Sunday, January 29, 2012

Rhubarb-apple jam

I don’t buy jam at the store anymore. Which – considering I canned my first-ever batch of marmalade just about one year ago – kind of blows me away. I don’t even buy it at the farmers’ market. If I want jam, I just go to my storecupboard and dig out some of last summer’s bounty. Or I make up a batch from something serendipitous that crosses my path, or falls out of my freezer, even in the middle of winter.

I am definitely a late arrival to the Canvolution party. But a very enthusiastic one nonetheless.

Rhubarb-apple jam
I found rhubarb for sale in the supermarket a couple of weeks ago. Normally I try very hard to buy produce that’s in season, but rhubarb is my downfall and I cannot pass it by.

I got the basic idea for this concoction from A Year in a Bottle, an Australian canning cookbook, and then fiddled with it based upon this advice on making jam without a recipe from Dinner with Julie.

- roughly equal amounts of rhubarb and tart apple (weighing or measuring to be done after all cleaning, peeling, coring, chopping etc. completed)
- 1 cup of sugar for every 2-3 cups of fruit
- ½ cup apple juice or water
- 1-2 Tbsp lime juice

Combine all ingredients in a large pot over medium-high heat and stir to combine thoroughly. Continue stirring regularly while mixture comes to a boil; mash chunks of fruit with a potato masher or similar as they start to soften, to assist with breaking up and make the finished jam a more consistent texture. When mixture boils, lower heat as necessary and continue cooking until it has reduced and is starting to look like jam. (There are various tests you can use – thermometers, saucers in the freezer, and so on – but when I can draw a line across the bottom of the pan and see it for more than a few seconds, I shut the heat off.)

When it has cooled a bit, spoon into jars and refrigerate for immediate use. To can, follow the usual method and process in boiling water for 10 minutes.

Yields will vary depending on the amount of fruit you use.


Justine said... Best Blogger Tips

I am looking forward to joining the "Canvolution" this year too. I don't have the jars or tongs yet though. It's a small investment but enough of a hurtle to stop me so far. But this looks great! Jam is so expensive in the store, and I imagine it's gratifying to make your own...and tastier too.

Roving Lemon said... Best Blogger Tips

@Justine Justine, I can't even describe what a feeling of accomplishment it gives to have 3 homemade, canned jars of jam cooling on your kitchen counter - totally addictive. I am pretty sure it's cheaper than high-end jam, and I *know* it has less sugar and tastes better. Plus you can make varieties you'll never find for sale anywhere - like this one!

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