Sunday, November 18

Call me a Jammy one then....

Apologies at once for the title, but Mr PK has assured me we really will win the lotto this week ( of course he may have said that once or twice before....). My aunt used to call anyone lucky "jammy" as in "he's a jammy bugger that one" or something similar. I have no idea why, or indeed why I have even brought it up, except that this recipe worked first time, so that probably qualifies as jammy....... Shall we progress on to a recipe then? I cant guarantee you any especial luck making this, but it tastes rather lovely.......

I made Strawberry Jam last year, this year I wanted something a bit less sweet. When a lovely work colleague suggest Strawberry & Rhubarb I figured we were onto a winner. This is the result, sweet but tangy yet with a definite hit of strawberry. The rhubarb mostly dissolves, but leaves a bit of texture and a hint of flavour.
I made a few jars for a table my friend was hosting at a craft market so needed to somehow decorate them fast. I finally found a use for the pinking shears I have had in my sewing box for years, trimming the edge of the linen jar covers..........naturally when I came to cut them out I couldn't actually find my pinking shears, what a wasted opportunity  No doubt they will turn up right when I dont need them........

Strawberry & Rhubarb Jam

makes 7 x 250ml jars

500 gr rhubarb
1 kg jam sugar (really useful when cooking low pectin fruit like strawberries & rhubarb)
1 kg strawberries
500 gr plain white sugar
150 ml lemon juice (about 4 lemons worth)
Small knob of butter

Wash & chop your rhubarb into chunks about one-two cm thick. Pop into a large preserving pan with 500 gr of the jam sugar and 80 mls of the lemon juice. Stir and leave to sit for about an hour. The juices will start to run out of the fruit and dissolve the jam.
While this is happening, trim your strawberries, and cut any large ones in half or into quarters (depends how chunky you like your jam really....)
When the rhubarb has sat for an hour or so, add the strawberries  remaining sugar and the rest of the lemon juice & stir everything together. Put the pan onto the cooker and heat gently over a low heat, until the fruit is warmed and juicy and the sugar has dissolved.

Now turn the heat to med-high and bring everything to a rolling boil. Using a large spoon skim off any foam that rises to the surface.  It will take 10-15 minutes, put a saucer into the freezer, and when you think the jam has had long enough put a teaspoonful onto your frozen saucer. It will rapidly cool the jam, and you will be able to see how set it is. If it is still very running keep boiling & re-test. If you can pull your finger through the puddle of cool jam and leave a gap where your finger has been, you are good to go. Add your knob of butter & stir, this will disperse any remaining foam in the pan

Take the jam off the heat and sit for a couple of minutes before bottling, this gives the fruit a chance to settle so it spreads evenly throughout the jar
Pot up into sterilised jar ( I find a jam funnel incredibly helpful for this bit),to sterilise  place clean jars & lids in a oven set at 120C for 10 minutes. 

Perfect as a wee Xmas treat for friends or collogues, it looks very festive and everyone loves a sweet treat. You could even whip a sponge to go with.....

I will leave you with some pics of my first hanging baskets, the woven baskets themselves are from Kings, filled with flowers under instruction from my Mother, she will make a gardener of me yet.....