So, here it is, the hottest day so far, and my rhubarb is calling, “Make Me”. I have no choice in the matter. I begin early in the day, chopping and preparing the sour thick little rhizomes of this very ornamental vegetable to transform it into a sweet, tart treat.
Plenty of stirring and stewing down, and an hour or so later, I was ladling out the hot molten jam into small jars. The whole process took about 3 hours to do, and 12 hours to cool down the house, but I think it is worth the effort. Especially on those cold frigid mornings in February, when a taste of Spring Rhubarb Jam brings back memories of what is yet to come. I saved some rhubarb, enough to get in a few batches of Rhubarb Relish. So easy to make and very impressive. Tangy and spicy. I use it on toast or crackers with sharp cheeses. Placing a pot of that sweet and tart relish on your cheese tray or charcuterie board will impress the most elegant pallet.
Equal parts rhubarb and sugar, and the juice of 1/2 of a lemon. Stew down on the stove for 30 to 60 minutes, depending on how much you are making, until you can draw your finger through the sweet mixture without it running together on a chilled plate. Sterilize jam jars, and ladle hot mixture into jars with snap lids. Boil the jars submersed in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool. If you plan to eat your jam immediately, you do not need to process it in the bath, just keep it in the cold fridge for weeks. The jam is lovely on a cracker with sharp cheese, on toast in the morning, on your favorite muffin. It is great with chicken as a relish in a sandwich. There are loads of things to do with the jam.
Adapted from Taste of Home (http://www.tasteofhome.com) Makes 2 pints
- 6 cups finely chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
Rinse four 2-cup freezer containers and lids with boiling water. Dry thoroughly.
In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until mixture thickens, about 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Fill all containers to within 1/2 in. of tops. Wipe off top edges of containers; cover with lids.
Refrigerate up to 3 weeks or freeze extra containers up to 12 months. Thaw frozen relish in refrigerator before serving. I make mine in small batches and keep in plastic containers and freeze for winter months or in the fridge.