1. Hope your new garden proves to be a very fruitful one for you!

  2. Wow! Good for you! Here we quick fry it in olive oil and garlic, grill it, or make it into quick bread.

  3. I haven't had marrow and ginger jam since I was a child...I think I used to like it.
    Jane x

  4. I may try your cake recipe with the Monster Courgette that's still lingering in the fridge. The stuffed marrow recipe looks nice as well though. Decisions...decisions!

  5. Thankyou for th update on the fat quarter cut ups .
    I like marrow casseroled with tomatoes , cypriots use it like this with herbs , and oions

  6. I made the cake and it is very nice. Thanks for the recipe, Angela!


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