This rhubarb jam flavoured with rose and vanilla is a combination of some of my favourite flavours and produces a wonderfully fragrant, tangy and Summery jam. It is inspired by my trying to live a more self-sufficient life and my plans for an imminent move to the country to rear goats (amongst other activities!) I have long been a maker of chutneys and pickles however jam making has somehow not become a part of my foodie repertoire. Like my largely unpractised/covert pastry skills it is something I have avoided doing - blaming my lack of high tech jam making kit, thermometers and special tongs. However after making this jam things will change - the wrinkly jam/frozen saucer trick worked a treat and a jam not too runny or solid was produced. Give it a go - what's the worst that could happen - except maybe a burnt, unusable mass of hot sticky rhubarb and a saucepan you have to throw away?
However you are more likely to produce a delicious, fragrant jam to hush those negative voices that ever doubted you and you will wonder why you had never tried jam making before - well that's the effect it had on me anyway! So go on - feel the jam making fear and do it anyway! I hope you enjoy and let me know how you get on...
recipe author: chip butties and noodle soup
makes enough for 4 450g jars
preparation time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 20-25 minutes
1kg rhubarb* (washed well and chopped into 2-3cm pieces)
1kg jam sugar (with added pectin)
juice and zest of 1 lemon
5-6 tbs rose water (or to taste)
1 vanilla pod (split in half lengthways)
*remember to discard any of the rhubarb leaves as these are poisonous and should not be cooked/eaten.
- put a couple of saucers in the freezer ready for later when you need to test the jam setting point.
- in a large pan (or preserving pan) add the rhubarb, sugar, lemon juice and zest, vanilla pod and rosewater.
- heat gently and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
- turn up the heat and boil for about 10 minutes until the fruit is soft - skim off any skum that rises to the surface.
- to test for the jam setting point remove a cold plate from the freezer and spoon a small amount of jam onto it - leave for 30 seconds then push your finger through the jam. If the surface of the jam 'wrinkles' it is ready - if not keep the jam on the heat and test at 2-3 minutes intervals. You can also use a jam thermometer if you have such equipment - the setting point is 105C.
- when the jam is ready carefully remove the vanilla pod and pour into warmed, sterilised jars and seal.
- store in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months and in the fridge after opening.
- serve with tiny (as pictured) or normal size toast is also good.