Exploits in English preserves – rhubarb and ginger.

A saturday in September, a real autumnal feeling in the air. I love this time of year, it’s the time of year I chose to get married and we have some lovely pictures of our day amongst trees adorned with yellow, orange and red leaves. Anyway I digress, or reminisce or whatever! Back to the Saturday.


– I woke early with the cat pawing and purring for his breakfast, a real feline bon viveur. Much to my consternation he was back asleep within half an hour of scoffing his breakfast chow. Slightly embarrassing for a dietitian to have such a portly cat, but despite our efforts if we cut his food intake he goes and gets his own outside. He has arrived home with ham, battered fish and his favourite – sausages, which I suppose is slightly better than mauled dead wildlife.

What to cook today, I mused – after a trip to the supermarket, where I purchased 2 packs of rhubarb for the price of one, I decided to make some jam. I have some preserve jars and before coming home I also bought a packet of jam sugar. This is sugar with added citrus and pectin (apple pectin to those who need have problems digesting apples) this assists setting. In the past, exploits in jam making have resulted in disappointment, my last attempt was to make LOFFLEX pear preserve. This was probably a little too much to start with, as obviously, use of citrus fruit to enhance the preservation was out of the question. The jam was fine initially but crystallised over time, I’m not sure why.

Rhubarb and Ginger Jam

800g of washed sliced rhubarb (don’t eat the leaves!!!)

200 mls water

700g of jam sugar (for strawberries)

100g table sugar

2 inch (5cm) piece of peeled ginger chopped finely

Put the sliced rhubarb and ginger in a bowl and place in the microwave cook till soft, smaller pieces will reduce the time needed

Add the fruit mix to a pan with the water and heat, mash with a potato masher

Add sugar and warm till the sugar has dissolved (do not boil at this stage)

Bring the jam to a rolling boil and boil for four minutes.

Check the set by dropping a small amount of jam onto a plate, allow to cool and push the jam with your finger – it should wrinkle up, then its ready.

Put the jam in a sterilised preserve jar and allow to cool.

This took no more than 30 minutes – wow, easy!!! Apparently this is a jam not a preserve according to Wiki, something to do with the sugar content, oh well never mind  – it’s still a slightly sharp, but sweet jam and rhubarb is one of my favourite fruits. Yum, fine to have occasionally – our two jars are in the store cupboard, think I will open one at Christmas.