We've been consuming bergamot for years in our Earl Grey tea, but it's only recently that we've actually been able to get our hands on this enigmatic fruit. The wonderful Natoora started importing them from Calabria a while back and now Waitrose are in on the act and getting a slightly sweeter variety from France. Officially an orange, but actually closer in nature to a lemon, they have a distinctive, floral fragrance and a super-tart, bitter kick. If you're lucky enough to spot them, scoop them all up and rush them home to make sorbets, syrups, meringues, marmalades, home-cured fish (our recipe here) or anything where you'd usually add lemon peel. You can also grate the zest into black tea to make your own Earl Grey. I decided to capture their intriguing flavour in my favourite madeleine recipe. These are a brilliant for tea or as dessert if you've had a big meal as you only need one or two to feel completely satisfied. The mix will keep in the fridge for 3 days. Use a mix of lemon and orange if you can't find them.
100g unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing the mould
3 tablespoons floral honey
100g caster sugar
2 large eggs
100g self-raising flour (or 100g plain with ¾ tsp baking powder)
Zest of 2 bergamots, juice of 1
Prepare your 12-hole madeleine tray first. A brilliant trick is to brush it generously with butter, dust in flour, then place in the freezer for 5 minutes before repeating once more. This will ensure there is no sticking and no wasting of these precious things.
To make the batter, melt the butter over a low heat and stir in the honey. Allow to cool slightly.
Using a handheld electric whisk or an electric stand-mixer, whisk together the sugar and eggs for 5 minutes or so, or until the mix triples in size. Whisk in the melted butter and honey, zest, juice, flour and a pinch of salt. Leave to rest in the fridge for 1 hour and up to 12 hours.
Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Spoon into the prepared holes so that they're two-thirds full and place in the middle of the oven for 10 minutes until golden brown and the middle springs back to the touch. Immediately pry away from the tray and leave to cool slightly before serving for dessert or with a cup of tea.