I’m intimidated by the idea of putting up (canning) jam. I’ve done it, mind you, but it is very time consuming, expensive, and I do not own a canning pot, jars, jar tongs, etc. So, I will leave it to you, fair reader, to can the jam, I’m gonna do something easier like scale Everest.
But in the past couple years of cooking, I keep coming back to this idea: modest quantities. Well, what if I made one jar of jam? If I made jam as I needed it, it wouldn’t need to be sterilized. And in the winter… well, I’ll just stick to eating salty things. I like this plan.
First I needed to research and clarify what exactly it is that I put on toast. Ahem:
JAM: fruit and sugar. It has fruit bits. Pectin or gelatin are optional.
JELLY: fruit juice, sugar, and pectin or gelatin
PRESERVES: jams or jellies with large pieces of the fruit.
MARMALADE: jelly. Sometimes with bits of rind.
COMPOTE: fruit cooked in syrup.
That figured out, I got creative(ly foolish), and tried rhubarb, sugar, water, and WAY too much pectin. I cooked it, and then threw it in the blender. It lost much of its tartness and the texture was the consistency of something between jello, rubber, and vaseline. A bit revolting, frankly.
So, I tossed that and tried again. Here’s what i did.
Cut rhubarb into small pieces. Put all ingredients in a pot. Bring it to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Pour it into a jar. Put jar in the fridge.
That’s it. Now you you have a freakin’ awesome jam. Wait, you’re skeptical that it’s that easy? Too bad for you and your skepticism. It is.