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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Vanilla-Rhubard Jam

Back in April I was at a fancy black-tie event that had favors for each guest to take home.  The theme for the party was Titanic, but search me as to why the favor was Vanilla-Rhubard Jam.  I have to say though, Im glad they did that because it ROCKED MY WORLD.  I have never had rhubard anything before I always thought it was a little weird but I had this jam on a biscuit and nearly died from taste bud happiness. 

This jam had a nice mix of rhubard, lemon, and vanilla bean.  You had me at vanilla bean :)  I decided to try and make it myself because, well I ran out and was craving some :)  I was to be real up-front with you guys...rhubard is not cheap.  When I found it the price was $4/pound and I needed 5 pounds (for a double batch).  I dont know the season for rhubard so maybe it was an off-season but I just want you to know that its not cheap.  Oh and vanilla beans are really expensive too but I think thats pretty much common knowledge lol.  If you are prepared for the cost then prepare your brain for some delicious goodness that Im bringing your way!

Vanilla-Rhubarb Jam
(A Food in recipe, modified by Rachael)

Servings: 4pints      Prep Time: 5min       Cook Time: 15min        Difficulty: Moderate

·         10 cups of chopped rhubarb (approximately 2 1/2 pounds of stalks)
·         5 cups sugar
·         1 cup water
·         1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
·         1/8c lemon juice (more or less depending on your flavor preference)
·         pinch of salt
·         1 packet liquid pectin

Sterilize your jars in a large pot of boiling water. If you’re making refrigerator jam (it will keep nicely unprocessed in the fridge for 2-3 months), skip this step.

In a 4-quart, non-reactive pot, bring the rhubarb, sugar and water to a boil. Add the vanilla bean, lemon and salt to the pot and let it bubble gently for about ten minutes. After ten minutes have elapsed, add the pectin, stir to combine and let cook for a few more minutes.

At this point, dip a spoon in the jam and see how it coats the back of the spoon. If you get a nice, even sheet, the jam is done.  Its important to note that your jam will NOT be the consistency of jam but more like a very runny caramel so dont be alarmed if your jam isnt thick, this will happen as the jars cool.

You can also taste at this point, to see if you like the balance of flavors. Add a little more lemon juice if you feel it needs additional brightening or additional vanilla to match your preference.

If you are making freezer jam pour the jam straight into containers but if you are going to store jam in the pantry or give as gifts follow the next steps.
Pour into hot jars, wipe down the jar to remove any spillage then apply lids/rings. Place jars in a boiling pot of water with the water covering the tops of the jars for at 10 minutes.  Remove jars with tongs or special jar tongs (you can find them here) and let cool.  I like to place my jars on wire racks to help with the cooling process (like when you cool cookies).  As the jars cool you will hear popping noises, this is good it means your jars have sealed properly.  You can check your jars to make sure they sealed by pressing the tops if they are popped out in the middle they are sealed, if not then you can reprocess them in the hot water bath.

When its all cooled ENJOY!  I love this on biscuits and english muffins but Im sure you savvy people out there can find some really great uses or it as well.  If you have a really great idea share it!  I would love to hear what you would do with it!!


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