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Cover: A dish for all seasons

02Jun 12

Rhubarb and Ginger Jam

Rhubarb and Ginger Jam

Pick up some rhubarb and have a go at making this Rhubarb and Ginger Jam, which you are bound to love spread thickly on your cherry and walnut hot cross buns or morning toast, dolloped on top of a blob of Cornish vanilla ice-cream, or even served as a sweet sauce with roast pork and chicken.

 

What you need:

  • 1.5kg jam sugar (it is important to buy the right sugar for the added pectin it contains)
  • 1.5kg trimmed and prepared rhubarb (so buy a little extra weight for the trimming wastage)
  • The juice and the zest of 1 ½ lemons
  • 6cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 75g crystallised ginger, chopped into little pieces
  • 2 tsp ground ginger

What to do:

  1. Give each stem of rhubarb a really good wash in cold running water.  Chop it into 2.5cm slices.  In a large bowl, mix the chopped rhubarb with the lemon zest and juice, ground and grated ginger, crystallised ginger and the jam sugar, coating all of the rhubarb in the mix.  Cover the mixture loosely with clingfilm and leave it for around 2-3 hours so that the sugar absorbs into the juices of the rhubarb.  It helps to stir the mix every so often during this resting time.
  2. Take a few clean little plates and put them (empty) into the freezer – this is to bring their temperature to sub-zero.  I know it sounds curious, but it’s all about testing the setting point of the jam a little later. Trust me on this one.
  3. Pour the rhubarb mixture into a preserving pan.  Over a medium heat, begin to cook the contents, stirring until the sugar is totally dissolved.  Bring the mix up to the boil and cook on a fairly high temperature for 15 minutes until the mixture has reached its setting point and the rhubarb is so soft, it starts falling apart.
  4. To test whether the conserve has reached setting point, remove one of the small plates from the freezer and drip a teaspoon of the rhubarb mixture onto the plate.  Let it sit for 35 seconds before gently pressing it with your fingertip. If the jam wrinkles, the setting point has been reached.  If it doesn’t, it’s not yet ready, so keep cooking, and try again in a few minutes.
  5. Once set, remove the conserve from the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes before spooning it into your sterilised jam jars.  Seal the jars straight away, and label with the date after the jars have cooled right down. The jam will be good for six months or so.

20 minutes to prepare – 20 minutes to cook, plus soaking time
Makes: 6 x 450g jars

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