Sunday, 3 February 2008

Plum & Rhubarb Jam

What do you do when you have an excess of fruit? Make pies? Crumbles? Freeze it? Give it away? I make jam. I usually always make my own jam as I believe you simply cannot but as good a jam as homemade, no matter how expensive. I admit you can get some nicely flavoured ones, but on the whole I generally find they are too sweet and can start to crystalise a month after opening. I like to taste and see the fruit in my jam and be able to identify the fruits by its taste. Plus there is something satisfying about making your own jam, it’s very traditional and the aroma of a steaming pot of bubbling fruit is one I associate with my mum and grandmother.

Anywho, I came home on Friday with a mountain of plumbs and some seasonal rhubarb (it was local Yorkshire rhubarb too) that was left over from a project at work and set about jamming. I always like to add lemon juice when making jam as not only does it aid the gelling process but I think it helps enhance the flavour of the fruit. I also work on a ratio of two parts fruit to one part sugar, as I think using equal quantities of fruit and sugar is unnecessary unless you want a really thickly set jam. I also decided to add some brown sugar along with the usual white as brown sugar has a caramel taste to it that tastes sweeter than white sugar, meaning you need less of it to achieve the same level of sweetness.

I considered adding a bit of chopped stem ginger or vanilla into the mix, as these both go well with rhubarb, but in the end I decided to leave it simple. (Strawberry and rhubarb make a delicious combination in the summer.)

The jam was easy to make and I was able to potter around tidying up while it happily bubbled away. I love its pretty pink colour and how you can see the fine strands of rhubarb in the finished jam.

Plum & Rhubarb Jam
Ingredients

1.1kg plums
400g rhubarb
Juice of 1 lemon
150ml water
250g soft brown sugar
500g granulated sugar

Method
Wash the plums and rhubarb and cut into 2cm chunks. Place into a large pan along with the lemon juice and water.
Place the lid slightly ajar and bring the mixture to a boil. Allow to cook for 15minutes, stirring every so often to prevent the fruit from sticking to the base of the pan.
After 15minutes the fruit should be soft, broken down and pink in colour. Reduce the heat to a simmer and stir in the sugars. Continue to stir for 5 minutes to ensure the sugar is well incorporated and has not sunk to the bottom of the pan.
Leave to cook for 40-45 minutes stirring every so often.
Meanwhile place 6 jam jars and their lids onto a baking tray and place in a cold oven. Then heat the oven to 120C to sterilise the jars. The oven must be cold when you put them in otherwise you run the risk of them shattering.
When the jam begins to look thickened and glossy, place a spoonful onto a saucer and place in the fridge for a couple of minutes. Then run your finger through the jam on the saucer and if it crinkles then the jam is ready.
Remove from the heat and ladle into the hot jars. Immediately screw on the lids with the help of rubber gloves. As the hot jam cools in the sealed jar it will form a vacuum and seal the jar. You will often here a ‘pop’ as the seal indent in the top of the lids is sucked back in.
Store in a cool dark place and once opened, keep in the fridge.
Makes 5-6 jars.

13 comments:

Antonia said...

What a beautiful looking jam - I just love rhubarb.
At this time of year it is so nice to have a splash of colour to brighten things up, isn't it?

Annemarie said...

That's a gorgeous pink your jam came out in. I made some rhubarb, apple and ginger jam last year and found myself fantasizing about it recently - perhaps it's time to try your variation on it.

Gigi said...

That's it! You have tortured me one too many times with your beautiful jams. I am going to make your berry jam on Saturday. I can't wait!

Big Boys Oven said...

this is so lovely, I wish I can get rhubarb here!

Johanna said...

A wonderful combination - I am impressed you make your own jam and wish I could bring home bundles of fruit from work! I buy sugarfree jam - do you ever make jam without sugar as I would be interested in making that?

Pixie said...

Rhubarb is very new to me and I've yet to make my own jam, must keep this recipe in mind!

Anonymous said...

Thank you! This was great! I did a half recipe because I didn't have enough ingredients, and used a mixture of yellow and black plums. It is very tasty, and just the right amount of sweetness.

BiketoWork Barb said...

Just what I needed! I have a red plum tree in my backyard that's at peak production, got more rhubarb at the farmers' market than I know what to do with, and in my head the flavors sounded like a great combo. Making it tomorrow.

@BarbChamberlain

Sandi said...

Very pretty jam, and I love that you don't have to add pectin or freeze it!

For us Yanks, the conversions are

2.42 lbs plums
14 oz rhubarb or 1 & 3/4 cups
juice of 1 lemon
5 oz water
1 cup and a smidge of brown sugar
2 cups and 2 smidges ;) white sugar

Di said...

Thanks for this recipe, I have made it over the weekend and my husband is thrilled with the results :)

Jaki Morris said...

Hope this works! I was doing too many things at the same time and some of the fruit caramalised(burnt!) on the bottom!
Oh well the fruit was free so it's only sugar and time I've wasted if it tastes bad.
Thanks
Jaki

Sharron said...

Made this jam last year and just about to make some more 'cos it was sooooooo good!

Katie said...

Hi Sharron,

Thanks for your kind words. There is something so satisying about making your own jam isn't there. Thanks for stopping by :)