Rhubarb & Apple Jam – Recipe No. 193

My friend Jacquie (who I hadn’t seen in person for over 30 years) recently dropped off a big bag of rhubarb at my door. It was absolutely lovely to see her again at a distance and to receive the gift of rhubarb. Infact, I’m doing quite well because Olly, her husband (who I also hadn’t seen for over 30 years) dropped off 3 raspberry canes for my garden last month too. Needless to say, when it is safe to visit in a month or two (or three) it will be great to catch up with them properly and bring reciprocal goodies in return!

The very next day I set to work on making a rhubarb and apple jam (with a cup full of frozen berries thrown in for good measure). Using a standard recipe from the Ministry of Foods ‘Jams and Jellies’ leaflet I substituted one of the main ingredients (in this case elderberries for rhubarb) and that was pretty much that.

Maincrop Rhubarb often has stringy bits in it, you’ll see what I mean when you cut the end. Simply lift the strings and pull down the stalk to remove them. I removed some of mine not all. Everything was fine..

As always, jam with rhubarb is delicious. To me, it is synonymous with an English wartime kitchen garden. As I enjoyed some fresh homemade bread slathered with the jam after taking the main photos today, it somehow fit perfectly into a warm sunny afternoon. Despite being in the town centre, my garden backs onto ‘Queens Park’ in Swindon (where I now live) and I am lucky to have robins, blue tits, wrens, magpies, squirrels, bees and butterflies visiting daily and several curiously watched and hovered as I sat back quietly enjoying the simplicity and taste of bread and jam.

Hope you really enjoy this recipe.

C xxx

 

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs rhubarb
  • 2 lbs Bramley apples (any type will do but cooking is best)
  • 1 cup of mixed wild berries (blackberry, elderberry, blackcurrants or frozen mixed berries, whatever your favourite is!)
  • 3 lbs of sugar

 

Method

  1. Wash and peel apples and cut into chunks.
  2. Wash and string (where necessary) the rhubarb and chop into chunks, cover in all the sugar, mix and set aside for 30 minutes to bring out the juice.
  3. Put the sugar-coated rhubarb, rhubarb juice and apple chunks in a preserving pan (or similar) and simmer gently (add a little water if necessary) stirring slowly until soft (about 5-10 mins).
  4. Add the berries, bring to the boil and simmer, stirring slowly until soft (about 5-10 mins). Add a little more water if necessary as you don’t want the fruit to burn.
  5. Continue to boil rapidly for a further 10 mins stirring regularly.
  6. Take off the heat and test a large drop of jam on a chilled saucer and if it crinkles after a couple of mins it’s ready (alternatively use a jam/candy thermometer until it reaches 105C)
  7. If not boil for another 2 mins and repeat the test until ready.
  8. Remove excess scum with a slotted spoon.
  9. Ladle hot jam into hot sterilised jars having first made sure glass rims of jars are spotless. Clean with white vinegar if not.
  10. Put on hot lids and twist until finger tight. Set aside to cool undisturbed or alternatively further process in a hot water bath to ensure a good vacuum and seal.
  11. Makes several x 300 ml jars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blackcurrant & Bramley Apple Jam – Recipe No. 190

This jam was just lovely! I used the recipe from one of the Ministry of Foods ‘Jams and Jellies’ leaflets (see below) substituting elderberries for blackcurrants (as I had a couple of bags in my freezer). I have 3 jams on the go right now, plain blackcurrant, this blackcurrant and apple and a rhubarb, apple and berry (recipe coming soon). I’m particularly enjoying a teaspoonful in my morning porridge or a dollop on my fresh homemade bread 2 or 3 times a week.

I sterilise my jars for these jam recipes by washing the jars, rinsing in hot water and then placing the empty jars in a pre-heated oven at 150C for 20 minutes, removing them on the tray moments before ladling in the hot jam. The lids I rinse, place in a bowl, pour over very hot water from the kettle until the lids are submerged, and leave them there for several minutes before the jam is added to the jars.

Enjoy!

C xxxx

PS: There are useful jam making supplies on my Amazon shop HERE

 

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs Blackcurrants washed & drained (frozen berries are fine)
  • 1.5 lbs Bramley apples peeled, cored and cut into 1/2 inch sized chunks
  • 2.5 lbs Granulated sugar (maybe only 2lbs of sugar if using sweet apples)
  • 300 ml Water

Instructions

  1. Put the water and apple chunks in a preserving pan (or similar) and simmer gently, stirring slowly until soft (about 5-10 mins).
  2. Add the blackcurrants, bring to the boil and simmer, stirring slowly until soft (about 5-10 mins).
  3. Add the sugar and keep stirring to dissolve the crystals.
  4. Once dissolved boil rapidly for 10 mins stirring regularly.
  5. Take off the heat and test a large drop of jam on a chilled saucer and if it crinkles after a couple of mins it’s ready (alternatively use a jam/candy thermometer until it reaches 105C)
  6. If not boil for another 2 mins and repeat the test until ready.
  7. Remove excess scum with a slotted spoon.
  8. Ladle into sterilised jars. Makes several x 300 ml jars

Caveat: You can further process the jams after bottling (submerged in hot water and simmered for a further 15 minutes for a jars up to 500mls and 25 minutes up to 750 mls). This is often used to ensure a proper seal/vacuum once removed from the hot water. Although I usually further process with pickles etc I don’t always with high sugar jams as long as everything is clean and piping hot and the rims of the jar are absolutely clean when placing the lids on. Although botulism is quite rare these days you can’t be too clean and too careful so feel free to process further… xx

BOOK UPDATE: “The Pandemic Pantry cookbook is about half completed now. It is taking longer than I thought mostly because I’ve been using the nice weather to work in the garden to try and prepare for planting a victory garden. With no job and an uncertain future right now I HAD to put this first and make it a priority knowing that the nice weather wouldn’t be with us forever (we are forecast nearly two weeks of rain starting tomorrow). I feel that our food supply is important especially if prices rise over the coming months and hopefully, a garden of sorts will help my economic situation a little if times get tough…. hope you understand. I’ll be catching up with the book this week. Thanks for all the great recipes and messages. It’s been AMAZING!” C xxxx

Blackberry & Elderberry Jam – Recipe No. 173

So I hardly used any of my sugar ration this week and seeing that the elderberries were beginning to ripen in the garden and there were still some blackberries coming through, I thought it would be nice to make some jam. I don’t have a freezer and only a small fridge so whatever I pick I have to use quickly.

Only managing to pick 8oz of fruit it hardly seemed worth making the jam as in the end it made less than half a large jar full however it tastes really lovely and is nice and pippy! I love texture and pips in my jam and this was perfect for that.

C xxx

Blackberry & Elderberry Jam

Ingredients

Equal amounts of Blackberries and Elderberries

3/4lb of sugar per 1lb of berries (I was only able to get 8oz of berries from my garden so just used 6oz of sugar)

Note: It will take about 1lb of fruit to fill a jam jar. Use a fork to strip the ripe elderberries off their stems.

Method

– Place the berries in a large saucepan and bring slowly to the boil. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.

– On a low heat add the sugar and constantly stir. Increase the temperature while stirring until the sugar has dissolved.

– Bring to the boil until the setting point is reached. This will take about 10-20 minutes. (mixture will thicken and a small amount dropped onto a plate will firm up when it cools)

– Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.

– Put in warmed sterilized jars and store ready for use.

Note: I sterilize jars by washing and rinsing jars and lids. I place the jars in a pre-heated oven (150 C) for about 10 minutes until hot. Meanwhile I place the lids into a saucepan with a little water in and bring it up to a hot temperature and turn off the heat. I then remove the hot jars, fill with jam, screw on the hot lids.