Rhubarb Jam

April 13, 2011

We are very lucky to have a particulary prolific Rhubarb plant in our garden, inherited when we bought the house, it seems quite happy to be left alone, growing in a mound of concrete hardcore at the bottom of the garden. Each year we give it a shovelful of homemade compost and let it be and very year we have a bumper crop from February right through the summer. It makes a lovely jam, here is how I do it.

I prepare the stalks the night before, washing and cutting them to short 1cm slices (because this rhubarb isn’t forced the stems can be quite thick so I cut them short to account for their large size otherwise). I measure out 1kg of the slices and add some finely grated fresh ginger root (about the size of a thumb), then layer this in my big stock pot (I don’t have a preserving pan), with 900g of granulated sugar and a packet of pectin powder, and over the lot drizzle a small cupful (100ml) of orange juice and leave it all overnight.

In the morning the sugar and the orange juice have dissolved and left a rhubarby syrup. I set about sterilising a few jars, by washing them in hot soapy water and rinsing them with boiling water from the kettle then drying them in a low oven (120 degrees C). All my jars are random recycled ones but this amount seems to make up about 6 standard jam sized jars. Then I add my jam thermometer to the pan of Rhubarb and syrup and get it boiling (jam temp). I boil it for 5 or 6 mins then turn off the  heat. The jars are usually ready now, so I decant the liquid jam into a measuring jug to pour it into the jars. I usually fill half the jars with pretty textured jam, then blitz the last half with my hand blender to make a smooth jam for the kids. Then I add a wax paper disc and a cellophane ‘lid’ held on with an elastic band. – Top tip, dip your cellophane circles in cold water before putting of the jars then as the jam cools they tighten onto the tops for a proper seal.

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