Friday, June 17, 2011

Rhubarb, Apple & Maple Jam

A lot of people told me they liked the recipe for  homemade kechup because it was a good way to use tomatoes from your garden. That's why I thought it would be a good idea to do another recipe that uses something many of us have more than we know what to do with in the summer months: rhubarb. I love rhubarb. Maybe it's because it reminds me of the patch of rhubarb we had growing at my house as a kid. I would eat the fresh rhubarb on its own with just a bit of sugar. The rhubarb that I used to make this jam was from a friend's garden out in the countryside. If you find yourself with an over abundance of rhubarb from your own garden or a friend's, this is a great way to use it that will keep fresh all year long. If you're not lucky enough to have any rhubard plucked straight from the garden, it's worth picking some up in the grocery store to make this tasty jam. It's great on its own with toast, but it's also good served warm with meat or fish. Try it on pork chops, duck breats or swordfish.
      Apples are a great dancing partner when making jam - they pair up well with many fruits. Because they have a lot of natural pectin, so you don't need to add anything else to make the jam set. You can switch up the rhubarb in this recipe with all kind of different fruit. Apple jam is particularly good with berries like raspberries or blueberries. You can also leave out the the maple syrup and simply increase the amount of sugar by 100g. The one thing you will need to ensure that your jam sets properly and doesn't burn while you're cooking it is a candy thermometer.

Prep time 30 minutes, cooking time 1 1/2 hour. Makes 1L

Ingredients
4 cups apples, diced
4 cups rhubarb, diced
250ml maple syrup
200g   sugar



1. Add all the ingredients to a large pot and cover with water. Clip the candy thermometer to the side of the pot and place on medium-hi heat. When the water boils, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.
2. Let simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. As the jam cooks it will thicken and will need to be stirred more and more.
3.Once the jam starts climbing above 100C (220F) begin stirring constantly and keep a close eye on the thermometer. There is a risk it will burn if it gets too hot.  
4. When the jam reaches 112C (235F) which is marked as the "soft ball" stage on a candy thermometer, it's done.
5. Let the jam cool, then seal it in an air tight, sterilized jar. A sealed jar will keep for one year. An open jar will keep for one month.