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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Rhubarb Ginger Jam and Rhubarb Cherry Vanilla Jam

I was home most of the day yesterday and was excited that my husband didn't have to work till this afternoon. The weather was cool but the sun was out and there were two garden exchanges in Santa Barbara that I thought would be a great way see some friends and see how the gardens were coming. At the Mesa house the couple had their backyard in full swing for spring planting. I brought some Ginger Pear Butter and spied some Rhubarb and asked the host who had brought it. She said the neighbor had a large plant and told me to take the whole batch and cook something up. And that is just what I did. 

I have been trying to break away from the norm of jams especially when it comes to fruits. I want to try to do some new combination's that I don't often seen in cookbooks or online. I have learned to keep a few fruits handy in the freezer for just this type of canning. I have never had a true Rhubarb jam but have had Strawberry Rhubarb and Raspberry Rhubarb which are both really great combos. Today I got to work on a couple of flavors that I thought would be interesting. Ginger and Cherry. 

The process to make the two jams is the same and both are great for a small batch, quick, and easy.  I love that the Cherry Vanilla combo took on such a deep purple color from the cherries.  Here are the recipes and the flavors are fantastic!

Rhubarb Ginger Jam

2 cups fresh Rhubarb - diced
2 T. lime juice
2 t. lemon zest
1 cup water
2 T. crystallized ginger
1 cup sugar

Combine all ingredients into a dutch oven and cook until rhubarb is tender and falling apart. With a potato masher or immersion blender continue to breakdown the rhubarb till smooth. Cook on high for 5 to 7 minutes or until it thickens to the gel point. 
Sterilize your jars. You will need two half pints, lid, and rings. Ladle the recipe into the jars, clean the rim, add lids and rings. Process the jars 10 minutes in the water bath. Remove and set jars on the counter overnight undisturbed.

Rhubarb Cherry Vanilla Jam

1 cup frozen black cherries
2 cups fresh rhubarb - diced
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 t. vanilla bean paste (you can use 1/2 vanilla bean split and the pods removed)

Combine all ingredients into a dutch oven and cook until rhubarb is tender and falling apart. With a potato masher or immersion blender continue to breakdown the rhubarb till smooth. Cook on high for 5 to 7 minutes or until it thickens to the gel point. 
Sterilize your jars. You will need two half pints (with about 1/4 pint left to jar or put in the frig), lid, and rings. Ladle the recipe into the jars, clean the rim, add lids and rings. Process the jars 10 minutes in the water bath. Remove and set jars on the counter overnight undisturbed.

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