The rhubarb in the fruit garden has had a real growth spurt due to the rain and the slightly warmer weather recently and there are now plenty of stems to pull for both wine and jam-making.
The combination of rhubarb and ginger in a jam is a delicious one. I didn’t have a recipe to hand but found a good one at Riverford Organic Farmers website and decided to give it a go.
Just a quick note here, the leaves of rhubarb contain oxalic acid which is poisonous, so it’s best to wear gloves when cutting them off. The leaves are fine to add to the compost heap as the oxalic acid is broken down quickly and diluted during the decomposition process.
I chopped the rhubarb stems roughly and combined them with sugar and lemon juice and left the mix overnight by which time the sugar had pretty much dissolved in the juices from the rhubarb. I put plenty of root ginger sliced into a muslin bag to add to the rhubarb and sugar mix (I love ginger) and boiled the jam as instructed before adding crystallized ginger pieces and boiling for a little longer.
It wasn’t until I reached this stage that I remembered rhubarb does not contain much pectin (the type of sugar found in a lot of fruits that helps to set the jam) and I should have bought some to add to the mix to give a good set. Anyway, the jam looked and smelt great so I figured it would taste good too and if a bit runny would still be good for sponge puddings or tarts or spooned on to vanilla ice cream as a treat.
Watch out for a post on making vanilla ice cream coming soon, a delicious way to use the lovely eggs from my hens!