Sunday, 11 December 2011

Edible Christmas Gifts Part 1: JAM!! (Strawberry and Rhubarb Jam)

Buying Christmas presents can be not only hard but stressful. But here is the secret - home-made edible Christmas presents are not only cheaper and cooler but are also a lot more special and personal to the person you give them to (they also show off your rad kitchen skillz! and we all know that girls only want boyfriends who have great skills...). Jams are particularly special gifts if you give them flavours that they can't buy anywhere else - like the four listed below.

So, pictured above we have plenty of jam varieties for you to choose from:
Tangelo and Goji Berry Jam (I know, tangelos are a bit hard to get your hands on but if you can then definitely pick this one because it has a delicious tart freshness to it)
Strawberry and Mulberry Jam (you can't go wrong with this one - and if you can't get the mulberries just substitute raspberries or blackberries)
Strawberry and Rhubarb Jam (recipe below - it pretty much blew my mind)
Tomato and Pineapple Jam (for those a bit more adventurous, this is both mine and my partner's favourite type of jam - probably the main reason we are together)

So - here are the steps to awesome gifts that everyone will love: 
1. Make your jams
2. Bottle them up 
3. Add some nice handwritten labels
4. You can put some Christmasy fabric on the top
5. Tie some ribbon around it to make it festive
6. Give at Christmas
7. Get ready to accept some serious praise

Strawberry and Rhubarb Jam

750g fresh strawberries
750g fresh rhubarb stalks, cut into about 1cm pieces
1.5 kg sugar
1 packet of Jam Setta (for info on Jam Setta see this other jam post)

To Make
1. Chop up strawberries, I like to do about half of them small and the other half chunky. Chop the rhubarb into pieces about 1cm long. Put all the fruit in a big saucepan (ideally the jam should only take up about 1/3 of the saucepan so probably use the biggest one you have).
2. Add the sugar and stir through. Put the pot on a low heat (you don't need to add any water!) and stir a bit until the juice starts to come out of the fruit and the sugar starts to melt. Once there is enough liquid in the bottom of the pan you can stop stirring and cover the pot over to bring it to a simmer.
3. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Then add the jam setta and simmer for another 10 minutes.
4. Check the jam has set. To test this do a set test, place a tsp full of jam (preferably not a chunky fruity bit) on a saucer and put it in the freezer for about 30-40 seconds. Take it out and run your finger through it. If the jam crinkles then it is ready. If it doesn't boil the jam for 5 more minutes and try the test again.
5. Once you have a successful set test remove the jam from the heat.
6.Wash empty glass jars in hot soapy water and rise well. Dry and fill with hot jam. Screw the lids on very tightly.
7. Line a huge saucepan with tea towels (so the glass jars don't touch the bottom). Place your tighly sealed jam-filled jars in the saucepan and cover completely with cold water. Cover and bring to the boil. Boil for 20 minutes and then turn off the heat.
8. Once they have cooled a bit remove the jars from the water, dry and label them.

Makes 6-8 jars (depending on the size of your jars).

1 comment:

  1. I love strawberry rhubarb jam! It's been my favourite for a while, but I've never tried to make it myself. I still have to wait some 6 months to find everything fresh up here though, but I promise to give your recipe a try then! :-P