We’re a little bit obsessed with rhubarb. We have nine planets in the garden. We have no idea what the varieties are called, but I do know that the early one came from our late grandmother Aunty Pegs garden, and the late one came from a lady I never had chance to meet either – my husbands other grandmother Barbi, so there is both sweetness and nostalgia whenever we make this jam. .
We add rhubarb into our sourdough brioche and add fresh ginger to make pots and pots of jam.
We are often asked for our recipe by student who come on the course, so here is the jam recipe for all to enjoy. It’s a very simple recipe. not too sweet, sour and lusciously thick. Think cold butter, warm toast and lashing of lovely rhubarb jam. With floral overtones, a pink hue and natural tartness it’s delicious. It’s wonderful to share – it is like spring in a pot.
Makes 9 x 450g jars
Prep time 35 minutes
Cooking time 15 minutes
- 2kg rhubarb, chopped into 2cm pieces
- 2kg jam sugar
- Juice of 2 fresh lemons
- The juice from 4 inches of finely grated ginger.
Preheat the oven to 160?C/gas mark 3 and pop the jars (but not the lids) into the oven.
Put a small saucer in the fridge to chill.
Place the chopped rhubarb in a large saucepan pan, cover and heat gently for about 10 minutes. You’re almost looking to ‘melt’ it; heated rhubarb turns from solid chunks into a thick liquid. Stir occasionally and gently stir and keep the pan covered.
Once the consistency is liquid, add the sugar and stir. When the sugar is dissolved, bring the jam to the boil for about 5–6 minutes on a good bubble. Take the jam jars out of the oven.
While the jam boils, use a metal spoon to (gently!) skim off any froth (like soap suds) that appears on the top. This will improve the clarity of the jam. Take care not to remove too much jam, though. Once the jam reaches setting point it should be viscous enough to coat the back of a metal spoon stir in the ginger juice. To test for setting point, take the pot off the heat and drop a teaspoon of jam onto the cold saucer from the fridge. Leave it for about a minute; if it’s ready, the jam should wrinkle as you run a spoon through the centre. If it doesn’t wrinkle, simply return the pan to the boil and repeat this process about 3 minutes later. Note: take care not to over-boil your jam. This setting point should really take no longer than 20 minutes at most to achieve.
Now add the lemon juice. Stir well.
Ladle the jam into the jars using a jam funnel. After 1 minute, pop the lids on – the heat from the jam will ensure the lids are sterilised. Don’t worry if the jar lid isn’t done up tightly; you can tighten them later once the jars have cooled.