and star anise

After the gin – and there has been a lot of gin recently – the crumpets. These are topped with butter (obviously) and rhubarb and star anise jam. It’s my brief attempt to trap the flavour of early spring in sugar and jar it.

I made the jam from some sturdy stalks of field rhubarb bought at Peckham’s Farmer’s Market. At least, I assume they were field rhubarb. They were thick and solid enough to be wielded as a weapon during a minor mugging and an outrageous shade of red. Practically indecent. Hardly the sort of thing to hide away in a darkened shed, growing gently and elegantly to fruition.

Rhubarb is a low pectin fruit/vegetable, so sitting it overnight in the lemon juice and sugar let’s the pectin from the lemon get into its stride before the whole mix hits the pan. 2 star anise is just enough to suggest that something spicy has gone into the jam, but you can’t quite work what it is. If you’d like it to be a bit more obvious, chuck another 1 in.

Rhubarb and star anise jam
Makes approximately 400g

250g rhubarb, trimmed
250g granulated sugar
The finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 star anise

Chop the rhubarb into small pieces, about 1–2 cm long. Place in a non-metallic bowl with the sugar and lemon zest and juice. Leave overnight to go syrupy. Stick a saucer in the freezer.

In the morning, place the rhubarb mix in a wide, shallow pan (preserving pan or deep frying pan will do) with the star anise and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and cook at a gentle boil for around 20–25 minutes or until setting point is reached – dollop a spoonful of jam onto the frozen saucer and leave it for a minute. Push your finger through the jam and if it wrinkles, the jam is ready.

Spoon into a sterlised jar, seal and store somewhere cool and dry.

Tagged with: JamRhubarb
 

3 Responses to Rhubarb and star anise jam

  1. Sally says:

    Amazing, such unusual jam, will have to make this for my Mum!

  2. Luc Martin says:

    There seems to be a lot of rhubarb about at the moment. It always amazes me that you can make such dainty portions of everything, i always panic and end up with 20 jars of this and 30 litres of something else. 🙂

  3. ginandcrumpets says:

    @Sally Ah yes, Mother’s Day. The perfect gift in a jam pot!

    @Luc As I don’t grow any of the ingredients, my desire to go mad and make 4lbs of jam/chutney/gin is limited by having to buy the stuff. Curbs my enthusiasm.

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