there are some ingredients can’t resist because they are just so pretty to look at – forced rhubarb is one, with its vibrant pink stems. using this to make delicately hued rhubarb gin or schnapps (i tend to alternate) is an annual event but i have added something extra to my list – a wonderfully fresh tasting rhubarb and orange jam from lillie o’brien of london borough of jam.
this is the best recipe i’ve found for rhubarb jam – the fruit is mixed overnight with orange juice and zest plus jam sugar, which helps to draw out the excess water in the rhubarb and helps keep whole pieces of rhubarb once cooked. it’s also a jam that reaches setting point very quickly – the recipe below says 5 minutes but mine tends to take nearer ten – which keeps the flavour of both the rhubarb and the orange quite fresh and worlds away from the stewed flavour that some rhubarb jams have. later in the year i’d like to try this method with strawberries, to see if i can get a similar freshness of flavour.