1 Apt. 2B Baking Co.: Rhubarb Cherry Jam

Monday, June 20, 2011

Rhubarb Cherry Jam







I know, I know, more rhubarb. More rhubarb! I promise this will be my last barb-centric post of the season, but I will not apologize for being crazy for the stuff. I am slowly trying to ease myself into summer now that it is officially here, but I can't say that I am too excited about it. Summer is not exactly my favorite season in NYC. I will never get used to the humidity that makes everything feel sticky, the sweaty walks to and from the grocery store, and let's not even talk about going to the laundromat. It may get ugly. So, I've been trying to remind myself of all of the great things that the summer brings: farmer's markets, flowers, cold brewed iced coffee, long days where the sun sets at 9, day trips upstate to cool off at a friends cabin, ice pops. To celebrate summer and say a fond farewell to spring I made this jam. It combines my favorite veggie disguised as a fruit and one of the best treats that summer offers, fresh sweet cherries. The inspiration came from the Blue Chair Jam Cookbook which I get lost in every time I crack it open and the best part is, no cherry pitting required. Now excuse me while I go eat an ice pop for breakfast.

Rhubarb Cherry Jam
adapted from the Blue Chair Jam Cookbook
yield, roughly 24oz finished jam
1 1/2 lbs rhubarb, chopped
1 lb sugar
juice of 1 large lemon
peel from one organic granny smith apple
1 lb sweet cherries

1. Put the rhubarb, sugar, and lemon juice into a large, wide, non reactive pot. I use my enameled dutch oven for jamming. Cook over medium heat until the rhubarb begins to soften and releases it's juices. Increase heat and boil the rhubarb gently until it softens, but still holds it's shape a bit.
2. Remove the pan from the heat, and using a slotted spoon, scoop the rhubarb pieces into a bowl leaving their juices behind.
3. Pour the cherries, pits and all, and the apple peel into the reserved rhubarb juice and put the pan over high heat. Cook, stirring frequently until the juices reach a full boil. Turn the heat down a little and boil the cherries until they are soft and shriveled, about 7 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
4. Place a metal strainer over the bowl full of reserved rhubarb pieces. Using a slotted spoon, fish the cherries and apple peel out of the pan and transfer them to the strainer. Press the cherries very firmly to extract as much juice as possible then discard the left over pits and skins.
5. Add the rhubarb pieces and cherry juice back into the pan and cook over high heat until the jam has thickened, the rhubarb has lost it's shape, and the jam reaches 220 degrees, about 15 minutes. If any white foam appears on the surface of the jam, skim and discard it.
6. Pour the jam into sterilized jars and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.

Notes:
- With the batch that I made, I filled 2 6oz weck jars, 1 8oz wide mouth jar and had a little leftover, which I ate immediately. So Good.
- I included the apple peel with the thought that the pectin would help the jam achieve a firmer set. I'm not sure how much good it did, but I find the jam to be perfectly spreadable.
- I suggest you chop your rhubarb pieces a little smaller than the ones pictured above, the large pieces of rhubarb left the jam a bit stringy. Delicious, but a little stringy.

15 comments:

  1. Cherries make it such a beautiful color, looks divine. Three cheers to ice pops as well!

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  2. Maybe I should make you some jam labels now :)

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  3. I'm the founder/moderator for Punk Domestics (www.punkdomestics.com), a community site for those of use obsessed with, er, interested in DIY food. It's sort of like Tastespotting, but specific to the niche. I'd love for you to submit this to the site. Good stuff!

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  4. Hey Sean - I would absolutely love to be included! I'll head over there now!

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  5. What beautiful snapshots & delicious recipe - I've never combined cherries & rhubarb for jam before, excited about the possibilities!

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  6. Preserving Beauty - If they are both still available in your area you should definitely try this recipe. The sweet cherries and tart rhubarb are a perfect match.

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  7. Hello. I am curious about the jars you are using in the second to last photo of this post (those on the left with no threads). I recently picked up some similar ones at a garage sale, but was only planning on using them as glasses since I don't know how to seal them for canning. Would you be willing to share what type of lid you use with them and where I might find some to purchase? Thank you for your lovely blog.

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  8. Hi Wendy- Great question! They are called WECK jars and they are my favorite canning jars, but I also use them as drinking glasses and vases. To use them for preserving, you can order replacement rings, lids, and clamps directly from the manufacturer here: https://secure.concentric.com/weckjars.com/productsDetail.php?category=9 and here is a great, thorough post on how to use them http://www.foodinjars.com/2011/03/canning-101-how-to-can-using-weck-jars-giveaway/. Hope this helps!

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  9. That jam looks incredible! Jamming season in my house started last night and you can bet I'll be making this recipe to add to my stash. Yum!

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  10. I just made a version of this jam and it is so delicious. I steeped a little bit of fresh lavender (in cheesecloth) in the jam for the last minutes and it gives it a very slight perfumey taste. I think cherry and rhubarb is a match made in heaven! Thanks!

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    1. A bit of lavender sounds heavenly! I'm so glad you gave this recipe a shot, it's kind of tedious but the results are fab!

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  11. This is on my list. Can't wait!

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  12. I made this with the last of the season's cherries and rhubarb, and it's amazing! My method was a little different though - I prepitted my cherries, and just mashed them in the pot once they'd cooked, cutting out most of the difficult steps. What is the logic behind cooking the rhubarb separately, removing it, cooking the cherries, and then straining the cherries? I don't mind skins, so I guess that might be one thing. I also realized I'd just used the last of my lemon juice in some peach jam, and subbed lime juice. Surprisingly delicious! My only regret is that it made so little jam!

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