Today was a surprise. Though there was only a 20% chance of rain, we got a good spritz this afternoon. ‘Felt’ it coming this morning as we were getting ready to go to the farmers market for fruit and fresh salad mixings.
Got that done along with a trip to our Community Co-op Market to get bulk purchase Bragg’s Aminos and organic Golden Jojoba for the special natural aromatics perfumes and essential oil healing blends I also like to create. LOVE doing creative cookery on rainy days. Don’t you? Feels so homey to me. Don’t have kids at home anymore to make cookies for, so making preserves are fun, too….less of a nibbling temptation (for me) and they don’t have to be eaten right away.
A month ago in late April, my sis emailed me a Rhubarb Jam with Lime and Ginger recipe by Melissa Pellegrino. Besides the fresh accent of lime, it also calls for FRESH minced ginger. YUM! Then, as if the rhubarb flower fairies had a hand in this, The Farmers Almanac May 10th email also was featuring rhubarb recipes. Felt I had to give it a go… I’m a fan of rhubarb pie, but have never cooked rhubarb before, so it felt like an adventure. The other thing I tend to do, which makes my hubby Bill shake his head, is to improvise on recipes when I’ve never even cooked them before. Definitely not what Ms. Martha, Bill’s or my Mom would advise! Gutsy, confident, experimental, I have a feel for recipes ~ just from reading them ~ and a good intuitive sense of what improvements can be made from the outset. Soooo, why not?!!
For best flavor, let this meld a few days — preferably a few weeks before serving. — English Meadows Inn, Kennebunkport. Maine
This 2011 Marin Fair prize-winning organic Rhubarb Raisin Jam is Cynthe’s “Improved” recipe. (see The Farmers Almanac’s original recipe via the recipe title link) Yield: Makes about 7 cups
Cynthe’s COMMENT: Quantities were much too large for my purposes. Cut the ingredients to half. Reduced sugar proportions by 1/2 pound (1 cup). The finished conserve is still very sweet, really too sweet for my preferences. I’ve included smaller sugar proportions in brackets, which is how I’ll make it next time.
INGREDIENTS (organic is best):
~ 2 pounds, organic Red Rhubarb
~ 1-1/4 pounds organic granulated Cane Sugar
NOTE: Reduce to 1 pound / 2 cups, next time.
~ 3/4 pound organic Brown Sugar
NOTE: Reduce to 1/2 pound / 1 cup, next time.
~ 1/4 cup organic candied Ginger (from Australia)
~ 1-1/2 teaspoons FRESH organic Ginger, minced…idea from the recipe my sister sent.
NOTE: Freshly made, it’s almost undetectable. After 2-3 weeks of mellowing, tastes distinctly gingery. It could be stronger, but the flavor balance is quite perfect.
~ 1/3 cup fresh, organic Orange Rind
~ Minced, grated rind and juice of 2 organic Meyer Lemons (from my own tree)
~ 1/2 pound organic seedless Thompson or Flame Raisins
~ WASH, PEEL, and CUT rhubarb in 1-inch pieces.
~ MIX all the ingredients together. Let stand 30 minutes until the fruit is well macerated and juicy.
~ SIMMER for 40 min or so until the rhubarb gets very soft and starts to thicken. Check often, watching carefully that the heat’s not too high. Don’t overcook the fruit mixture.
~ POUR into hot sterilized jars, seal, label and date.
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My OH my! This Rhubarb Raisin Jam is FANTASTIC after the flavors meld for 3 weeks!! The tartness comes to the fore as does the gingery accent. Both were disappointingly indistinct, when the conserve was freshly made. We’ll definitely be keeping one of the taste tester jars for ourselves and to share nibbles with friends.
SOURCES: Rhubarb stalks photo originally seen on www.bountyofthewesternreserve.com
Thanks to Jean Ann Van Krevelen for giving me permission to use her lovely rhubarb photograph to which I added the orange slice for the label design. Jean promotes growing, buying, and eating local seasonal produce at www.goodenoughgardening.com
If you like rhubarb, check out this site: The Rhubarb Compendium for great recipes.