Rhubarb, raspberry & cardamom fridge jam

Rhubarb, raspberry & cardamom fridge jam

By
From
New Feast
Makes
600g
Photographer
Alan Benson

This is the kind of jam you turn to when you haven’t got the energy to be faffing around with pectin and sterilizing jam jars. It’s infinitely versatile: you can make it with almost any fruit, and in almost any quantities and you can liven it up with any herbs, spices or other flavourings that you like the sound of.

Fridge jam is better for you than the usual kind of store-bought jam, as it uses much less sugar. The general rule of thumb with jam is that you need somewhere between 55–70 per cent of the weight of the fruit in sugar to achieve a set; with fridge jam you use around 50 per cent, which also results in a much fruitier-tasting jam. The trade-off is that it doesn’t last as long and you have to store it in the fridge, rather than the larder; no real hardship, though, as it’s likely you’ll have eaten it before any suspicious bits of green fuzz start to grow!

Another trick we use here is to macerate the fruit in sugar overnight, which releases the juices. Boiling the resulting syrup before you add the fruit gives a jam with a better texture, livelier colour and fresher flavour.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
750g rhubarb, cut into 2.5 cm pieces
510g granulated sugar
1 lemon, zested and juiced
250g raspberries
pinch salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom seeds

Method

  1. Combine the rhubarb with the sugar, lemon zest and juice in a large mixing bowl. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave it overnight.
  2. The next day, strain the syrupy juices into a large saucepan and bring to the boil slowly, stirring until any residual sugar has dissolved. Cook at a vigorously rolling boil for around 10 minutes, until it reaches 105°C on a candy thermometer. If you don’t have a thermometer, take it off the heat for a minute to allow the bubbles to subside and push the surface with a spoon. The surface should be thick and wrinkle slightly.
  3. Add the rhubarb and return to the boil. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the raspberries to the pan. Boil for 10–12 minutes until the mixture is thick and ‘jammy’, stirring from time to time. Test with a cold plate (see note). When the jam is ready, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the salt and ground cardamom. Cool completely, then transfer to jars or a sealed container and store in the fridge or freezer. Eat within 4 weeks.

Note:

  • Put a large plate in the freezer when you start boiling your jam. To test if the jam is ready, drop a small amount onto the plate and return it to the freezer for a minute. It is ready if it forms a wrinkly skin when you push the surface with your finger. If it is too thin and runny, keep cooking the jam for a little longer and return the plate to the freezer so it’s ready for you to test again.
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