Monday, 7 May 2012

Rhubarb & Vanilla Jam

Alongside my six malteaser muffins, I also lugged back a HUGE bag of rhubarb on the train - I wasn't quite prepared for the heaviness of my bag - thankfully my train got back in time to get the bus that doesn't involve a hill climb at the end of the journey!

I wasn't sure what to do with all the rhubarb and even after giving a bunch of stalks away I still had masses left. A cake seemed like a logical option, but even then they only usually need a few stems - then I found this recipe for Rhubarb and Vanilla Jam on the BBC Good Food website.  So my mornings shopping list had a few extra jam ingredients, I'm just going to pretend not to notice how much sugar I needed and I also managed to source vanilla pods for a reasonable £2.98 at Morrisons.  3 & half jars of jam for under a fiver seems like a bargain to me!

I started with weighing out the 1kg of rhubarb (still have around 1kg left!) and then added the 1kg sugar, 2 vanilla pods, pectin and a knob of butter to my biggest saucepan . . . think I need to invest in a jam pan!  The sugar slowly started to melt and stirring gradually got easier - although I now have a cooker covered in Jam.
Once all the sugar had melted, I added the juice of a lemon and then boiled for 10 minutes.  Then it was on for the continued testing on a chilled saucer to check when it had reached its setting point.  Not sure whether I'd done something different from the recipe, but it took ages for my 'wrinkle test' to work.

After cooling for 15 minutes, it was time for the ladling into the jam jars.  Always the hoarder, I had plenty of jam jars, which had a hot wash and then I dried them in the oven on a low heat as I don't have a dish washer - fingers crossed this should work just as well!  My labels are patterned sticky backed plastic (yup it is awesome stuff - Wilkinsons have a huge range!) and then written on with a cd marker pen - which I think look rather swish.  

I should really source some matching fabric to make covers for the lids - then they could make an ace little present.  Still plenty of rhubarb left, so I may just make this rhubarb and ginger cake later in the week . . .

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