I didn't really plan it this way, but May is shaping up to be rhubarb month here at Apt. 2B so I hope you'll forgive me for another (few) rhubarb recipe(s). Today, I am sharing my favorite, very simple rhubarb preserve. I usually make this a few times throughout the season to enjoy stirred into my morning yogurt, but I always end up eating a lot of it straight. The natural sweetness of vanilla is the perfect match for rhubarb's natural tartness and the heat from a bit of fresh ginger livens up the whole mess. Most rhubarb jam recipes call for equal parts rhubarb and sugar, but I really enjoy the tart pucker of rhubarb so I cut the sugar down to almost half of that amount. Feel free to add a bit more if you like things on the sweeter side.
Small Batch Rhubarb and Ginger Jam
yield, about 16 ounces
1lb rhubarb stalks
7 ounces sugar
2 1/2'' piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated finely
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
juice of one lemon
1. Chop the rhubarb into 1/3'' pieces and place it in a bowl. Add the sugar, grated ginger, vanilla bean seeds and pod, and lemon juice. Stir to combine well, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the mixture rest for overnight in the refrigerator.
2. After a bit of rest the rhubarb mixture should be juicy. Transfer the mixture to a non reactive pan and cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally until the jam begins to boil and the rhubarb starts to break down.
3. Raise the heat to high and boil for 10-15 minutes or until set, being careful not to let the bottom scorch. Begin checking the jam for doneness at about 10 minutes. I generally use the wrinkle test to check for doneness with this type of jam, but if you like numbers you can cook it to 220ºF.
4. Remove the vanilla pod and save it for another use.Transfer the jam to clean jars and store in the refrigerator for a few weeks. Alternately, process the jars in a hot water bath for 10 minutes for shelf stable jam.