Maincrop rhubarb is in season right now and it tends to grow like wildfire. It isn’t as pretty-pink as the forced rhubarb that you find in the shops earlier on in the year and it has a more intense flavour.
The rhubarb I used to make this jam came from my Mum’s back garden. Thanks Mum!
Rhubarb and ginger are perfect together. Spread this jam on toast, pancakes, scones or oatcakes. I like a dollop stirred into my morning porridge and it’s also extremely good with Greek Yoghurt – like a home made fruit corner – but my absolute favourite way to eat it is between two pieces of shortbread – heavenly. I guess I didn’t really lose that sweet tooth after all 🙂
Makes approx 4 medium sized jars
First of all, sterilise your jars. This is very easy – all you need to do is soak them in a sink full of extremely hot water, give them a good scrub then rinse, shake off excess water and place in a very low oven (100c) to dry them. Sterilise the lids exactly the same way. Or if you have a dishwasher, just pop them in alongside your normal wash cycle.
Place a small dish in the freezer for the “wrinkle test”.
500g rhubarb, washed and cut into approx 2-3cm pieces
500g jam sugar
3cm chunk of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped into very small pieces or grated
Juice of one lemon
75g crystallised ginger, chopped
One tbsp ginger syrup (optional) OR 75g stem ginger and one tbsp of the syrup from the jar
Bring all of the ingredients, except the crystallised ginger and syrup, to a boil. Turn down the heat slightly and simmer for around 15 minutes, stirring often so the mixture doesn’t catch. Don’t be tempted to walk away and leave it – the last time I did I ended up with a pan of rhubarb toffee. What a mess. Not to mention a waste! A sugar thermometer is handy here if you have one – setting point is 104C. Take the pan off the heat. Go and get the little dish from the freezer. Place a small amount of jam on the dish. Leave for about 30 seconds, then lightly push the jam with a finger – if it looks like it is forming a skin and wrinkles, it’s ready. If it isn’t wrinkling, pop back on the heat and try again in a few minutes.
Rhubarb is naturally low in pectin, so it might take a little longer to reach setting point. The jam sugar is supposed to help but I had to do the wrinkle test five times before this batch was finally ready! The end result is worth it, I promise you.
When the jam is ready, stir in the chopped crystallised ginger and syrup, if using. Decant into your prepared jars.
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