Rhubarb Lavander Jam
I thought this combination of rhubarb with Provençal herbs seemed a little odd, but I’m planning a jam-taster gift for Christmas this year (don’t tell anyone) and a variety of flavours is what I’m after for these baskets. You’d think jam is the theme, but it looks like its actually Rhubarb.
Unfortunately, when I first saw this recipe, I needed to buy a candy thermometer to make this one and I was also exhausted from my weekend marathon of making scrumptious jam.
I bought a digital thermometer and magnetic wand for this adventure. The gingham lids were also on sale and I already bought the ring sets last year, so that was awesome. May save them for sour cherry jam though … we’ll see 🙂 Wand was the best purchase EVER!!! Love it! It even picked up the lids. No burnt fingers. Love it!
lavender rhubarb jam (adapted from Tigress in a Jam and Food in Jars)
- 2¼ (or 1kg) pounds rhubarb, stalks sliced lengthwise and then minced
- 2¼ cups granulated sugar
- 7 fluid ounces light honey
- juice of 1½ lemons (zest is optional depending on your taste)
- 10 sprigs lavender (or rosemary)
Yields approximately 5 cups. If you don’t have lavendar, use rosemary … they both have a delicate, fragrant but earthy essence.
1. Slice lengthwise and mince rhubarb, add sugar, juice of 1 lemon and lavender sprigs. Stir this mixture gently to coat the fruit with sugar. Cover (i.e. place a plate over the bowl) and marinate in the fridge overnight.
2. Next day, start by placing a small plate in the freezer to chill and sterilize the jars, lids and rings (plus the ladle and funnel).
3. Pass mixture through a strainer and pour collected juice into a non-reactive pan. Add honey and bring to a boil. Skim any foam that collects on top and continue cooking until it reaches 221 F on a candy thermometer (i.e. jelly setting).
Helpful hint: reactive bowls are often made of metal, or plastics that stain easily. Typical reactive metals include copper,cast iron and aluminum. When you add any high acid foods to these bowls — like lemon juice, most citrus fruits or tomato sauce — they may actually react with the metal in the bowls and impart a metallic taste to your foods. If you’re looking for a non-reactive bowl made of metal, you always want to look for stainless steel, since it tends to resist reaction with high acid foods.
4. Add rhubarb & lavender and bring to a boil. Mix gently and skim any foam that gathers on top.
5. Add the remaining lemon juice (and some zest for extra flavour if you’d like) and continue cooking for about 5 minutes, stirring gently.
6. Remove from heat and check to see if it will set.
Tigress’s note: here’s where you need the small plates from freezer. when you think jam has set (try at 5 minutes) drop one teaspoon on plate and put back in freezer for 1 minute. then pass a finger through the middle of the jam. depending on the consistency of the particular jam, it will either wrinkle under your finger (if it is a thicker jam) or your finger will pass through and there will be a clear line, i.e. the jam will NOT run back together quickly again. In both of these instances the jam has set. if the jam does not wrinkle under the finger or runs back together quickly once your finger has passed though, it is not sufficiently set and you should put jam back on heat for another minute and check the set again. you may need to do this a few times until you get the hang of jammin.
7. When the jam is sufficiently set, remove the lavender sprigs and fill jars to within ¼” for headspace; seal and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.
In the fall (when my rhubarb has recovered from all the chopping) I might swap out the lavender for rosemary and omit the honey – it gave it a raw sweetness that was very strong tasting and I think it caused the dark foam. This is the plan:
Combine 4 cups rhubarb, 3 cups sugar, 1 cup water, two fronds of rosemary and the juice of two lemons, plus zest to taste. Soak over night, drain and boil the juice to make jelly, then add the pulp back in, bring to a boil and continue as above (omitting the second squeeze of lemon).