There's magic in standing over a bubbling pot of fruit and sugar and waiting for it to turn into a jewel-coloured jam. Among my col...

There's magic in standing over a bubbling pot of fruit and sugar and waiting for it to turn into a jewel-coloured jam. || rhubarb and ginger jam on sourdough toast
Among my collection of old cook books is the plainly titled Jam Recipe Book from the South Australian Branch of Australian Red Cross.

This is a living, breathing recipe book. There are marks in pen and pencil with dates, adaptations and notes on fruits and yields in at least three scripts. The book's first marking is a handscribed dedication from Gussie (maybe Jessie) to Flo on the occasion of Christmas, 1940 (a World War II year). || rhubarb and ginger jam from Australian Red Cross wartime cook book
The recipes themselves, compiled by the Mayoress of Woodville, Mrs F. Allen Box include a fig and beetroot jam, a carrot jam, a melon and dried apricot jam and a passionfruit and tomato jam.

An easy choice for beginners is the rhubarb and ginger jam. || rhubarb and ginger jam an easy introduction to making jam
Two bunches of fresh rhubarb, cut into 2-3cm lengths (the leaves and hard, white bases discarded). The two prepared bunches should net you about 2lbs, or 900 grams, of rhubarb.
750 grams of sugar.
Grated rind of half a small lemon.
200g bag of preserved ginger, pieces cut small.

This is the easy part. You simply pour the sugar over the rhubarb, stir and allow to sit for 24 hours. I put mine in a plastic container with a secure lid and shook it a few times through the day.

Pour off the resulting liquid into a heavy-based pot or saucepan you can use on the stove. Add the grated lemon rind and ginger. Boil briskly for about 20mins. This is effectively like making a toffee, so do watch, and smell it. If it smells as though its caramelising and about to burn - like a toffee can do - remove it from the stove and give it a good stir to help it come off the boil.

Add the rhubarb and boil for another 20mins. The extra liquid as the rhubarb breaks down stops the sugar from forming a toffee. 

Set it off the stove to cool another 20 to 30mins before bottling into sterilised jars. 

To sterilise your jars, wash them in hot, soapy water, rinse in hot water and place open side up on a baking tray in a moderate oven for about half an hour. Make sure they're out and cooled, open side still up, before you handle them. 

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  1. Isn't rhubarb magical stuff Katie? This looks so good.

    1. It certainly is. With a kick of ginger, it's divine.

  2. Thanks for the recipe Katie...I've got so much rhubarb in the garden. Will give this a go.

    1. You absolutely must. It's too, too easy.