Saturday, 29 June 2013

Strawberry and Rhubarb Jam or Rhubarb and Strawberry Jam

Summertime, and the living is easy, so the song goes, and equally is the choice of fruit for jam-making. One of THE most delicious jams I have ever made at Fancy Pans is Rhubarb and Strawberry. Demand last year was so high, we ran out, so I shall be making double the amount this year.


   


Jam is really easy to make - all you have to remember is that you need equal quantities of fruit and sugar, and never make batches with more than 3lbs of fruit, and you can't go wrong.

Firstly, sterilise at least 6 jam jars and lids; – a hot cycle in a dishwasher does this, or you can wash them in hot, soapy water, rinse them in hot water and put them into the oven at 375F, 190C, gas 5 for about 5-10 minutes. Take care when you remove them to cool.

For the jam:

2lbs rhubarb, chopped into small pieces
1lb strawberries, hulled (that's the stalk removed) and chopped
3lbs sugar - I use jam sugar or preserving sugar as the jam will reaching setting point more quickly and keep better.

You will also need wax discs to place on top of the jam in the jar. You can get these from Lakeland and a small plate or saucer which you will have placed int the freezer to chill

Here's what you do:

In a very large, thick-bottomed saucepan (preserving pan if you have one, or a pressure cooker) put the rhubarb and strawberries and cook them taking care not to let them burn. You can add a few tablespoons of water to prevent this.  Alternatively, you can cook the fruit in a microwave first, thus avoiding any risk or burning.

Add the sugar to the hot fruit and turn up the heat.  Boil rapidly and when you can't stir the fruit down as it rises, then after about 4 minutes test the jam.

To test if the jam has reached setting point, either use a jam thermometer (this will be marked accordingly) or the small plate from the freezer and drop a little of the jam onto it. If it forms a wrinkled skin when you push it with your finger (or a teaspoon if you are not that brave) then it is ready.  When you have reached this point, remove the jam from the heat and drop a knob of butter into it to dispel the scum which may have formed.

Fill the clean jars, pop a wax disc on the top and tighten the lids.

And there you have it, Rhubarb and Strawberry Jam.  Enjoy.

© Karen Ette 2013

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