This yummy jam is a favourite in store, made lovingly by Tara's daughter, Avalon! So many of our customers have commented on its unique flavour, which is gently warming and fruity. Lovely on toast, or as a sweet addition to porridge.
You will need:
2 bunches fresh rhubarb
5 cups sugar
1 cup earl grey tea (Twinings tea bags work best!)
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon for an added winter twist (optional)
1. If your rhubarb still has leaves, remove these and throw them away, then wash the stalks. Chop these into small pieces around 1cm thick.
2. Put the kettle on and brew yourself a cup of black earl grey tea. While your tea is brewing, find a small bowl or plate and pop it in the freezer (we'll come back to why you do this, later!)
3. Add your chopped rhubarb stalks to a large, heavy-based pan (pans with sloping sides work best for jam, but any heavy-based pan will do). Pour your 5 cups of sugar over the top of the rhubarb, add your brewed cup of tea and switch your stove on to low.
4. Mix the sugar and tea through the rhubarb and keep an eye on the fruit as the heat and hot tea start to break it down. You'll notice the rhubarb pieces getting soft and eventually liquifying as the jam starts to turn a gorgeous deep burgundy. Be careful not to touch the hot sugar, and watch for any sign of burning!
5. Once your fruit is broken down and simmering nicely, add your vanilla bean paste and the juice of one lemon. Continue to cook for another 10mins or so.
6. Take your small bowl or plate out of the freezer. Using a spoon, take a small amount of jam from your pot and drop on the bottom of the small bowl or plate and leave for 5 mins. Once cool enough, run your finger through the jam mixture on the small bowl or plate. If it is thick and jammy, your mixture is ready. If you feel it is too runny, continue to cook for another 10 minutes and then repeat this process.
7. Once you are happy with the consistency of your jam, add your mixture to hot sterilised jars and label them. Jam will keep for quite a while, because of the high sugar content. Best eaten within 3 months.
Tip: Hot jam should be added to hot sterilised jars to minimise any bacteria growth. To sterilise your jars, soak them in hot soapy water, and then bake in an oven at 150 degrees celsius for 10-15 mins. Lids should be boiled in hot water for 10mins. If you are unsure about the process, consult an expert. I'm a fan of the Cornersmith cook book, and have learned a lot from Sally Wise as well!
Enjoy! - Avalon x