Simple Rhubarb & Gin Jam
I cannot lie, I am totally obsessed with jam making and nothing brings me greater pleasure than developing new recipes. So I’m very excited to introduce you to my Simple Rhubarb & Gin Jam. I made this live on Instagram on Tuesday so thank you if you joined me or watched later. Someone even said I should do this more often, so I’ll be sure to publicise any future live jam making sessions via Twitter!
As is often the way, my jam adventure started after finding 3 packets of rhubarb in the supermarket going for a song so I knew they were destined to be jam. I’m pretty sure this was forced rhubarb as the stalks were very fine and pink with not trace of green on them even though a quick Google tells me that the season should end in March! For those not familiar, forced rhubarb is grown in a small geographical triangle in West Yorkshire in pitch black sheds and picked by candlelight. The dark makes the stems dark pink, sweet and tart and the leaves yellow. I’m sure this recipe would work well with normal outdoor rhubarb too but don’t be surprised if the colour isn’t the same! After throwing away all the rotten stalks and bad bits I was left with 450 g of rhubarb but for 9 p I wasn’t complaining!
So then the question was what type of jam was I going to make? My first idea was to re-shoot my Rhubarb, Lemon & Vanilla Jam but then I realised I needed to soak the fruit and sugar overnight and as my rhubarb was on its last legs I didn’t want to delay my jam making. Hence I needed to come up with a new recipe and as I didn’t have any other soft fruits in the house my options were limited. I cast a beady eye around my kitchen and saw three miniature bottles of gin on the counter. I’d been meaning to try them but not being a gin drinker I had dragged my feet and so they were just still sat there. I think I must have tried rhubarb flavoured gin or seen it on one of my trips to food fairs so a Simple Rhubarb & Gin Jam didn’t seem like a far fetched idea. I gave all my samples a sniff and picked the fruitiest smelling one which was called Star of Bombay.
So what was my Simple Rhubarb & Gin Jam like I hear you ask? Well I have to say it was utterly divine. The combination of the sweet and tart forced rhubarb with it’s tender pale pink stems, the gin, lemon and vanilla seeds all came together to give a beautifully refreshing and pure flavour and the most gorgeous pale pink colour (not fully captured by the photographs). The gin and rhubarb were indeed a match made in food heaven. Hubby loved my jam too and we enjoyed it on scones with clotted cream which were totally scrumptious. Our close is having a street party to celebrate Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding so I’m going to be bringing homemade scones, clotted cream and this jam as we’re having a high tea theme. As all the alcohol is boiled away you don’t need to worry about giving this jam to children.
I can’t recommend this Simple Rhubarb and Gin Jam enough so I really hope you try it and if you do, please let me know via the comments or share via social media, I love seeing your results! For more rhubarb jam inspiration you might like the following recipes too:
Simple Rhubarb & Gin Jam
- 450 g forced rhubarb prepared weight
- 450 g granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp lemon juice plus skin from half the squeezed lemon
- 2 tbsp gin I used Star of Bombay
- ½ vanilla pod seeds scraped
- Prepare the rhubarb by washing, trimming the ends and any bad bits and cut into roughly 2 cm pieces.
- Place rhubarb, sugar, lemon juice, gin, vanilla seeds and the lemon skin into a bowl and leave to soak for an hour or overnight.
- Meanwhile sterilise 2 x 250 ml jars (see notes below) and put a couple of saucers in the freezer for testing the set.
- Start to make the jam by tipping the rhubarb mixture into a preserving pan or similar.
- Place pan on a gentle heat to allow the sugar to completely dissolve, stirring the whole time (do not simmer).
- Once the sugar has dissolved (any gritty noises will have vanished) turn up the heat and bring to a rolling boil and then start timing for 8 minutes
- Take the pan off the heat and place a few drops of jam onto one of the chilled saucers then pop in the fridge for a minute.
- Then push your finger through the jam and if a gel has formed then the jam is ready, if the jam is still liquid then boil for another 2 minutes and so on until set is reached.
- Pot up into the sterilised hot jars and seal with lids immediately.
Store in a cool dry place. Once open store in fridge and use within 2 - 3 months.
Sterilise jars by washing in hot soapy water (or take straight from dishwasher), fill with boiling water, empty and then place in oven for 20 minutes at 140°C where you leave them until the jam is ready. Washed lids should be sterilised with boiling water and then left to drain.
Why not pin my Simple Rhubarb & Gin Jam for later?