Perfect preserve

This sweet yet subtly spicy rhubarb and ginger jam will make the perfect teatime treat. And there’ll be plenty to share a jar or two with friends and family!
Quick rhubarb and ginger jam

Will fill 4 200ml jars
900g (2lb) rhubarb
450g (1lb) preserving sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
150ml (¼ pint) water
5cm (2in) fresh ginger
50g (2oz) crystallised ginger
¼ tsp tartaric acid
1. Preheat the oven to 140°C/R1. Wash jam jars and lids in hot soapy water and rinse in boiling water. Place on a baking tray in the oven and leave for at least half an hour. Turn off the oven and leave them untouched until you’re ready to use them.

2. Cut the rhubarb into 5cm chunks and finely chop the fresh and crystallised ginger. Put the rhubarb, fresh and crystallised ginger, water and lemon juice in a heavy-bottomed pan and heat slowly until the juices from the rhubarb are released and the fruit starts to soften. Once at boiling point, boil for 5 minutes.

3. While waiting for the jam to come to a boil, place the sugar in an ovenproof bowl and place in the oven for 15 minutes. This makes it dissolve much quicker.

4. Add the warmed sugar and the tartaric acid to the fruit and heat slowly until the sugar has dissolved, ensuring the fruit does not catch on the bottom of the pan. Use a wooden spoon to stir occasionally and stop the fruit from sticking.

5. Once the sugar has dissolved, boil rapidly until the jam has reached setting point – 105˚C/221˚F on a sugar thermometer. Pour into your warm sterilised jars and cover. Once cold, label and store in a cool dark place for up to four weeks.
Top tips…

Don’t have screw tops for your jars? Use a circle of waxed paper, wax side down on the surface of the jam, and a circle of cellophane on the jar secured with an elastic band.
Seal the jars when the jam is hot as a mould can form if sealed when the jam is warm. Alternatively allow the jam to cool completely before sealing.
Don’t have a sugar thermometer? Test the jam setting point by chilling a bone china plate in the freezer for 30 minutes. Drop a little of the jam on the plate; after a second, push the surface with your fingertip. When it has reached setting point it will wrinkle a little where it has formed a skin.
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