Thursday, March 5, 2015

Small Batch Ginger Lemon Rhubarb Jam



I'm not going to say too much today.  I just want to bask in the bright pink color of this jam.  It's gorgeous, isn't it?

I found the first rhubarb of the year at the market this past weekend and my incredibly picky middle kiddo practically begged me to buy an armload of the stalks.  He loves rhubarb, which I find amazing considering the enormous list of foods he won't eat.  So I caved and brought home a bundle of the bright pink veggie ready to do some recipe brainstorming.  So far we've done this jam and a rhubarb crostata.  Both of which have received high marks from all of my men.  And the season is just beginning. 

I'm ready for you, Spring!




Small Batch Ginger Lemon Rhubarb Jam
Inspired by a jam in the book, Jam On: The Craft of Canning Fruit, by Laena McCarthy.
Makes 1 pint.
For the printable recipe, click here.

I love the flavor combinations in this jam. It's a bit tart and the gingery background notes make it different from the typical rhubarb and strawberry offerings.  It takes just a bit of time to make because you need to macerate the rhubarb to draw out the juices, but the time commitment is well worth it.  Otherwise it's a simple, straightforward jam in a style that I prefer- low sugar and no added pectin.  The color will vary depending on the rhubarb that you have.  Mine was perfectly pink with no green so the end result is bright pink but if your rhubarb is on the greener side your jam will be darker in color.  Don't panic- it's the natural variation of the vegetable.

1 lb rhubarb (about 3 cups diced)
1 tbs fresh squeezed lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
1 cup sugar

3 tbs water
1/3 cup sugar
1 1 inch thick slice of peeled ginger

Stir together the rhubarb, lemon juice, lemon zest and 1 cup of sugar in a medium saucepan.  Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let sit on your counter.

In the meantime, in a small saucepan stir together the water, 1/3 cup of sugar and ginger.  Place the pan over medium heat and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat and simmer for a few minutes to dissolve the sugar.  Remove from the heat and let cool completely.

When the ginger simple syrup has cooled, pour it into the saucepan containing the rhubarb mixture, stir and replace the cover.  Let the mixture sit on the counter for 2 hours.

After 2 hours remove the plastic wrap cover and the piece of ginger from the pan.  Place the rhubarb mixture on the stove over medium high heat.  Stir frequently while cooking at a low boil for about 15 minutes or until the rhubarb has broken down and the mixture is no longer watery.  Keep a watchful eye on it towards the last few minutes as you don't want the jam to scorch.  This jam has no added pectin so it will seem a little looser than a commercial jam, but that's okay.  To test if your jam has set place a metal spoon in the freezer while you cook the jam.  When you think your jam is done, place a small amount of it on the spoon and place it back in the freezer for 3 minutes (remove your pot from the heat while you wait).  When you remove the spoon from the freezer the jam should cling to the spoon and not run off when the spoon is tilted.  If it runs, place the pot back on the stove for another few minutes.

Place the completed jam in a pint jar, cover and refrigerate until cool.  The jam is best used within three weeks.  Keep refrigerated.