Sunday, 20 January 2008

(stolen) rhubarb

Yes, your Honour, I did take the rhubarb.
It was just growing there and no-one seemed to be interested in it, so I, you know, like, harvested it.

I just couldn't resist the allure of the garden grown rhubarb at Musk Creek.
I bought back about 900gm and decided today to experiment with it.
I'm not a huge lover of rhubarb, in fact would rather leave it than eat it if you put a bowl of it in front of me (no correspondence will be entered into the beauty of rhubarb, do not try and convince me it is manna from heaven, etc, etc. Read on though......).

I have been making rhubarb jam over the last year and everyone loves it, so I thought the experiment would be the oven cooked jam that often appears in its raspberry form in quite a few cookbooks. Everyone seems to rave about this technique but the problem is the jam that is produced by this method must be kept in fridge, so I kind of think it isn't 'proper' jam and that this technique is for amateurs (yes, I am being bitchy, I happily admit it!) and is all show, lacking in substance (meow).

The Rhubarb Experiment

equal parts rhubarb (chopped into 3cm-ish lengths, washed and drained) and sugar (I also added some shredded lemon rind to the rhubarb)
place separately into 2 non-stick or over-proof glass dishes big enough for the ingredient to line the bottom shallowly (not so important for the sugar to be so thinly spread)
cook in pre-heated 180ÂșC oven for 20 minutes, don't stir just leave
remove from oven and tip the sugar over the top of the rhubarb and stir through
the moisture from the fruit will be release as you stir and the sugar will melt into it
bottle immediately into sterilised jars

'So did it work?' I hear ask.
The reason for doing the jam this way was because of the relatively small quantity of fruit and because I wanted to see if this method would help retain the colour of the rhubarb.
Yes it worked......... and the flavour was amazing!
I dislike the 'nung-nung' (say it with your nose screwed up and you will understand what I mean by the taste) taste of rhubarb but the baking changed the flavour, made it more sublime and clean, and developed the perfume into something absolutely heavenly. This 4 jar vintage is going under lock and key! (Admittedly it could have been the special nature of this batch of rhubarb!)
I've read about baking it for desserts and I think I might just be a convert to 'rhubarb-il-forno' (correct me on the spelling), I'm thinking served with marscapone..................
The jam will I think be saved for special afternoon teas, perhaps on scones but I'm thinking as a filling for one of my special high-top sponges (maybe even in a ginger fluff sponge......hmmm)


  1. Harvesting is no crime!

    I LOVE rhubarb, but I love it most baked in the oven... Ginger fluff sponge with rhubarb?

    It's winter here, Ich habe hunger! for rich sweet delicious treats... Your killing me!


  2. ginger fluff sponge cut in half, layer of rhubarb jam, layer of cream (maybe marscapone) put the top layer on, dust with icing sugar (normally I do thin lemon icing but it maybe too much)
    I think ginger and rhubarb go together- nein?
    can i tempt you Lovely Dell?????

  3. or how about oven baked blood plums sprinkled with brown sugar?
    you have missed a seriously good stoned fruit season Dell-icious One

  4. Nung-nung is a perfect description.

    I like the smell of it cooking, and the idea of it. Actually eating it, I'm happy to leave to someone else.

  5. Shula- you may have to try this jam, it blew me away
    there is an afternoon tea planned sometime soon

  6. Really?

    How marvellous.

    I'll bring jam.


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