Last year when I attended the Ballymaloe Food and Drink Literary Festival one of the first things I did upon arriving, was to take myself to their beautiful living room and order tea and scones – as you do! Needless to say it set the tone for the whole weekend, but one very lasting memory was that they served their scones and clotted cream not with strawberry or raspberry jam, BUT with rhubarb and ginger jam. It tasted sublime and I made a mental note to try making some at some point back at home.
Now ok it’s taken me a year but I got there and it tastes great so was keen to share it with you. My mother celebrated her birthday the other day and invited some friends over for tea. My youngest daughter and I made cakes (an elderflower and lemon drizzle, in honour of the recent royal wedding and a carrot cake) and scones and some mushroom tartlets with sour cream and parsley. My eldest daughter baked her legendary chocolate cake and my father made a wonderful Victoria sponge and scones with raisins.
As a side note, scones you can make ahead as they are great to freeze – I made around a 100 for my brothers wedding tea – the recipe is here and it works really well. So whilst strawberry and raspberry jam were on offer for the traditionalists, my rhubarb and ginger jam tempted those who wished to try something new and exciting. Hope you like it too.
Strawberry jam (left) my Rhubarb and Ginger jam (right) Mama
Rhubarb and Ginger Jam
1 kg of pink rhubarb, washed and cut into 2cm pieces
1kg of jam sugar
50g stem ginger
1 lemon, zest and juice
4cm fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
Before you begin you will want to clean and sterilise the jars that you are planning on using.
- Place all the ingredients into a large plastic bowl, stir thoroughly and then cover and leave to one side for a couple of hours, stir a couple of times over this period, so that the sugar dissolves and the flavours all harmonise together.
- Place a plate into the freezer.
- Use a large stainless steel pot – you do not need a preserving pan – and pour all the ingredients from the bowl into the pan. Place on a medium heat and stir so that the rhubarb tenderises and a setting point is reached. This will take no longer than 15 minutes.
- To test for setting point, simply remove the plate from the freezer and spoon a little jam onto the plate. Within a minute the jam will have little wrinkles if you move it with your finger. If it is still too runny, leave it to cook a little longer and try again.
- If setting point has been reached, remove from the heat and leave for a couple of minutes before pouring into the sterilised jars. Seal immediately and label. I find this easy fill funnel great for jam and chutney making.
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