Yesterday I showed up in Santry Community Garden all ready to put a good bit of work in. I haven’t been there for this season yet so wasn’t quite expecting the job I was asked to do – harvest the strawberries. Not a bad job!! After a couple of hours lifting leaves and removing those red morsels of goodness I was amazed to realise that this was not the end of the crop! They seemed to be ripening behind me. We shared them at the end of the day and I grabbed a few stalks of rhubarb as well. Soon I was off home to make some jam.
I know some people like their strawberries alone in a jam but I found that adding a bit of rhubarb and ginger to the mix makes the strawberries have this je ne sais quoi quality about them. If you are up to your eyes in strawberries, why not give a bit of jam a go?
Strawberry Rhubarb Ginger Jam
Makes approx. 1.5 litres
- 750 g strawberries, cut if they are larger
- 250 g rhubarb, cut into 1 cm slices
- 750 g jam sugar (sugar with pectin added … not sure how much pectin if you add it separately)
- 1 thumb of fresh ginger, grated
- juice of 1/2 a large lemon
- Jars that can be sealed (I use Kilner jars)
Place a small plate in the freezer. Put all ingredients into a large pot, mix and let sit for 1/2 hour. Meanwhile, wash jam jars and lids with hot soapy water. Place the jars in the oven with open ends up and not touching each other. Turn the oven on to 100C. Place the lids with seals up in a pot and cover with boiling water.
Put the pot of fruit over a medium heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved and the fruit is softening, stirring occasionally, approximately 10 minutes. Do not boil during this stage. Turn the heat up and bring to a rolling boil (the top will keep boiling away even if you are stirring it). Keep at a rolling boil for 10 minutes (start simmering the lids). If you would like more lumps of fruit then just stir occasionally. Otherwise, feel free to crush fruit against the side or bottom while boiling. Take the plate out of the freezer and put a teaspoon of jam onto it. Leave for 10 seconds. Using your finger, push against the jam. If it wrinkles or is the consistency of jam you like then the jam is ready. If you want it thicker then leave it boiling for anther two minutes then check again.
Carefully take the jars out of the oven and place on a thick tea towel (to prevent them from breaking). Spoon the jam into each jar, leaving about 1/2 inch room at the top. If you drip jam on the top of the jar, use a damp cloth and clean it. Put the lids on and tighten to fingertip tight. Leave until cool. The tops of the lids should dimple down if the seal has worked. If they don’t seal then you will need to keep it in the fridge or freezer. If they seal properly you can store them on the shelf.