Rhubarb and Ginger Jam
Rhubarb and Ginger Jam is one of the first jams I ever made, it’s absolutely delicious and the perfect way to preserve a glut of rhubarb in the spring and early summer.
The recipe comes from A Taste of the Country by Pamela Westland which was one of the first cookbooks that really fired my imagination. I borrowed it from the library when I was 15 years old and carried it off to Belgium as my holiday reading. I then bought a paperback copy and some of the first recipes I made were the rhubarb jams. It’s such a great book that I had to buy a second copy as the first one eventually fell to bits.
Rhubarb and Ginger Jam is really easy to make and the preserved ginger adds a fabulous kick. We don’t eat a lot of jam now and this quantity will make about 4 standard jars. The book was first published in 1974 and I’m afraid the quantities are in imperial measures (pounds and ounces) that I’ve found a nifty conversion chart here if you want to use metric measurements.
Note: you need to start this recipe the night before you want to make the jam
- 1.13 kg (2 1/2 lb) prepared rhubarb
- 1.13 kg (2 1/2 lb) sugar
- 30 g (1 oz) bruised root ginger (give it a good bash with a rolling pin!)
- 115g (4oz) preserved ginger (that's the kind in syrup)
- Wash and trim the rhubarb and cut into 2in sticks. Weigh the fruit. Put alternate layers of fruit and sugar in a bowl, cover and leave to stand overnight.
- In the morning most of the sugar will have dissolved and the juices will have come out of the rhubarb
- Turn into a pan, add the root ginger tied in a piece of muslin and bring slowly to the boil. Fast boil for 15 minutes. Remove the ginger and add the preserved ginger, boil for a further 5 minutes. By this time the rhubarb should be clear. Test for set. Pot and cover in the usual way.
- As you can see, the weight of the rhubarb is equal to the weight of the sugar, so you can vary how much you make quite easily.
Here is a pictorial guide for making Rhubarb and Ginger Jam:
- The night before you want to make the jam, you need to layer the rhubarb, root ginger and sugar in a bowl.
- The next morning most of the sugar will have turned to liquid.
- The rhubarb and sugar go into the pan, the ginger root is added to the pan in a muslin or I use my jelly bag.
- Once the jam is made, add the chopped preserved ginger.
- Fill the jam into pots.
If you have never made jam before, read this excellent article, published in the Guardian Lifestyle, by Darina Allen which should answer any questions you have. But really, it’s not that difficult, you don’t need sugar thermometers or liquid pectin, my mother and grandmother never used them. A cold saucer in the fridge, a teaspoonful of jam, let it cool, then push with your finger and if there is a ‘skin’ then it is set, if not boil for another 5 minutes and try again.
I’m adding this to Tea Time Treats, it’s Janey at The Hedgecombers last TTT and she asked for our Best Ever Recipe, and yes – this is the most popular recipe at Farmersgirl Kitchen. Tea Time Treats will still be running with Karen from Lavender and Lovage and a new Tea Time partner, who Karen will be introducing soon.