When I was doing my online shop last week I had a sudden impulse to buy some rhubarb! I was not sure what I was going to make out of it but the thought of going through winter without having had any just did not sit right.
After it sitting in the fridge for a few days I flicked through Nigella's cook book and found a 'fool proof', very easy jam recipe... It literally has two ingredients.
2 Kilograms Rhubarb
2 Kilograms Sugar
I just used the equal weight as the Rhubarb so that I used it all up. I think it was less than half of this and I managed to get two small jars.
Cut the leaves off (obviously) and cut the rhubarb into thin bits, depending on how thick they are. If it is very thick then around 5 mm thick bits but otherwise up to 1cm. Do not discard the white part because it is the sweetest.
Put the rhubarb in a large pan in layers with the sugar and let rest over night. This will extract a lot of juice from the rhubarb.
Here is what mine looked like after one night!
And now on to the cooking, I warn you-it takes days, but don't be alarmed. Nigella's grandmother came up with this method because she was keeping the electric bills down so whenever she was done cooking something, she would turn off the heat and put the jam over to use the extra heat.
The day after you cut the rhubarb you only need to bring the heat up a little bit and stir it a good deal to preventing any burns, 10 -30 min on low or medium should do it. Now turn off the heat and let the jam rest. You just repeat this, maybe twice a day, until the jam has this deep reddish amber colour. Mine took 3 days...
Remember that the jam should never boil very "vigorously" the sugar may overheat and the delicate flavour may be lost.
When filling the jars follow general instructions about hygiene and put an extra layer of sugar on the top to seal it (if it's done right it prevents all mould).
The jam can be stored in cupboard for up to 3 years, though I wouldn't recommend keeping it for more than a year. It serves brilliantly with waffles.
Florence really enjoyed the process and checking it each day to see how much gooier it was. She particularly liked licking the spoon.
I am going to try this metod with lots of different fruits, so easy ad delicious and much cheaper than buying jam from a shop!