Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Rhubarb & Ginger Jam

The weather this week has been absolutely amazing. I can hardly believe that its only the end of March and I'm covering the children in sun-cream, before they head out to school. With this beautiful weather comes Al Fresco Dining and this evening we are having our first barbecue of the season. Some meat is marinading, the burgers are made and all I've to do now is rustle up a few salads. What an easy way to feed a crowd -  I just love this way of dining! 

All this sunshine has been very beneficial to the garden and it's really starting to show some growth. Our rhubarb is already growing at an accelerated rate. It seems that every time I cut a stalk, two grow back in its place. At this time of year rhubarb should be available fairly cheap at a farmer's market, so buy it when Irish rhubarb is in full season. If like me you have an abundance of rhubarb, wash it, slice it and pop it in the freezer ready for use all winter long. Otherwise you can use it up by making some very impressive jam for home consumption or to give as a gift.  There is something very satisfying about serving up your own homemade jam to accompany a scone. It is also delicious as a filler for a sponge cake or in jam tarts.  

For the past few years I have been making a variety of jams. I'm certainly no expert and I'm ever in search of ways to perfect my recipes. However it seems to be trial and error and even if the jam doesn't set perfectly it will still have a flavour that's far superior to any shop bought variety. When making jam it is important that the fruit is fresh and in the case of rhubarb jam it's best made when rhubarb is in full season and not yet thick and tough. 

In recent years Jam making has come back into vogue, making it very convenient for the novice jam maker to get their hands on the necessary supplies of jars and covers. I tend to collect any food jars that would be suitable for jams and simply give them a good wash and sterilize them in an oven at 220 degrees centigrade for 5 minutes and allow to cool a little before filling with the hot jam. 
If you have yet to give jam making a go, try out this recipe and you will be surprised by how easy it really is!


Rhubarb and Ginger Jam

Makes 8 x 1 lb (450 g) jars 

4 lb (1.8kg) trimmed rhubarb,
3 lb (1.36kg) granulated sugar
1lb (450g) Jam sugar
2 lemons,
grated rind & juice
ozs (50g) bruised fresh ginger or 1 teasp ground ginger


1. Wipe the rhubarb and cut into 1 inch (2.5cm) pieces. 

2. Place the rhubarb in a large bowl layered with the sugar, the lemon rind and juice. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave to stand overnight. 
3. Next day put the contents of the bowl into a very large saucepan, add the bruised ginger tied in a muslin bag{or the teaspoon of ground ginger}. Steadily bring to the boil until it is a thick pulp, which will take about an hour.
4. Test a teaspoonful on a cold saucer, place in fridge for 30 seconds, it the jam wrinkles when pushed by a finger the jam is set. If not repeat this process every 5 minutes.
5. Skim the jam and allow to cool slightly.
6. Remove the bag of ginger and then carefully ladle the jam, using a funnel to help, into hot clean jars.
7.  Cover with a waxed disc and allow to cool completely before screwing a lid on tightly. Stored in a dry airy cupboard, this jam will keep for many months!

9 comments:

Aoife Mc said...

Oh my goodness. YUM!

Caítríona said...

I love, love, love rhubarb. That sounds so good. I'll try it out early next month when our rhubarb is stronger!

Vicky said...

Lovely pics Neassa. The jam looks delish too.

Vicky said...

Lovely pics Neassa. The jam looks delish too.

Clare said...

Ooh I like the sound of rhubarb and ginger together! The jam looks lovely!

Donna OShaughnessy said...

My hubbie has a birthday in July and if i make the jam now while the rhubarb is so fresh and tender he'll get a grand gift. Thanks again Nessa!

Imen McDonnell said...

What a lovely combination Nessa......sounds really yum! Hmmm, maybe would go great with scones and clotted cream? Must try and see! xx

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

This sounds wonderful and will be added to my list!!!! Thanks for a great recipe! Have a wonderful weekend!

Mary

Nessa Robins said...

Thank you for all your lovely comments! Imen, I'll definitely be making your clotted cream to accompany my next batch of scones!

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