Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Fruits of Our Labor

We had such a cold, dreary weekend it seemed like the perfect time to heat up the kitchen & make some jam with all our lovely spring rhubarb.
Fruits of Our Labors
Matt loves jam on his oatmeal in the morning & those with rhubarb in them are some of his favorites. We decided to try two different flavors of jam; the classic Strawberry Rhubarb & something a little more exotic Gingered Rhubarb and Honey. This as the first time canning for either of us. It did take us about two hours (once the strawberries had sat for 3 hours) but we were pretty thrilled with the results. (It was such a thrill to hear the the lids of the cans making a popping noise as the sucked in showing the processing had worked.)
Strawberry Rhubarb on Toast
Both jams tasted really good. I really liked the Strawberry Rhubarb which tasted like the inside of a pie. Matt thought the Gingered Rhubarb and Honey was the best with its strong gingery flavor & rhubarb tartness.

Strawberry Rhubarb Preserves
(from Preserving Summer's Bounty)

1 1/3 c honey
4 c strawberries, washed, stemmed & thickly sliced
4 c rhubarb, washed and sliced
3 T lemon juice

Place the strawberries in a medium enamel or stainless steel saucepan. Drizzle 1/3 cup of the honey over them & let sit at room temperature for 3 - 4 hours.

Add the rhubarb, remaining 1 cup of honey & lemon juice to the saucepan. Slowly bring to a boil stirring from time to time. Cook at a rapid boil for 15 - 20 minutes or until berries are clear & the sauce has thickened. (This actually took closer to 30 minutes for us to get the sauce to just about gel stage**) Stir frequently to prevent sticking. Remove from heat & skim off the foam.
Strawberry Rhubarb
Ladle into four hot sterilized half-pint jars leaving about 1/4-inch headroom. Clean off the tops of the jars & cover with a lid. Close with a neckband & finger-tighten. Process in boiling water for 10 minutes. Turn off heat & let sit for 5 minutes. Remove jars from the water to a heat-proof surface & let cool for 12 - 24 hours (do not dry jars). Check to make sure the top of the jar has been drawn downwards, creating a seal. If it hasn't either reprocess that jar or store it in the fridge to be eaten within 3 weeks. Remove the neckbands & store jam in a cool dark place.

Makes 4 half-pints
Two-handed jam making (look at that two-handed jam making!)

Gingered Rhubarb & Honey Jam
(from The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving)

1 lemon
2 c rhubarb, washed & chopped
1 large tart apple (we used Granny Smith), peeled, cored & finely chopped
1/2 water
1 1/2 c granulated sugar
1 c honey
1 1/2 T candied or crystallized ginger, chopped

Zest the lemon. Put the zest into a medium enamel or stainless steel saucepan. Squeeze the juice from the lemon. Measure out 1 T of the juice & set it aside then add the rest to the saucepan.

Add the rhubarb, apple & water to the saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat & allow to boil gently for 15 minutes until the fruit is tender.

Add the sugar, honey, ginger & reserved lemon juice to the pan. Return to a rapid boil, stirring frequently, about 8 - 10 minutes until it reaches gel stage**. Remove from heat & skim off any foam.
Filled & ready for processing(ready to process)
Ladle into three hot sterilized half-pint jars leaving about 1/4-inch headroom. Clean off the tops of the jars & cover with a lid. Close with a neckband & finger-tighten. Process in boiling water for 10 minutes. Turn off heat & let sit for 5 minutes. Remove jars from the water to a heat-proof surface & let cool for 12 - 24 hours (do not dry jars). Check to make sure the top of the jar has been drawn downwards, creating a seal. If it hasn't either reprocess that jar or store it in the fridge to be eaten within 3 weeks. Remove the neckbands & store jam in a cool dark place.

Makes 3 half-pints

**How to tell if your jam has reached gel stage. Put a couple of spoons the the freezer when you start cooking your jam. When you are ready to test the jam dip one of the cold spoons into it. When the jam "sheets" off the spoon (the drops become very thick & two drops run together before dripping off) it has reached gel stage. The jam will now form a gel when cooled & requires no further cooking.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2007-2009 Kathy Lewinski

17 comments:

HungryinSW said...

That toast looks amazing! Way to make the most out of this crappy weather!

Suzee said...

You've never preserved before?? My absolute favorite thing to preserve is salsa - it is so wonderful to have that ray of sunshine in winter and spring!! You should add that to your list for August/September :)

Maria said...

I am so glad you posted this! I want to make jam, just have to find the time before my strawberries go bad!

Leslie said...

COLD???? I would die for some cool weather right how. But I will take some jam in its place!!!

kat said...

Suzee - Salsa is on the list of things to make in the late summer, can't wait

Ben said...

Hmm yeah, time to make jam! And I still haven't tried rhubarb yet, LOL

maybelle's mom said...

I love rhubarb jelly. so this is probably even better.

Lisa said...

Sounds so good! I love the tartness of rhubarb.

Dragon said...

Gingered Rhubarb & Honey Jam sounds like heaven. Wow!

Grace said...

i'm convinced there isn't a batch of (properly-made) preserves, jam, or jelly out there that i wouldn't enjoy. this one looks OUTSTANDING.

Foodycat said...

I love the rhubarb and ginger combination!

Lori said...

Thank you. Good recipe. I will be making it soon.

Stacey Snacks said...

kat, save me a jar of the ginger rhubarb! that sounds delicious!

Deborah said...

I just made strawberry rhubarb jam yesterday! I wish I would have read this first, though, because I've never made it with honey instead of sugar. This is much healthier than what I made!

lotus said...

Hello! I just finished making this recipe! I added some blackberries and raspberries at the last minute in order to use all the fruit in my house. Oh, it smells so good and it seems to be geling pretty good, too! What a great way to use up all my CSA rhubarb!

I filled little plastic containers with my bounty in order to share with others. I haven't tried water bath process yet, but this is on my list for next time.

Thanks so much for the recipe and the inspiration!!!

with smiles,
Lotus

City Girl said...

Yay! Thanks for the gingered rhubarb jam recipe...I was looking for a little different type of jam to try with my rhubarb...I'll give this one a shot! I also just did some canning (Friday!) for the first time ever and thought those little pops the jars made when sealing were glorious!!! :-) Glad I'm not the only one!

Dazy said...

This would be my son's version of Heaven! I think I'd enjoy it, too!

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