I came across the Breakfast Club on Fuss Free Flavours. This month Breakfast Club is hosted by Sonia’s Kitchen.
The theme this month is conserves. To take part, simply make a breakfast using conserves, or make some jam, jelly, marmalade or nut butter. Go on, give it a whirl!
Here's my entry:
Strawberry and Rhubarb Jam
For every 500g of strawberries you have, add 250g of rhubarb and 125g of sugar. Cut the rhubarb to roughly the same size as the strawberries and cover all of the fruit with half of the sugar and leave it overnight. I just put mine in a very large plastic cake box-type container and rested a lid on top without clipping it down.
By leaving the fruit and sugar overnight you draw the liquid out of the strawberries and help dissolve the sugar. This saves time the next day, and I'm all for making things a little easier!
The next day, add the rest of the sugar to the mixture and then heat, stirring until all of the sugar has dissolved. Make sure the mixture doesn't boil until all of the sugar has dissolved. Once it has, bring everything to the boil and don't stir it.
Boil your jam for 10 minutes, before even thinking about checking the set. It may be necessary to boil it for another 5 - 10 minutes. If you can't be bothered skimming the scum off the top, wait until your jam is cooked and off the heat, then stir in a knob of butter - the foam will disappear. A BIG thank you to one of our elderly church members for that very helpful tip.
To test the set of your jam use a sugar thermometer (jams usually set around 105C), or by putting a little onto a chilled saucer. Leave to cool in the fridge for a minute or two and then push your finger through it. If the jam wrinkles, it's ready, so take it off the heat.
I taste the jam on the saucer at this point to check the flavour. If it's too sweet then I add a squeeze of lemon juice to lessen the sweetness. Don't add too much as you don't want it to taste of lemon.
Pour your jam into sterilised jars, seal them up and store them in a cool dark place.
This is my finished jam, it's a bit chunky, but tastes fab with a rich flavour. I think next time I might cut the strawberries and rhubarb smaller so that it's a bit less chunky. It would make a great accompanyment to pancakes and waffles, filling for small tarts or delicious pasrty turnovers though! You could even stir some through plain yoghurt or even rice pudding. Now there's a yummy thought . . .