Thursday, 21 May 2009

Rhubarb and Elder flower Jam

I have this things about making jam in sets of three - that is 3 different jams with a similar theme for the flavour. For example: plum jam, plum & cinnamon jam and plum & mulled wine jam. I think it is because when I sell my jams at craft fayres around Christmas time, I have hessian bags for jam with 3 spaces in them. In reality my customers usually choose a completely random selection of flavours to put in their bag and I don't think anyone has ever gone for a set of three along the same flavour theme. Still... the option is there if they want it!

So, having made rhubarb & ginger jam and then rhubarb & raspberry jam I was on the look out for a 3rd flavour. And then yesterday I went out picking elder flowers and the answer became obvious. The main reason I picked elder flowers is because last year I missed them and had to make plain gooseberry jam, not gooseberry and elderflower jam. In fact, by the time my gooseberries are ready to eat the elder flowers have all finished so this year I have been keeping a close eye on the hedgerow with the intention of freezing some elder flowers for use when the gooseberries are ripe.

As it happens, the elder flowers are only just beginning to come out around here but I picked a fair few heads yesterday, snipped the flowers off and froze them. I kept a few aside to use with another pound of rhubarb and today I turned them into rhubarb and elderflower jam. I'm thinking I might go out again next week and get some more to make some elder flower cordial after the great successes of both my blackcurrant and raspberry cordials.

Rhubarb & Elderflower Jam (makes a bit more than 1 lb)

1lb (454g) rhubarb
1 oz (25g) elder flowers
1 lemon, rind and juice
1lb sugar

Chop the rhubarb into inch long sections. Mix all the ingredients together in an non-metallic bowl, cover and leave to stand overnight. Decant the mixture into a preserving pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for a few minutes, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar, and cook until the rhubarb is pulpy. Bring to a vigorous boil until the setting point is reached. Ladle into warmed jars and seal immediately.

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