All the leaves are brown, and the sky is grey...
Paul's calamondin bonsai, on the other hand, is covered in beautiful orange fruit, glowing like little suns. Very cheering as the end of winter nears.
The fruit are a bit fiddly, really. Small, lots of pips and a very thin skin. I was at a bit of a loss as to what to do with them, so I boiled a pile of them for about 15 minutes, then pureed and strained them, yielding about a cupful of bright orange, intensely perfumed and flavoured pulp. Which I stuck in the freezer until inspiration took hold.
The arrival of some inexpensive nectarines provided that inspiration. I roasted them with a little sugar and a squeeze of calamondin juice to concentrate their flavour.
I turned the boiled calamondin puree into a bowl of calamondin curd. I used this Nigel Slater recipe for it.
I poured most of the calamondin curd over my roasted nectarines, then topped them with whipped cream and broken meringues for another take on the classic Eton Mess.
But the little bonsai wouldn't take a hint, and keeps on putting out more fruit. Another pile became a version of duck a l'orange (of which I apparently didn't take a picture). Then the next pile became a drizzle cake. On Sunday another pile provided the tart edge to a bloody mary (and you really don't need pictures of that).
The season for them is almost over. Pretty soon the conservatory will be filled with the heady scent of their blossom again. Can't wait, but I will miss the fruit!