Enjoy the fresh taste of spring in March’s kitchen

We’ve been picking the first of our forced rhubarb for a few days now and I love it! It really freshens up our taste buds after all the winter veg we’ve been getting out of the garden. I don’t let any go to waste and later in the month when the stems are coming too fast for us to eat straight away then I make a puree to freeze or a batch of jam. This way we can enjoy the fresh zingy taste for so much longer.

Rhubarb & Ginger Jam

Makes 6 x 190ml (8oz) jars

1kg forced pink rhubarb

1kg jam sugar

Zest & juice 1 lemon

50g stem ginger, finely chopped

4cm piece root ginger, peeled and grated

As I use jam sugar for this jam it’s quite a quick onto make so make sure you’ve got everything ready to pot up your jam.

Pop a saucer in the freezer to test for set

Sterilise your  jam jars and lids or seals – I sterilise my jars by washing in hot soapy water then rinsing. Put a tea towel or kitchen paper on a baking tray then put in a cool oven (about 130C) for about 15 minutes until they are completely dry. Sterilise the lids by putting in a bowl of boiling water for a couple of minutes then drying on a clean towel.

  • Rinse clean the rhubarb and chop into roughly 2cm pieces. Put into a large ceramic or plastic bowl.
  • Add the jam sugar, lemon zest and juice, the chopped stem ginger and the grated root ginger.
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  • Mix everything together to coat the rhubarb. Cover then leave for at least 2 hours – the rhubarb will start to release its juices and the sugar will begin to dissolve. Stir now and again.
  • Tip everything into a jam pan then heat over a low heat to dissolve the sugar. Don’t rush this process and keep stirring until it’s all dissolved.
  • Bring to the boil then cook at a rolling boil for about 5-10 minutes – the rhubarb will be really tender at this stage.
  • Test for set – Take the pan off the heat then put a teaspoonful of jam on the cold saucer, leave for 30 seconds to cool then push with your finger – if it wrinkles and leaves a clear path the jam is ready. If not return to the heat and boil for a further 2 minutes then test again.
  • Leave to settle for a couple of minutes whilst you remove any scum from the surface with a
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  • Pot into warm jars and seal immediately.
  • Leave to cool then label and store in a cool dry place.

Enjoy with some fresh crusty bread and butter or a rich buttery scone!