Rhubarb, rose & cardamom jam
Jam is more often than not a quick fix on toast before the school run, or an addition to fancy afternoon tea. We're taking the slow cooking approach; appreciating the effortless but big flavours, and deep dreamy colour of this rhubarb jam.
My Grandpa had the most beautiful garden. The memories I have of running around the lawns, playing hide and seek and listening to the long names of plants are cherished. I always loved my Grandpa lifting the lid of the rhubarb forcer and showing me the pink stalks of ‘fruit’ – I thought it was magic. I am fortunate to have inherited the terracotta forcer and it is a joy to lift the lid at this time of the year with my daughter and watching the smile on her face when a new stalk peeps from the straw.
This is our favourite rhubarb recipe and we love to eat it with porridge, rice pudding or spread on some sough dour bread. When we have friends staying at the weekend this is always on the breakfast table.
Thanks Diana Henry for the inspiration 👩🏻🍳
- 1kg (2lb, 4oz) early pink rhubarb (untrimmed weight)
- 900g (2lb, 4oz) granulated sugar with pectin (‘jam sugar’)
- Juice of 1 lemon, plus more if needed
- 100ml (3 ½fl oz) apple juice
- Crushed seeds from 10 cardamom pods
- ½ tbsp rose water
Trim the rhubarb and cut into 2cm (¾in) lengths. Put it into a preserving pan, layering it up with sugar as you go. Pour over the lemon and apple juices, cover with a clean tea towel and leave overnight. The juices from the rhubarb will be drawn out.
Add the cardamom to the rhubarb. Slowly bring the contents of the pan to a boil, stirring a little (but be careful not to break the rhubarb pieces up too much), skimming off any scum that rises. After boiling for about five minutes, check the temperature with a sugar thermometer and test for a set.
When the jam has reached setting point, take it from the heat and add the rose water. Return it to the heat and bring to setting point again. Taste the jam!
You may want to add a little more rose water, or some lemon for freshness. Pot in warm, dry sterilised jars, cover with waxed paper discs and seal. This keeps for a year; refrigerate once opened.