I love making jam and enjoy experimenting with new flavours. My favourite so far is rhubarb and vanilla, I know rhubarb and ginger are a classic combination for jam but I’ve never been too enamoured with the taste of ginger myself. With any jam, I just start out with equal parts fruit and jam sugar, adding lemon or lime juice for the pectin content and to cut the sweetness. I’ve never had trouble getting jam to set, I have had the opposite problem though –my pineapple & mango experiment went terribly, it’s like yellow Polyfilla (so I won’t be sharing that particular recipe).
- So first off I put two or three little plates in the freezer which will be used to test if that jam’s setting later on.
- Then I pop 500g of rhubarb (cut into 1 inch chunks) and 500g of jam sugar into a big saucepan on a medium heat, let the sugar dissolve and scrape the seeds of one vanilla pod into the mix.
- I add about 30ml of lemon or lime juice and turn up the heat.
- After 10/15 minutes the fruit should be softened and it’s ready to start testing. I usually place a teaspoon of the jam onto one of the frozen plates, leave it aside for a minute and press it with my finger (if the surface scrunches up, it’s ready). I test it every 2 minutes until it’s ready.
- I then pour/ladle into sterilized jars and label with the flavor and date. It keeps for 6 months (although my jars are empty long before that, so I’m taking that as a good sign).
As for how to sterilize jars, I’ll let Jamie field this one:- http://www.jamieoliver.com/videos/how-to-sterilise-jars
And then for decoration:- Back to me!
I love labeling my produce, maybe too much. Is there anything cuter than a little jar of homemade jam, labelled accordingly and wearing a little gingham hat, tied with ribbon? I cut circles of fabric, using pinking shears to prevent fraying and give it a decorative edge. I often pop a rubber band around it and cover this with ribbon, tied around the neck.