Homemade Rhubarb and Ginger Compote/Jam

Rhubarb and Ginger Compote, Jam, Jelly, PreserveI’m so smug this morning, not just because I made some jam but actually because I used some of the washing soda to clean my window ledge, (I normally avoid taking the photos on the terrazzo ledge because it looks grimy). It’s not really my fault, I have tried every cleaner but I think the city air here makes a greasy film on the surfaces. Now I’ve found a way to combat it- a bowlful of hot water and a tablepoonish amount of washing soda – lifted the gunk right off! I’m SO happy :-) So I present to you, my beautiful, good as new terrazzo window ledge… and some jam!

A few weeks ago, I came across this blog post over on Miss Thrifty UK, thinking to myself “but jam-time is aaaaaages away yet” (thinking about Autumn fruits) and had completely forgotten about summer fruits, such as rhubarb which is very cheap at the moment. In Aldi, it’s currently only 99c a kilo! Strawberries are almost in season too, and will come down in price too when they’re plentiful.

I had a quick google for recipies because I wanted to know if I needed to add something to help it set (as was my mistake with Elderberry Jam) and came across this one. Apparently you don’t have to add anything extra. I have some ginger that is getting a bit old, so I will use it up.

Similar to the cake with rhubarb and pudding, the recipe calls for sugar to draw out the moisture (essential in the preserving process). What I didn’t know at the time I was making the cake is not to throw away the syrup as this is the body of the jam.

This was my ‘make-it-up-as-you-go-along’ recipie. It made 2 jars and requires overnight “soaking”:

  • 1kg Rhubarb, peeled roughly (so as the sugar can get to work more easily, and chopped into 1cm pieces)
  • juice and rind half a lemon (organic – apparently the rind of a non-organic lemon isn’t good as it is heavily sprayed with chemicals)
  • 3cm of ginger, grated
  • 600g sugar

Peel and chop the rhubarb as above. Then empty all of it into a big bowl and cover with the sugar. Leave this overnight. You can also prepare your jam jars now too if you were clever (not like me I did it as I was making the jam). Clean them out, and then put a small amount of just-off-the-boil water in side, close the lid and turn upside down and leave it on your draining board.

The next day, strain off the liquid and reserve. Put it into a saucepan and allow to boil for 10 mins before returning the pieces of rhubarb and boiling this for another 10mins. Put a saucer in the freezer. After this time is up, take a spoon and remove a little of the jam and drop it onto the cold plate. If it looks like it’s set then you’re probably done. I boiled it for a good while, maybe half an hour or so, but I wasn’t so patient at the start.

I’m pleased with how it turned out, it’s thick but not a jelly. Something between a compote and a jam. What is the difference?

I was thinking they might make a good housewarming present for a friend with a new flat or to bring when visiting friends. If it lasts that long ;-) Who doesn’t love getting home-made jam? Food gifts are definitely well up there in my book!

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