Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Rhubarb & orange blossom jam


   5 stalks rhubarb, 1 tbsp orange blossom essence, 2 cups jam sugar,

Preparation: 30 minutes (plus 2 hours for maceration)

I have a weakness for rhubarb. Like citrus it's at once sweet and sharp, but  so much more so than any other fruit. When combined with orange blossom it has such exotic notes and I'm sure this jam will be a favourite!

1) Slice the tops and tails from the rhubarb and divide the stalks into small, even chunks. Put into a bowl and cover with the jam sugar, then cover with cling film and shake to ensure the rhubarb is evenly coated. Leave to macerate for 2 hours, by which time juice will have been drawn from the rhubarb and formed a rough syrup.

2) Using a spatula, scrape all of the fruit and syrup from the bowl into a pan and bring to the boil, allowing it to simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring until the rhubarb has completely disintegrated. Add the orange blossom essence and stir through.

3) The jam is suitable at this stage to be used for tarts, however if you wish to set it into more of a jelly, add half a cup more jam sugar and bring to the boil for a further 4 minutes before transferring into sterilised jars.

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