OBS "Sheep Fair '08" Rhubarb Jams

By popular demand we are providing our "Rhubarb & Orange" and "Rhubarb & Ginger" Jam recipes on-line. Sadly we sold all of this year's stock out and we know there were some disappointed people unable to buy or lovely home made jam. We hope you find the recipes useful and are able to enjoy a lifelong supply as a result.

General Notes

For the best rhubarb jam use the thick later stalks, the thin early stalks are best for pies and deserts. Traditionally rhubarb is peeled, which gives a green coloured jam, if the skin is in good condition then you can leave it on and the result is a ruby red jam. All OBS jams were made with one part fruit and one part ordinary granulated sugar. All jams were prepared by chopping the rhubarb into chucks and soaking overnight in a fridge in sugar and lemon juice, before jamming. We used the juice of one lemon per 1 Kg of rhubarb.

Rhubarb and Ginger Jam

  1. Prepare the stalks: wash and chop them into 3-4 cm long pieces.
  2. Soak the chopped stalks overnight in sugar and lemon juice.
  3. Tip the rhubarb, sugar and lemon mix into a jamming pan and add any sugar that would not fit in the overnight container.
  4. Heat the rhubarb/sugar mixture in the jamming pan.
  5. Meanwhile, chop your crystallised ginger pieces, we used 125 g ginger per 1 Kg of rhubarb - adjust to taste.
  6. Once the rhubarb starts to soften add the chopped crystallised ginger.
  7. Rhubarb and ginger jam never really sets hard, so you only need to get a rolling boil going for a few minutes before it's ready to pot.

Rhubarb and Orange Marmalade

  1. Prepare the stalks: wash and chop them into 3-4 cm long pieces.
  2. Soak the chopped rhubarb and sugar overnight in lemon juice.
  3. Wash then chop finely your citrus fruit: oranges, lemons and limes can all be used. You can use ordinary eating oranges - it makes for a less bitter marmalade as we used.
  4. Slowly cook the chopped citrus fruit in a syrup until they go translucent, do not over cook or burn them. We used ½ Kg of oranges (~4) to 1 Kg rhubarb and 250 ml of water. So make the syrup up with one part oranges to one part sugar and half a part of water.
  5. Once the citrus has been cooked you can add the rhubarb and sugar mixture and any sugar that would not fit in the overnight container.
  6. Bring the mixture to the boiling point and keep heating until you reach the jamming point. This recipe will set more than the ginger variety so be careful to not over cook it or you will get rubber.

About Rhubarb

Cultivated Rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum or Rheum x hybridum) is a member of the genus Rheum in the family Polygonaceae. It grows from thick short rhizomes. The plants have large leaves that are somewhat triangular shaped with long fleshy petioles. The flowers are small, greenish-white to rose-red and grouped in large compound leafy inflorescences. A number of varieties of rhubarb have been domesticated both as medicinal plants and for human consumption. While the leaves are toxic, the stalks are used in pies, jams and other foods for their tart flavour.

The plant is a native of Asia and many suggest that it was often used by the Mongolians; particularly, the Tatars tribes of the Gobi Desert. The plant has grown wild along the banks of the River Volga for centuries; it may have been brought there by Eurasian tribes, such as the Scythians, Huns, Magyars or Mongols. The term rhubarb is a combination of the Greek rha and barbarum; rha being a term that referred both to the plant and to the River Volga. Varieties of rhubarb have a long history as medicinal plants in traditional Chinese medicine, but the use of rhubarb as food is a relatively recent innovation, first recorded in 17th century England, after affordable sugar became available to common people, and reaching a peak between the 20th century's two world wars.

For more details please see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhubarb

About Ginger

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a perennial plant in the family Zingiberaceae - its rhizome is commonly used as a cooking spice throughout the world. The ginger plant has a long history of cultivation known to originate in China and then spread to India, Southeast Asia, West Africa and the Caribbean.

For more details please see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ginger

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