Brighten up winter with Sabatini Gin Brioche & Marmalade

Dreaming of warmer climes? So our we! Take a gastronomic trip to Italy and enjoy sun-kissed flavours with resident gin chef Carol's boozy Sabatini Gin bake.

Once again, the start of a new year and all the hopes and promises that come with it.

January can be rather dull, but it does bring with it the arrival of Seville oranges and marmalade-making season!

Whiskey marmalade is well known, so why not gin marmalade? This month's recipe is a tangy lemon and lime marmalade, enhanced with Sabatini Gin, which balances its bittersweet taste.

To go with it, there's a delicious thyme-scented brioche. Sweet, enriched dough is not difficult to make and is truly delicious!

Sabatini Lemon & Lime Marmalade

Sabatini Gin Brioche Marmalade Recipe

Ingredients:

7 large lemons
6 limes
1.40kg granulated sugar
1.75 litres water
70ml Sabatini Gin

Method:

  1. Halve the lemons and limes and squeeze out all the juice, saving any pips.
  2. Add the juice to the water in a large pan. Finely shred peel and add to the pan.
  3. Pop the pips into a square of muslin or cotton cloth and tie into a bag. Pop the bag of pips into the pan and bring the lot to the boil. Simmer gently, uncovered, for about 2 hours or until the peel is soft.
  4. Lower the heat, remove the bag of pips and squeeze the pectin into the pan. Be careful, as the bag will be hot.  Now add the sugar slowly, stirring until it has dissolved. Some recipes suggest warming the sugar in the oven first, but I don't find this necessary.
  5. Once the sugar has dissolved, bring to a hard boil until setting point is reached, about 15 minutes. This can be checked by dropping a spoonful of marmalade onto a saucer that has been in the freezer, then pushing with your finger to see if the marmalade 'wrinkles'. If not, boil for a few more minutes and check again. 
  6. Once setting point is reached, leave the marmalade to cool for half an hour. Any scum can be dispersed by adding a knob of butter and stirring into the marmalade. After cooling a while, stir well and add the gin. Pot into warm, clean jars and label when cold.

Thyme-Scented Brioche

Ingredients:

250g plain flour
100g butter
30g caster sugar
Few sprigs of fresh thyme
Pinch of salt
1 sachet (7g) dried yeast
3 eggs plus one egg yolk
Crushed sugar cubes or nibbed sugar

Method:

  1. A week before making this bread, pop some caster sugar and lightly bruised thyme sprigs into a jar and seal the jar. Leave for a week then remove the thyme to leave a delicious thyme scented sugar. Use this in the recipe.
  2. Pop the flour and butter into a food processor and pulse until the mix looks like fine breadcrumbs. Add the sugar, salt and yeast then put into a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment. Add the 3 eggs and mix to a soft dough, then continue to knead for 2 minutes. If you don't have a food processor and mixer, simply rub the butter in, then mix in the rest of the ingredients and chill for half an hour to make it easier to handle. Tip the dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead briefly (it will be very sticky). Drop the dough into a well-buttered litre loaf tin or brioche mould. Cover with cling film or a damp cloth and leave to rise for 2 hours.
  3. After 2 hours, brush the top of the brioche with egg yolk, and sprinkle with crushed sugar cubes or nibbed sugar.
  4. Bake at 200C/180 Fan/Gas mark 6 for 20-25 minutes. The brioche will brown before it is baked so make sure it is fully baked and sounds hollow when tapped. Turn out and leave to cool.