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What are the Best Tips for Making Rhubarb Jam?

By Angela Crout-Mitchell
Updated May 17, 2024
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When making rhubarb jam there are several crucial steps that have to be observed, including proper rhubarb preparation, working out the correct sugar ratio, and choosing the most palatable tart taste. In order to successfully complete the recipe, it is important to have the necessary supplies and equipment available. For many home cooks, this procedure is often an exercise in trial and error, as even the most effective recipes are not suitable for every taste. The rhubarb itself is also a component that must be carefully monitored, as each batch is likely to be unique in amounts of oxalic acid, and prone to be sweeter or tarter than previous batches.

Before any cooking or preserving techniques can be employed, it is essential to gather the needed ingredients and equipment in the kitchen. Rhubarb jam requires sugar and rhubarb and some recipes call for liquid pectin as well, though is considered optional by most experienced cooks. Strawberries are also commonly added to rhubarb jam for sweetness and textural appeal. The necessary equipment includes measuring cups, a large pot, ladles, canning jars, lids, and seals. It is most effective to use a pressure cooker or canning pot to adequately seal the jar, especially if the cook is planning to store the jars for any length of time.

The rhubarb preparation is very important in the final product, and should be done carefully. Most experienced jam makers suggest washing the produce thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris clinging to the vegetables. Once clean, the rhubarb should be diced in uniform pieces and placed in the saucepan with enough water to cover the cut up rhubarb stalks. Apply heat and allow the contents to simmer until the rhubarb is easily pierced with a fork or knife, usually about five minutes. At this stage, the rhubarb jam is ready for the addition of the sugar and pectin if it is being used.

Creating good rhubarb jam also involves producing a delicious combination of tart and sweet flavors. For easy absorption into the jam, it recommended to add the sugar to the pot while it is still simmering on the stove. Several cups of sugar, up to five or six, are usually necessary to sweeten about one pound (approximately 0.45 kg) of rhubarb. Tasting the mixture at intervals in between the addition of sugar helps the cook determine when enough has been added. The pectin is added after the mixture is removed from the heat and then placed in clean jars for storage or use.

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