This is the jam that I made from my amazing Famous Rhubarb Triangle forced rhubarb. You can definitely make it with non-celebrity rhubarb, but you won’t get the same dramatic colour. It looks incredible: a translucent, cherry-blossom pink with the tiny black vanilla-seeds throughout. It is so good that I am contemplating a return trip to the market to buy another couple of kilos of Famous Rhubarb to stock up. The flavour is complex and very, very, moreish. It is wonderful on buttered toast, but I think it would also work well as a condiment served with hard sheep’s and goat’s cheeses – a theory that I plan to put to the test at lunch time.
The quantities below made 4-and-a-half 250ml pots of preserve.
- 1 kilo of rhubarb (famous, if possible)
- 900g of sugar (I used golden caster sugar)
- the juice of one orange
- the juice of one lemon
- 2-3 vanilla pods, whole
Wash the rhubarb, trim off the base and the leaves and chop into 2cm pieces. Place the rhubarb, the sugar, the citrus juices and the vanilla into a large pan and heat very, very gently until the sugar has dissolved. Bring the mixture slowly up to the boil and then let it simmer gently, stirring from time to time. Skim off the foam that rises to the top. After around 15-20 minutes, test for readiness by putting a teaspoon of preserve onto a saucer and placing it in the fridge. After a few minutes, push the blob of jam with your finger – if a light skin has formed which wrinkles up as you move it, your jam is ready to pot up. Keep testing at 5 minute intervals until you achieve the desired set.
Remove the preserve from the heat and fish out the vanilla pods. When they are cool enough to handle, split them and scrape out the seeds. Stir the seeds into the mixture in the pan. After around 15 minutes you can safely pot up the preserve into warm, sterilised jars.
- You can of course make rhubarb and ginger jam. I have to confess that I love ginger in savoury dishes, but I’m really not so keen on it when sweet. Add a couple of slices of peeled fresh ginger to the jam instead of the vanilla pods. Bet it won’t be as good though!