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May 21, 2011 05:57 PM

Rhubarb. Happy.

Just made Rhubarb Jam from the Blue Chair Jam Cookbook, and it's a treat. It's just rhubarb, white sugar & lemon juice. I cut back on the sugar a little; I'm really happy with the result.

The paraphrase is below. I highly recommend the book.

4 lbs trimmed rhubarb cut into 3 - 4 inch lengths
2 3/4 lbs white sugar
3 ounces strained fresh lemon juice

Mix all ingredients & let macerate for 24 hours at room temperature.

Transfer to 11 to 12-quart copper preserving pan or similar.

Bring to boil over high heat & boil, stirring frequently until thickened and no longer watery, about 20 minutes.

Test for doneness - her method is to put some on a frozen spoon, to put the spoon back in the freezer for about three minutes, and then to test it by seeing if the jam on the spoon runs when you tilt the spoon vertically.

Skim any foam from the surface of the jam, put in jars & process appropriately.

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  1. I also found some today in South Fl which was exciting. I am going to make a rhubarb upside down hot cake!

    1. Why a copper preserving pan? Can I use just a regular pot? Thanks.

      6 Replies
      1. re: elise h

        Elise, I'm no expert, but I understand that the shape & metal of the pan both change the flavor & consistency of the final product. Pans used for preserving should be made from non-reactive metal; copper is especially good because it transfers heat evenly and fast. Preserving pans are traditionally large and wide, to allow a maximum of evaporation to occur in a minimum of time. (And the traditional pans are incredibly beautiful tools - really fun to cook in.)

        1. re: THewat

          I probably should invest in one, I love making jam and will try rhubarb jam one day.

          1. re: THewat

            Copper is a reactive metal, though it sure is pretty.

          2. re: elise h

            After 3 decades of canning, I went and got myself a copper preserving pan. It is a beautiful pot. Don't think it's upped the fun factor of preserving though.

            Not sure if length of cooking time is affected since I use low sugar pectin for jams and jellies with a total 5 minute cook time. Did whole strawberry preserves and those only have a short cook time as well. I'm not fond of preserves that require half as much or more poundage in sugar as there is poundage in fruit and then are cooked to death. That said, I did two batches of traditional marmalade in it. Pretty sure the cooking times remained the same as in stainless steel.

            Not noticing that it affects the flavor of the preserves I've made with it so far either.

            But it sure looks pretty hanging on my wall. Makes my canning students go "oooooh" when I use it.

            If I'd known then what I know now I'd have saved the $100 and just stuck with my stainless steel Tramontina pot.

            1. re: morwen

              I use my big Caphalon (spelling?) pot and my jam comes out just fine but it's quite deep and there is a good amount of spitting at the rolling boil stage.

              1. re: morwen

                That's great! As I said, I'm no expert, so I'm delighted someone with more experience is weighing in.

            2. I am so happy to see rhubarb being re-discovered. If you own a bit of land you can grow a big supply of rhubarb with one little patch 3 x 3 feet (or a hedge) in a sunny spot. If you dig deep, place the roots, and fertilize with manure your rhubarb patch will last 50 years and every spring you will have sweet pink rhubarb sauce, pies, cakes, and other confections free of charge. Rhubarb is lovely just cut into 1-inch chunks, brought to a boil with a little water and sugar, and stewed gently for a few minutes---have this as a side dish at dinner or freeze it for future reference or eat it over angelfood cake and vanilla ice cream.

              1. How nice they look all rosy in a row!

                2 Replies
                1. re: blue room

                  I like to can stewed rhubarb, which is just rhubarb and sugar. It's fantastic on yogurt with granola, or to cook a pork roast in, or to make rhubarb crisp. And I am right there with Morwen in saing you don't need a copper preserving pan, any wide pan will do. I use my enameled cast iron dutch oven.

                  1. re: blue room

                    Thanks Blue Room. Canning is so satisfying that way.

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