Thursday, July 23, 2009

Making Jam

This week my mother and I made some delicious jam. We were going to make a Rhubarb/Strawberry jam - based on this one from David Lebovitz (what a great blog!)

Anyhow, we couldn't leave well enough alone, so we ended up with a variation with Rhubarb, strawberries and red currants. It's delicious, and has a nicely complex flavour.

Rhubarb, Strawberry and Red currant Jam:

1.25kg rhubarb, trimmed and sliced into 1/2-inch (2cm) pieces
250g strawberries
200g red currants
250ml apple juice
1.3 kg sugar
juice of one lemon
pinch of salt

1. In a large pot, mix the rhubarb, berries, and the apple juice. Cook, stirring frequently over moderate heat, until the rhubarb is cooked through and thoroughly tender. It should take about 15 minutes.

Put several saucers in the freezer.

2. Add the sugar, lemon juice, and salt, and cook, uncovered. You want to get to a rolling boil, which is beyond simmer, and spitting a bit.

To test when the jam gells, you take one of the cold saucers, put a teaspoon of jam on it, and chill in the freezer of 5 minutes. If the surface wrinkles when you nudge it with your finger, it's done. This may take longer then you expect, but be patient, the redcurrants and lemon juice will help with setting.

If you put it in the jars before it's done, it will be runny. If you cook it for too long, it will be impossible to spread. Either way, you can probably find a good use for it :-)

Once it's gelled, you need to put it in clean hot jamjars - a dishwasher cycle will work for both, or heat them in the oven. Get the lids on fast. The jam will keep for a few months- but it may not last that long....

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