Sunday, May 21, 2006

Rhubarb and Ginger Jam

I looked up several recipes in books and on the web and this is the one I decided to go for - it seemed the simplest. As usual I did not have all the ingredients they listed and I was not going to make a 16 mile round trip into town to get fresh or crystalised ginger so I improvised!

I did have a jar of Chinese Ginger preserved in syrup. Unopened but three years past its 'use by' date.

In the olden days when I was young, we didn't have use by dates. If it was preserved in any way it lasted for years. You sniffed the milk and butter etc to see if it was off, and cut the mould off cheese and used the rest of it.

I can hear some of you youngsters groaning already. But you buy cheeses that have been left to mature and mould for years and they cut the mould off in some cases and in others the mould runs through it!

So I took the lid off - well strong man did I could't move it. It looked and smelt divine - so that is what I used. But I have printed the 'proper' way to do it.

Rhubarb and Ginger Jam
1kg (2lb 4oz) trimmed Rhubarb, chopped
1kg (2lb 4oz) Sugar
600ml (1 pint) Water
100g (4oz) Crystallised Ginger, chopped
25g (1oz) Root Ginger
2 Small Lemons, juice only

1. Mix the chopped rhubarb, sugar and lemon juice in a large bowl and leave overnight.

2. Bash the root ginger to break the root up a bit and tie in a muslin bag. Put the rhubarb mixture and the ginger muslin bag in a heavy pan and boil rapidly for 15 minutes.

3. Remove the root ginger bag, add the preserved ginger and boil again until the rhubarb is clear. (It was at this point that I added 100grms (4ozs) of chopped up chinese ginger as I had neither fresh root ginger or crystalised ginger)

4. Test for a set by leaving a small amount of the jam mix on a cold plate. If it wrinkles when you push your finger through it then it's ready.

5. Skim the surface of the jam with a slotted spoon (you can add a teaspoon or two of unsalted butter and stir that will get rid of the scum at this point).

Pot and seal in sterilised jars.

It was a bit difficult to capture the wonderful deep pink colour and marbelling that the rhubarb made - with the different colours of the stems. The photos do not do it justice.

It made just over three pounds of jam. I have never tasted rhubarb and ginger jam before and I was really surprised. It has a delicate taste with a nice warm undertone of ginger. Not over powering at all. I am definitely going to make more batches, and it was so easy.

Whilst all this was going on, I also had to cook Sunday lunch. My husband always asks me each evening what we are having for dinner the next day. I just tell him to get something out of the freezer and I will cook it.

Today I was presented with stewing steak - organic beef of course.

So I cubed it, browned it off, added brown onions, home made stock, passata, my dried mushrooms and a couple of pinches of mixed herbs. Left it to cook on a slow heat for a couple of hours, and it was melt in the mouth tender. We had mashed pototoes with skins on of course, home grown peas, french beans, and carrots, and settle down to watch Watford beat Leeds in the play off final.

Well I watched the first half then came in here to type these pages up for you!

Off to watch the Chelsea Flower Show


  1. Bovey Belle7:23 am

    Lottie - your cooking always makes me feel SO hungry - you write so eloquently about it too - another Elizabeth David I reckon!

    For some reason I had a link to your April blog spot and it looked as if you'd given up writing. When I signed in directly again via your Creative Living link, bliss - I'm back "live" with you.

    Keep up the good work. Hope you're not having our torrential rain or your veg will be floating away . . .

  2. That's strange - about linking to an April blog page. I know that Google caches pages so maybe they have cached that one and will update it in June.

    If you google or engine search Allotment lady there are links to comments people have made on their sites that are old - maybe they have yet to update May's.

    I will republish my pages again and see if that fixes it.

    I am here to stay - definitely - God willing of course.

    Thanks for you lovely comments, and we are getting torrential rain.

    But the veggies need it - wish it could be selective and not fall on the weeds though!

    I am still promoting your lemon deoderant - so if the shops run out of lemons because the population are now slicing them up to use under their arms - we know who to blame don't we!

  3. You are so culinary Al.

    I try on occasion, and have been known to make a pretty fine duck cassoulet, and am also a Master of the Order of the Omlette.

    But to put my skills into perspective for you; trapped by rain and coughing, I essayed to do a baked potato the other day, using the convection setting on my microwave, rather than wait for the main oven to warm up.

    I was in the other room "surfing" when I was made aware that I had probably got it "wrong".

    A monumental bang, clouds of acrid black smoke, and flames shooting out of the runied appliance suggest I set it not Microwave, for an hour.

    It lasted 20 mins before the inferno.

    Guess I still have a bit to learn about this catering mullarkey.

  4. That was supposed to read " set it not to convection, but to Microwave, for an hour.

    Guess I still have a bit to learn about this typing business as well.

  5. LOL - you poor young man - not only do you have a cold - you have smoke inhalation and shock!

    Posh microwave then - well it was. It was an accident so I am sure that your insurance company will see it that way.

    Do you have a smoke alarm?

    Not nice when you are not well.

    Under chef does a jacket potato in the microwave - 15 or 20 minutes depending on size at 600. Score around the middle and stab a few times in the skin.

    Poor thing I hope it didn't mess up the kitchen as well.

    Get better soon - and best stick to ice cream and raw food till you are better.

  6. Anonymous11:36 pm

    I also had a jar of stem (chinese) ginger languishing in the cupboard and it gave this a really nice flavour. We uausally make all our rhubarb into wine as it grows madly here but we don't like it. This jams was a great stop gap until our next years worth of berries were ripe, Cheers!

  7. I am going to assume.. that you add the water to the sugar, lemon juice and rhubarb overnight...

    If not... Eeek :d

  8. Anonymous4:30 pm

    I use the first rhubarb of the season ONLY. I find that later in the season rhubarbs (mine at least) tend to be a bit woody.
    Mikkel, Denmark

  9. I usually add orange - juice and grated rind - to my rhubarb jam. 1 orange per pound of rhubarb. I don't really use this as jam but add it to yogurt, mixed lightly like a fool and sprinkled with crushed ginger biscuits.

  10. try this one:
    1.5lbs Rhubarb
    6 Oranges
    1.5lbs sugar

    Peel the oranges, remove as much of the white pith as possible. Divide them and take out the pips. Slice the pulp, put it into a pan, add the rind of half the oranges, cut into thin strips and add the sugar.
    Peel the rhubarb cut it into thin pieces, add it to the rhubarb. Stir all together over a gentle heat until the jam is done- 20-25 mins.
    Pour into sterilised jars and seal.

  11. clancey girl10:09 pm

    I am going to try and make this tomorrow, a friend of mine has just given me a glut of rhubarb. I tasted rhubarb and ginger jam for the first time this year in North Uist (Grimsay school house tea rooms) with scones and it was delicious. A very delicate flavour with a ginger hit. Gorgeous - and I'm not even a rhubarb fan!


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