crumpets with rhubarb and pink grapefruit jam

i adore rhubarb and am particularly fond of the beautifully pale pink forced rhubarb which is currently available. sadly it’s never around long enough for me to feel that i’ve eaten my fill so i was really excited to try skye gyngell’s rhubarb and pink grapefruit jam in the hope that this will provide me with a rhubarb hit once it is out of season.

despite being called a jam i think this is more like a marmalade (what is the difference – is it just the inclusion of citrus?!?) although the balance between the rhubarb and grapefruit might be less noticeable if you use a zester, rather than peeler, on the grapefruit.

i’ve found that the best way to maximise the rhubarb flavour is to be generous when applying the jam to your bread, crumpet or toast. which really isn’t much of a hardship.

skye gyngell’s rhubarb and pink grapefruit jam (makes around four 200g jars)

1kg rhubarb

3 pink grapefruit

1kg caster sugar

carefully wash and pat dry the rhubarb. cut roughly into 2cm lengths. peel the zest from the pink grapefruit (a potato peeler is the easiest implement to use here) and chop finely. slice the grapefruit itself into halves and squeeze out the juice.

place the chopped rhubarb, pink grapefruit, zest and juice into a heavy-bottomed stainless-steel pan. pour in the caster sugar, combine and allow to macerate for 20 minutes.

next, place over a high heat and bring to a vigorous boil. keep the heat high - the jam should bubble thickly. stir it frequently to prevent it from catching and burning on the base of the pan. splash off any foam that appears on the surface.

the best way to check if a jam has set is to place an empty plate in the fridge and leave it there to chill for about 20 minutes. when it's cold remove it and place small spoonfuls of jam on it. this allows the jam to cool quickly so you can then check its consistency. ideally it should be runny but not too thick as to be cloying. for this jam, 20 minutes' cooking time should be sufficient*.

spoon the jam into your sterilised jam jars and leave them to cool completely. then place them in the fridge until ready to use.

* my jam took nearer 45 minutes to reach the right consistency