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Thursday, 21 June 2012

Rhubarb and Ginger Jam

It's rhubarb glut season here in Scotland, but although I now only have one rhubarb plant instead of three I still find it hard to use up all the rhubarb and the heavy rain we have had has just made it grow even more!

I may have featured this book before, it was one of the first cookbooks that really fired my imagination.  I borrowed it from the library when I was 15 years old and carried it off to Belgium on holiday as my holiday reading.  I then bought a copy and some of the first recipes I made were the rhubarb jams.  This is the second copy of this book I've owned as the first one fell to bits.

Rhubarb jam is really easy to make and the preserved ginger adds a fabulous kick.  We don't eat a lot of jam now and this quantity will make about 4 standard jars.  The book was first published in 1974 and I'm afraid the quantities are in imperial meaures (pounds and ounces) but I've found a nifty conversion chart here if you want to use metric measurements.

Note:  you need to start this recipe the night before you want to make the jam

Rhubarb and Ginger Jam

2 1/2 lb prepared rhubarb
2 1/2 lb sugar
1 oz bruised root ginger (give it a good bash with a rolling pin!)
4oz preserved ginger (that's the kind in syrup)

Wash and trim the rhubarb and cut into 2in sticks.  Weigh the fruit.  Put alternate layers of fruit and sugar in a bowl, cover and leave to stand overnight.

In the morning most of the sugar will have dissolved and the juices will have come out of the rhubarb.

Turn into a pan, add the root ginger tied in a piece of muslin and bring slowly to the boil. Fast boil for 15 minutes.  Remove the ginger and add the preserved ginger, boil for a further 5 minutes.  By this time the rhubarb should be clear.  Test for set. Pot and cover in the usual way.

If you have never made jam before, read this excellent article, published in the Guardian Lifestyle, by Darina Allen which should answer any questions you have.  But really, it's not that difficult, you don't need sugar thermometers or liquid pectin, my mother and grandmother never used them. A cold saucer in the fridge, a teaspoonful of jam, let it cool, then push with your finger and if there is a 'skin' then it is set, if not boil for another 5 minutes and try again.

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At 22 June 2012 at 05:59 , Anonymous Chris said...

I love coming back and reading things.
So I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award.

At 22 June 2012 at 14:49 , Blogger scrumptious days said...

Such a perfect combination, I adore rhubarb, and I love the colour of your jam, when I have made it , the jam has tended to look sludgy, I'm very impressed.

At 23 June 2012 at 00:49 , Blogger Sue/the view from great island said...

I love those cookbooks that are so loved they need to be replaced, I have a couple of those, also from the 70s! Your jam looks wonderful, and I like the simple straightforward method.

At 23 June 2012 at 19:27 , Blogger Caroline said...

Oh yum, that looks fabulous! I do love a good homemade jam, especially in flavours that are impossible to buy.

At 27 June 2012 at 11:32 , Blogger HB said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 18 May 2013 at 07:00 , Blogger Living to work - working to live said...

I have just made a batch of jam using this recipe and thank you so much because it is quite delicious.

I too have that book somewhere. I need to do a bit of an audit. The most successful ones are definitely those of this generation.

At 19 May 2013 at 18:54 , Blogger Janice said...

I'm delighted to hear that you tried the recipe and are enjoying the jam. It's a great little book, well worth digging it out.

At 16 July 2013 at 23:35 , Blogger Sarah said...

I tried to make this but it burnt horribly and stuck to the bottom of the pan and now it just tastes all caramelised and burnt. What did I do wrong? :(

At 17 July 2013 at 07:18 , Blogger Janice said...

Sorry to hear that Sarah. I can only think you had the heat too high or your pan didn't have a thick enough base. Google Vivien Lloyd Preserves for great info and advice on preserve making.


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