Rhubarb and Orange Jam
I had a very good crop of rhubarb and whilst the stalks were still pink (not thick and green as they are as the rhubarb matures) I decided to make this absolutely delicious jam. Not a thick set jam owing to the high water content and reduced sugar. It will keep about six weeks on the shelf or freeze in jars until required. If you do decide to freeze the jam don't fill the jars right to the top - allow about 3/4 inch headroom in the jar to allow for expansion.
Put the rhubarb, orange, ginger and strawberries in a large casserole – sprinkle over the sugar and leave for 2-3 hours or even better still overnight until the juices have run.
When ready to make the jam. Pop two tea plates into the freezer. Place the pan over a low heat and stir from time to time until the sugar dissolves and doesn’t feel gritty when stirred with a wooden spoon. Turn up the heat and bring up to a fast boil. Don’t stir too often because you will break up the pieces of fruit.
I use a thermometer and the temperature needs to reach 106 degrees centigrade. The boiling time will be about 15-20 minutes. The jam will have transformed from a runny mixture to a thicker, slower bubbling mass. Take from the heat, give it a stir then add the pectin and stir again. Any scum will mix into the jam but if not add a knob of butter, stir this through and the scum will disappear.
If you don’t have a thermometer and/or to test for a set – put a spoonful onto one of the chilled tea plates and leave to cool – pop it into the fridge for a minute or two. When pushed with the finger it should wrinkle and be thick – if not – and the jam is still liquid boil up again for another 10 minutes.
Whilst the jam is boiling transfer your clean jam jars into a low oven at 100 degrees for 10-15 minutes to sterilize,
When you have achieved a thick jam transfer into warm sterilised jars, put a lid on and leave to go completely cold.
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