In a bit of a change of pace, this week I am making a delicious jam to share. Sadly, sharing through this blog is only virtual in this case – I am not going to be mailing out free samples! But, you can make your own, and I am sure you will love it.
Over the past few years I have made lots of jam, some just your basic everyday apricot or blackberry, and some fancier recipes, like nectarine & vanilla or persian apple-rose jam. But you know what? In general, the plainer jams have been more popular with my family, and if I’m honest, with me too.
The fancy jams are fine for an occasional fancy treat, but the plain ones are great everyday.
However, THIS jam is awesome. It’s a little bit fancy, but a lot delicious. And since apples are finally back in season, and I have a heap of rhubarb in the garden, it was definitely time to make some more.
How to Make Apple & Rhubarb Jam
You will need
- about 1200g or 2.5lb of tart apples (Granny Smith are good), which you are going to turn into about 3 cups of apple pulp
- About 380g rhubarb, which you are going to turn into 2 cups of stewed rhubarb, with no sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- juice of a small lemon, or half a large one
- 320g sugar (about 1.5 metric cups, or about 12 fluid ounces)
- Remove stems from apples, but not core or skin.
- Cut apples into about 2-3 cm pieces (1″).
- Simmer apples with about 1/2 cup of water until soft, stirring frequently.
- Sieve in Foley food mill, or if you don’t have one, push through a metal strainer that will let the pulp through but keep the seeds & skin. You should end up with about 3 cups apple pulp.
Rhubarb – you can prepare this while the apples are simmering.
- Clean rhubarb stems and chop into about 2-3cm (1″) pieces. Discard the leaves, which are poisonous (so don’t feed them to your chooks!).
- Stew over a low heat with about 1/4 cup of water, stirring frequently.
Making the jam
- In a large, heavy bottomed stock pot (remember jam can bubble up to double it’s size), combine apple & rhubarb with lemon juice, cinnamon and sugar.
- Cook it all up quickly over a medium-high heat, until it boils fast and has reduced a bit. It should have a sheen to it when it’s ready to set.
- You can check if it’s a setting point using a freezing spoon or plate (see this video if you don’t know how to do this). You are using the natural pectin from the apple skins for this jam, rather than adding it from a packet so it may not set as hard as you are used to. It will still taste great!
- Fill your sterilised jars and seal them using your method of choice, or let them cool and keep them in keep them in the fridge. If you haven’t made jam before, you might want to read Rhonda-Jean’s excellent explanation of water-bath preserving over at Down to Earth. I also highly recommend that you get yourself a wide mouthed jam funnel that will fit into the top of your jars, and jam tongs, for lifting the jars in and out of the boiling water bath. Since my Mum bought these for me for my birthday a couple of years back, they have made jam making a whole different experience!
I am indebted to Fourpeaks OLD FARM for the instructions on using the whole, unpeeled apple.
This post will be shared over with the lovely Jess at I Blog On Tuesdays *IBOT*.