Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Sunshine Rhubarb Jam

I went on a lovely vacation this past weekend to my Husband to be's family home land "out the bay" if you understand newfie. While out there I stumbled upon a lovely growth of rhubarb. Also known as pie plant to some. I was planning on stealing the lot of it under the cover of darkness. But the kind locals saw the voracious look in my eyes and said I could pick my fill, and they would send more into town when it grew back to boot. Pleased like a cat who wasn't caught eating the canary I was, you can be sure of that. So I went out and picked every firm stalk I could get a grasp on and filled my bag with about three pounds of rhubarb. Which meant it could only be time to make some jam!!

Making jam isn't overly difficult but it is a rather strange and old fashioned thing to be doing these days. People are very impressed if you tell them you make jam and do not currently have grandkids. Making jam properly in a large batch and properly canning does take a bit of time and can go wrong if you are not careful. But follow instructions carefully and things shouldn't go too far astray.

However if you wish to fake it and only make a small amount of rhubarb jelly, check out my Victoria Sponge Cake Recipe; There is a simple recipe there for rhubarb jam for desserts or as a snack on toast or crackers.

Sunshine Rhubarb Jam

(My recipe I can name it whatever I please!)

Ingredients:

About 2 1/2-3 Pounds Fresh Rhubarb
4 Cups White Granulated Sugar
2 Cups Brown Sugar
1 Cup Water
1 Package Certo Pectin Crystals*

*This is the brand my papa uses. This is the brand I use and trust. I have no idea if another brand or kind of pectin would work.

Special Tools:

Enough Jars to hold roughly 9-8 cups of jam
Plus Fresh Flat Sealing Lids and Rings to fit the jars
Strainer
Cheese Cloth
Canning Pot or Large Stock Pot
Tongs or jar Lifters
Silicone Hand Pot Lifter
Another Large Stock Pot
Immersion Blender
Ladle
Funnel

Instructions:

Fill the canning pot or a stock pot (large enough to submerge the jars under water) with water and bring to a boil. Do not salt the water.

Wash and dry the jars. Turn oven to 225°F. 

Wash the Jar lids and rings in warm water. Place in a bowl of hot but not boiling water until ready to use.

To sanitize jars place them in heated oven and bake for 10 minutes. Turn oven off and keep jars in warm oven until it's time to fill them.

Wash the rhubarb and remove the leaf and root ends. Chop into small pieces. Or if desired pulse a few times in a food processor.

Add all of the rhubarb to the second large stock pot. Add one cup of water and cook over medium heat until rhubarb is softening and the water is boiling. Allow to boil about 5 minutes covered.

Remove rhubarb from heat. Line a large strainer over a large bowl with several layers of cheese cloth. Pour cooked rhubarb into lined strainer and allow to strain about 30 minutes. Pressing with a large spoon to squeeze all the juice out. Try and get about 4 cups of juice from the pressed rhubarb.

Spoon out about 1/2 cup of the cooked rhubarb and pulse with an immersion blender. Add this pulp to the pressed rhubarb juice.

Rinse out the large pot that was used to cook the rhubarb.

Pour the rhubarb juice and pulp back into the stock pot that you just rinsed.

Remove the warm Jars from the oven and place on a folded tea towel in a draft and bump free place.

Whisk in the pectin and bring the pot to a full boil while stirring. Allow to boil about 1-3 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir for an additional 5-7 minutes.

After 5-7 minutes, carefully fill the jars to about 1/4 inch from the top of the jar with the jam liquid. Using the funnel and ladle.

Wipe any drips from around the lips of the bottles.

Carefully center sealing lids onto jars, and screw rings on to just finger tight. Air is still going to need to escape from the jars!

Hopefully that large pot of water we set to boil at the start is boiling now! If it isn't, wait until it is and crank that heat up.

Place the lidded and ringed jars into the boiling water carefully and "Process" (boil) for 5 minutes. Adding about 5 minutes for ever extra 1000 feet you are above seal level. I am about 20 feet above sea level where I am but I boiled mine for about 7 minutes total just to be safe.

After processing, turn off heat to burner and allow to sit another 5 minutes in the hot water.

Carefully lift jars from the boiled water. Here is where I used the Silicone pig in the picture with the jam. He has lovely grip ridges that work excellent for this. Since I can't for the love of anything seem to find a jar lifter when I need one, he was a solid investment.

Leave jam on tea towel undisturbed for about 24 hours.

Push the lids with your fingers, if they don't pop or flex, then they have sealed.

If not. . .  Google how to fix that. It's basically just reprocessing but with new lids.

Next turn properly sealed jars on their sides, does it look like jelly? If yes, congrats!

If not, you likely need more sugar or pectin in the recipe, all isn't lost, just Google to see how to fix that too, it is possible.

If your lids have sealed, and the jam has set. . .  Congrats! Properly sealed jelly can be stored in a pantry or cool room out of the sun for about a year.

Sorry to have not included how to fix the problems that you may run into but this already feels like a rather long recipe to me.

Enjoy!

Other Places:

Something useful to know:

Is my baking powder fresh?

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