Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Monday night preserves - Rhubarb

I have decided to dedicate Monday nights to be preserve nights. I'll post about it each week, showing how I am preserving the 'in season' products or those which simply come my way that I can't make use of at that time. 

So for my first post I am using rhubarb as it's well underway now. We've been harvesting it for a while now as we have early and regular rhubarb. You may remember back at Easter I used some of the early rhubarb to make cordial? I alluded to it and said I'd do a write up on it at a later date. Well I made some more last night and tonight. It's a simple recipe and the previous batch was used quickly, but I hope to preseve some of this latest batch to see how well it keeps.

I gathered around 6kg of rhubarb and that wasn't taking anywhere near as much as I could have, so I'll get more when I have time but making sure I don't take too much that it harms the plant.

Firstly I chopped up a kilo and added it to the jam pan with 900g sugar and 100g crystallised ginger. I covered it to stop the flies getting to it and left it for 24 hours to steep. Apparently leaving it like this forms a syrup, which it did, and helps keeps the shape of the fruit chunks.

Then I sterilised my jars in the Aga and brought the jam to setting point. It only took 10 mins max. I poured the jam into 4 small and 1 medium jar with some left over to use as the tester. If the jam sets and tastes nice then I will keep some for Christmas hampers. I've some tiny jam jars to use too so I can do a selection for people meaning there's less waste if they're not keen. 

The rhubarb cordial I also started last night by roughly chopping 2kg rhubarb and adding 250ml water then stewing until tender. 

Once tender I left it to drip into a bowl through a sterlilised jelly bag for 24 hours.

Tonight I had 700ml of juice which I thought was disappointing from 2kg fruit so I topped it up with water to make 1 litre. Then I added 700g sugar and dissolved it making sure the syrup reached 88C on the thermometer. Once done I poured it into sterilised bottles and put the 2 full ones into a water bath. Note to self, get smaller bottles as even the tallest pan wasn't big enough.


If the water bath had worked then they would keep for up to 12 months according to my book so I'll do another batch using smaller bottles that are appropriate gift sizes too.

The remainder of the rhubarb is going to be open froze and bagged up in the freezer to use as I fancy it. 

Thanks again to Patty Pan (Tricia) for her kind gift showing me how to do this and for the wise words of Dawn, Louise and others last year helping me learn what I need to do to stay safe preserving.

Next Monday will be making fruit leathers from the left over rhubarb pulp which I've frozen for now and also preserving asparagus.

18 comments:

  1. I like to can stewed rhubarb, a spoonful or two with yogurt is delicious. When I can asparagus I cut the spears so they can stand up in the jar with headspace. I also can all the ends of the asparagus, and use them to make soup. No waste.

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    1. Thanks Janice. I hadn't thought about having stewed rhubarb ready to use, there's so many ways to preserve it isn't there. Only limited by our imaginations! I am looking forward to doing the asparagus before it goes over and we have to wait another year! No waste is what it's all about, love it

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  2. well done it all looks fab, my last batch I stewed ready for crumble we have a big family camping week end coming up and I am trying to get ahead with some meals :-)

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    1. I think I might make a few for the freezer - thanks for reminding me. I need to get some more meals in the freezer too as I'm going through the last batch and using them for Friday night teas when I cba to cook!

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  3. A good night's work, and a good mixture of finished items made. You can only eat so much stewed rhubarb.

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    1. Yes I think variety is the key and they you don't get bored by specifics.

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  4. Oh fab effort chic. I had my jam pan for Christmas last year and can't WAIT to use it. Fab you have some things in stock for Xmas hampers.

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    1. I look forward to seeing your posts using it and yes, I love Christmas so I don't want it to become a chore from leaving it too late!

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  5. Evening Tracy. Glad you are getting into the swing of things. Last year I made strawberry and rhubarb jam for the first time and I must say it is one of my fsvourites and I shall be making some more shortly.

    Now for the cordials. I too had the same problem bottles too large. I use hex sauce bottlesm i get them in bulk from a Welsh supplier. Cannot remember their name at the moment but will let you know when I remember. I use a secind hand baby bottle steriliser for processing the hex bottles with cordials or sauces. Once up to boiling point I hot water bottle process for 30 minutes. This will process about 5 to 6 bottles in one go. Less steam is created this way too. If you look on my blog there are a couple of posts about this. Elderflower cordial us a good one to do. You can bottle the rhubsrb too. Kilner jar co has its own website and some tutorials so its worth checking this out too. You can also make rhubarb chutney and dont forget jelly. Rhubsrb wine whe made properly is to die for. My mum when she made it the first time thought it was horrible and only kept a couple of bottles back and tipped the rest. Then a little while lster tried it and it was sweet and delicious. It matures in the bottle. Enjoy the playing and the journey. A side problem as a result of preserving has been lits of different preserving books with lots of different recipes. Enjoy Tricia aka Pattypan xxx

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    1. Hi Tricia - thank you for dropping by - I do enjoy reading your comments. I'm going to pop over to your blog shortly to search what you've done with it in the past.
      Interesting on the baby bottle steriliser.
      We love elderflower cordial and can't wait for it to be ready to make!
      Now I've never thought about the jelly so thank you for that. Going to check out the wine too, would be rude not to. You've got me thinking again, as always! xxx

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    2. Tracy remembered the name of the company I buy my hex sauce bottles from they come in a box of 60 and I think you have to order closures as well and then there is postage on top. It is C Wynne Jones. this link should take you straight through to the hex bottles. They also sell bee keeping equipment other bottles and various other bits and bobs as well. These bottles can also be used for home made ketchup and sauces and coulis. I bought my baby bottle steriliser from a car boot sale for a couple of quid. But it works. I have I think got the Internet sorted out; so things might not be quite so quiet from now on in! Hope you and the family are keeping well. I hope you have managed to pop over to the Kilner blog site as well as they have added extra recipes. There are some very nice pudding recipes, drinks, seasonal mincemeat, chutney etc. recipes for everyday as well as to put away in the "Put Down". Here is the link in any event.

      Tricia


      http://cwynnejones.com/store/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=1_3_38_6

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  7. I have serious rhubarb envy. I have one plant that has really suffered in the dry weather we've had. It's raining now let's hope it does some good.

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    1. I really hope the rain does help. Rhubarb is one of my favourites so I am enjoying learning new things

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  8. Going to take a serious look at this. I have no idea what to do with our rhubarb. It's not so well known over here besides pies (and strawberries don't come in until July).

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    1. Same here for the strawbs, I hope you find something useful from this

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  9. I have serious Rhubarb envy. My plants have suffered from the draught and I haven't picked a stick yet! By the time I realized they were bone dry, it was too late and they were sulking. A shame, as Keith loves stewed Rhubarb and Ginger.

    That's some good-looking jam, and the cordial will taste wonderful. Well done.

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    1. I am sorry to hear that, such a shame. I hope it recovers rather than making you wait until next year - there's still time yet I guess.
      I'm pleased with the jam, looks different this year as I rested it overnight in the sugar and it really did keep it's shape.

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