June 2, 2011

Rhubarb Lavender Jam {Naptime Everyday}

Rhubarb Lavender Jam

What’s Going on Today: Last week of school!

Naptime Goals: Rhubarb-Lavender Jam

Tonight’s Menu: Homemade Mini-Pizzas, salad, wine

For More Great Rhubarb Recipes Don’t Forget to Read All About Rhubarb (Naptime Simple Tips)

Product of the Week: These canning tongs are most excellent for canning small batches at home. They are much easier to use for picking up jars than regular kitchen tongs and one pair will last a lifetime. Need your own pair of canning tongs? Buy one today at my Amazon store!

It probably comes as no surprise that I am working with rhubarb a lot these days. I swear, I’ll be doing everything I can to buy, cut and cook with those tart stalks straight through September! My friend Amy first told me about this jam recipe last summer and pointed me in the direction of this delicious website. I then relayed my idea for this jam to my friend Cathy (aka Mrs. Wheelbarrow) and she shared her secret Rhubarb-Lavendar Jam recipe with me. I promised I wouldn’t print her recipe, but it is similar to the one seen here. It was difficult to find fresh lavender this early in the season, but I managed to score a fresh jar of French Culinary Lavender from Penzey’s. With it in hand I decided to test my own variation of this recipe while my daughter was at one of her last (weep!) days of preschool for the summer.

I am familiar with canning since I do it all the time with my Dad in the summer. To prepare for this small batch I sterilized some half-pint jam jars and set to work boiling the rhubarb mixture I had stirred together after my daughter’s bedtime the evening before. It had macerated overnight and morphed from hard cubes of fruit dusted sugar into fragrant chunky soup. After following the simple jam-making instructions below, I filled the jars, processed them in a hot water bath and left them on the counter to seal all afternoon. I am glad I did this all when my daughter was out of the house because canning really does require complete concentration. It is hard, and somewhat dangerous, to handle hot glass jars in boiling water while a toddler is bopping in and out of the kitchen.

The jars cooled for a day before I finally cracked one open. I saved a few slices of my favorite rustic spread to spread it on for breakfast. The jam was a deep purplish-red color and tasted like tart floral fruit. It reminded me of the classic sweet and sour flavor juxtaposition, the mild, fragrant lavender contrasting with the savory chunks of rhubarb. My daughter liked the jam but still deemed my classic strawberry jam recipe her favorite. I didn’t really worry about that though, that just meant there was more for me!

Recipe

Rhubarb Lavender Jam

adapted from Straight from the Farm and Mrs. Wheelbarrow

Ingredients

3 cups rhubarb, washed and finely chopped
2 1 /2 cups granulated sugar
medium lemons, juiced
1 tablespoon culinary lavender
8 oz. wildflower honey

Instructions

1. Add the finely chopped rhubarb to a mixing bowl and pour in the sugar, lemon juice, honey and lavender. Stir gently with a wooden spoon to make sure the rhubarb is completely coasted with the sugar. Cover the bowl with a plate and allow it to macerate overnight.

2. The next day, place a ceramic plate in the freezer for later use. Sterilize about 5 half-pint jam jars and reserve.

3. Push the rhubarb syrup through a fine mesh strainer into a large saucepan. Reserve the chunky mixture from the strainer. Bring the syrup to a boil over medium-high heat for 5 minutes and skim off any whitish foam on the top. Add the reserved chopped fruit and continue boiling for another 5 to 10 minutes, skimming off any white foam as it bubbles.

4. Remove the jam from the heat. Scoop a tiny bit of jam out of the pot and drop it on a plate. If it jells to the chilled plate it is set. If it is runny, bring it back to a boil and cook it for another 2 to 3 minutes and test it again.

5. Pour the jam into the sterilized jars, clean the rims and close them with the lid. IF YOU WANT TO PROCESS THEM TO SEAL: Line the bottom of a pot with a kitchen towel and fill it with enough water so that it covers the lids of the jam jars. Bring the water to a boil and drop in the jars. Boil them for about 10 minutes, then carefully remove them with tongs and place in a cool, dry place to cool down. The lids will pop and seal as they cool. Note: this makes a very small batch so it is okay if you don’t seal them. Store the jam jars in the fridge until it is all eaten up!

 

Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

This was delicious on bread for breakfast, but would also be wonderful stirred into Greek yogurt or drizzled over ice cream. Mrs. Wheelbarrow also suggested serving this over goat cheese on a cracker.

 

Naptime Stopwatch

45 minutes from start to finish (including water bath)

 

Naptime Reviews

My husband was skeptical but my daughter and I ate it up!

 

 

  • http://squirrelbread.wordpress.com/ heather

    I made a quick rhubarb preserve once, and that was phenomenal swirled into yogurt and oatmeal, as well as a topping for scones. Unfortunately that was with rhubarb I took from my grandmother’s garden, which is now over a thousand miles from our new location. I’ve yet to find rhubarb here, sadly, and even more so that we haven’t found a home to buy and I can’t plant any of my own! I’ll keep looking, because this sounds terrific.

    Cheers,

    *Heather*

  • r.v

    Hi

    When I poured the jam into the jars, the jars cracked. I didn’t get further than three, and was wiping up exploded jar and jam bits all morning. The jars were not reused, and were proper jam jars with proper two-part lids.

    What did I do wrong? I sterilized in the oven, let the jam sit about a minute off the heat before ladling it out.

    • Anonymous

      Hi! That is so strange. It is not due to the jam, any jam is warm. Did you have the proper jars? You shouldn’t heat the jars too much in the oven, just a short time at a lowish temperature. Maybe they weren’t cool enough before you added the jam?

  • http://twitter.com/gourmandeinthek Sylvie

    I love rhubarb and yet have never tried pairing it with lavender!  Thanks for this wonderful idea.

  • http://www.thelittlefoodie.com Mariko

    Awesome combo. I just love saying it too: Rhubarb-Lavender. Perfect combination of words. :)

    • Anonymous

      Thanks, Mariko!

  • http://www.adakoo.com Adakoo

    i like it your post

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