My grandmother brought a huge bag of rhubarb when she visited a few days ago and I’ve been eyeing the green/pink stalks for a few days thinking about my options for them. What better way to consume large amounts of fruits and vegetables than jam? I looked back to a Bittman recipe for tomato jam and took the sugar proportions, then added a bunch of spices that seemed prudent. The result? The jam was sweet, tart and well-seasoned, if a little runny for my taste, and the method cooked seven large stalks into three small canning jars.
5-8 large stalks of rhubarb (don’t worry about peeling them unless you’re a perfectionist, the flavor definitely won’t suffer)
~1 1/4 cups of sugar
1.5 tablespoons minced ginger (I used candied but fresh would work as well, add a little more sugar if you want)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Juice of 1/2 lemon, plus a little zest
1-2 tablespoons rum (doesn’t matter what kind)
Pinches of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves (whatever you want really)
Method: so easy.
Combine everything in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook for a few minutes, stirring so that the rhubarb is coated with the sugar and spices. After a few minutes the rhubarb will start to cook down and give off its juices, this is good.
Once the whole thing is cooked down and starts to boil reduce the heat to medium-low or low, so that the jam is just simmering. Cook this over low heat for about an hour, then taste and check the consistency. It should have the thickness of jam and all the rhubarb should basically be liquid, I undercooked mine a little bit which was fine but meant that the final product was a little more like a thick applesauce than a true jam.
When the jam is jam-y enough for you, pour or funnel it into jars or a container of some sort. Cover them and let the jars cool slowly before placing them in the refrigerator. The sugar will preserve the fruit longer than it would normally last, at least a week.