Mr Marley, eat yer heart out. I’m quite fond of the odd home-made preserve. Every year I make my own mincemeat, I’ve been known to indulge in pickles and chutneys, and for the past (at least) 10 years, I’ve made Rhubarb and Orange jam. I’ve bought the rhubarb fresh, I’ve been given industrial quantities when a friend’s father had an allotment, but because I do tend to go through this jam rapidly, I’ve kinda settled on using frozen so that it can be made any time I run out. Rhubarb and Orange Jam
- 800g rhubarb (frozen/fresh…..whatever)
- 200g thin skinned oranges (tangerines or clementines are best)
- 1kg jam sugar (that’s the one with Pectin already added)
Before you do anything – pop some saucers into your freezer. Peel the oranges, and finely shred the peel. Roughly chop the oranges (remember to catch the juice) and then combine the flesh, juice and peel with the rhubarb and the sugar (chop up the rhubarb if you’re using fresh). Put the pan on a medium heat until the sugar melts and then bring it up to what’s called a ‘rolling’ boil…………as fast as it’ll go for about 7 minutes. Now get one of those saucers out of the freezer and carefully take a teaspoon of the jam and put it onto the saucer. You’re doing a wrinkle test. No, nothing to do with what moisturiser you use, this is seeing if the jam will set properly. After a few seconds push with your finger and see what happens. If a skin has formed, you’ll see it wrinkling and you know that you can take the jam off the heat, let it cool down a bit and can pour it into sterilised jars. If it hasn’t, put the pan back onto the heat and try again a few minutes later. Keep doing it until you get that all important wrinkle. You have to sterilise your jars or else you’ll get some lovely mold growing in your jam before you get round to using it. Wash your jars in hot as you can stand it water and then pop them into a low heat oven until you’re ready to pot the jam. Should keep me going for a while, eh?