Rhubarb Summer Jam. Vegetarian friendly recipe.
Homemade rhurbarb jam.
Making homemade rhurbarb jam is a great way to save money, as home made is always going to be cheaper than shop bought, and use up gluts of fruit. This recipe is a family favourite and tastes amazing. Rhubarb is a naturally very tart tasting fruit which means that this recipe doesn’t taste quite as sweet as some other fruit jams, which is a good thing in my opinion. You can add extra sugar, or a little honey to sweeten it to your own taste.
Rhubarb used to be primarily a summer fruit but it is now available year round thanks to greenhouse grown varieties. Greenhouse rhubarb tends to be a much more vibrant red colour than the outside grown type, this makes for a very intensely coloured jam.
Rhubarb is a fruit that is naturally low in pectin. Pectin is a vital ingredient if you want your rhubarb jam to set and so the addition of an acid in the form of lemon juice is essential.
How to make rhubarb jam. A vegan friendly treat.
This will make around 5lbs of rhubarb jam, adjust the measures as appropriate to make a larger or smaller batch.
41/2 lb rhubarb
Freshly squeezed juice of 3 large lemons
3lb preserving or granulated sugar
1 tsp of dried ginger
Wash and trim the rhubarb stalks, if the rhubarb is young and tender it's fine to use as it is. If you have the slightly older, more mature rhubarb stalks you will need to peel them to remove the tough outer layer. Take a sharp knife and starting at the thicker end of the stalk peel in half inch strips, you should find that the skin comes away in one piece all the way down the stalk. Cut the stems into small pieces approximately one inch in length. Weigh these pieces, they should come to around 3lbs.
In a wide, shallow bowl layer the rhubarb with the sugar and then add all of the lemon juice. Cover with a clean cloth and leave to soak overnight. It's best to use a china or plastic bowl for this as a metal one would leave behind a faint metalic taste to the soaked fruit and might even spoil the whole batch of jam.
In the morning put the contents of the bowl into a heavy based pan, be sure to scrape out any of the thick juices from the bowl. The pan should ideally be stainless steel and wide in relation to the depth as this helps the rapid evaporation of the rhubarb jam mixture and allows for quick boiling too. Bring the rhubarb jam to the boil and boil rapidly until setting point has been reached.
The best way of testing the setting point is with a thermometer but the way my mother taught me works just fine. In a saucer or small plate put some cold water, drop a spoonful of the rhubarb jam mixture onto the plate, as it cools it should form a wrinkle if you push it gently with your finger. Make sure that it has cooled a little before you touch it - hot jam burns like the devil.
Once you are sure that setting point has been reached remove the jam from the heat. Leave the rhubarb jam to cool for at least twenty minutes, remove any scum floating on the surface with a slotted spoon.
Once cooled pour the rhubarb jam into jars that have been scrupulously cleaned and dried. The best way to dry them is in a low oven, if you do this as the jam is boiling this will also mean that the jars are still warm when you pot up your jam. Place a disc of greased or wax paper over the rhubarb jam, pressing down gently to make sure there is no air present. Wet a piece of cling film or cellophane and place this over the top of the jar, the fact that it’s wet means that it shrinks as it dries to create a good seal. Store your rhubarb jam is a dark cool place.
Rhurbarb jam makes an excellent homemade gift.
Jam is a great thing to make with children, as long as an adult supervises the boiling stage. I’ve found that homemade rhubarb jam makes an excellent gift as it is quite hard to find in the shops.
Make an attractive cloth cover and maybe a nice rustic looking personalised label for the jar. Let the children make a batch for their grandparents. Happy jam making, I know that you will love this rhubarb summer jam as much as I do..