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Rhubarb is abundant now, and if you are like me, you love its unique flavour but can never quite keep up with it. This jam recipe is great as the endless uses will impress you.
400g fresh rhubarb
200g jam sugar (pectin added)
200g caster sugar
1 Tbsp boiling water
1 vanilla pod, seeds removed
Juice of half a lemon
Remove the leaves and wash and dry the rhubarb. Cut the stalks into 1cm pieces.
Place the rhubarb, both sugars, one vanilla pod, seeds and the tablespoon of water into a jam pan or thick based saucepan.
Let the sugar dissolve over very low heat, stir to encourage the sugar to dissolve.
Once the sugar has dissolved turn the heat up, cook the jam over high heat. Do not stir the jam too often, just every now and then to prevent it from catching.
I like to wash the sides of the pan down with a clean pastry brush that's dipped in boiling hot water. This will help prevent the jam going cloudy and crystallised.
I use a sugar thermometer now when making jam as it has taken the ''luck'' out of the setting stage if you know what I mean. Cook the jam till it reaches 105degC. However if you don't have a thermometer, place a small amount of jam on a small cold plate and spoon a little jam on to the plate and if the jam sets and you can run your finger through it without the jam running it means its ready!Remember the longer you cook the jam the darker the caramelised colour will become and the flavour more earthy.
Once the jam reaches the correct temperature add the juice of one lemon, stir and remove the jam from the heat.
Let the jam cool slightly before ladling your jam into cleaned sterilised jars.
• Alison Lambert is one of the demonstrators at the Otago Farmers Market in Dunedin on Saturday mornings.