The months between January and June are quiet for the home preserver. Unless you buy Seville oranges in the spring to make marmalade, there is very little to preserve other than rhubarb. Despite my best efforts in the last couple of years, I have failed to get rhubarb to grow on my plot yet I love making rhubarb and ginger jam. As such, I am somewhat dependent on the generosity of others for my rhubarb.
So far this year I have received donations from Simon (who works with Steve), my friend Clare and our neighbour John. Simon and Clare were both happy to receive jars of the finished jam in exchange, whereas John did a straight swap with some of our asparagus. I do love bartering! In total to date I have make 4 batches of jam from 8 lbs of rhubarb and have made 62 jars (55 and 110g). Of those, I think we have eaten two jars as it does go particularly well with toasted hot cross buns!
Rhubarb & Ginger Jam
1 lb (454g) rhubarb
The same weight of sugar as rhubarb
1 small lemon, rind and juice
½ oz (15g) root ginger, bruised
½ oz (15g) stem ginger, finely chopped
1 tablespoon syrup from stem ginger jar
NB: Every pound of rhubarb requires 1 lb (454g) sugar, 1 lemon, ½ oz root ginger, ½ oz stem ginger and 1 tablespoon of stem ginger syrup.
Wash the rhubarb and cut it into pieces roughly 1 inch (2.5cm) long. Layer the rhubarb in a non metallic bowl with the lemon rind and sugar then pour in the lemon juice. Cover the bowl and stand overnight. Tip the contents of the bowl into a preserving pan and add the root ginger, wrapped in a piece of muslin. Bring to the boil then simmer for a few minutes until the rhubarb is soft, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Bring to a vigorous boil and boil for 5 to 10 minutes until the setting point is reached. Remove from the heat and discard the root ginger. Stir in the stem ginger and syrup. Ladle into warmed jars and seal immediately.