There are few things that I can’t live without. My KitchenAid Mixer probably tops the list. Coming a close second would have to be my freezers. Yes, I said freezer(s), plural. Of course I have the small freezer that is part of my refrigerator, but I also have a small chest freezer. And a larger, stand-up freezer. Both are mostly full most of the time. Of course, the contents vary from day-to-day and season to season, but I keep them pretty loaded. When things come into season, I try to can as much as possible. Sometimes, I don’t have time to can everything I want before it will spoil, so I freeze the excess until I have time to deal with it. I do that with tomatoes. A lot.
Last year I had an abundance of rhubarb. I made some delicious Rhubeenas and still had a bunch left over so I chopped it up and threw it into the freezer. With summer’s bounty (and strawberry season) nearly upon us, it’s time to clear some space in the freezers.
In the first Can Jam, I used asparagus as the May ingredient, but Rhubarb was also an option. Among the rhubarb recipes was a recipe for Rhubarb and Cinnamon Jam from Seasonal Menus. I love cinnamon and have a jar of extra-long cinnamon sticks, so I thought I’d give it a go:
Rhubarb the First Way
- 2lbs. sliced rhubarb
- 2 lbs. sugar
- 3 extra-long cinnamon sticks, broken in half
- 2 T. lemon juice
Combine rhubarb and sugar in a nonmetallic bowl.
Let macerate overnight in the refrigerator.
Set up canner and boiling water bath; wash and sterilize jars and lids.
Transfer rhubarb mixture to a saucepan.
Add cinnamon and lemon juice.
Heat over medium heat, stirring often until sugar is completely dissolved.
Bring to a boil.
Boil until jam sets.
Remove cinnamon stick pieces, add one to each jar and ladle jam into hot jars.
Process in water bath for 15 minutes.
The cinnamon flavor wasn’t very intense, but I know from experience with my Chai-Spiced Apple Rings that the cinnamon flavor blooms as the jars age. I expect that even the color will turn warmer with time. This recipe made almost exactly five 1/2 pint jars.
For a printable version, click here: Rhubarb Cinnamon Jam Printable Recipe
Rhubarb the Second Way doesn’t help fulfill my Can Jam goals, but it does help me complete my goal to can enough jams/jellies to get us through the year, and it helps me meet my food storage goal. I snagged this recipe from Tigress but made some modifications. First, she used lavender sprigs; I opted for dried blossoms. They looked quite lovely after their overnight in the fridge, but I know from my soap-making experience that the magenta-purple cooks away. She also includes an extra step: “pass (rhubarb) mixture through a strainer and pour collected juice into a non-reactive pan. add honey and bring to a boil. skim any foam that collects on top and continue cooking until 221 F on a candy thermometer.” Afterwards she returns the solids to the boiled juices and re-boils the whole mess. I’m not sure of the point, but her jam was lovely. I myself hate the mess straining creates and don’t do it unless absolutely necessary. Mine tastes delish and has about the same look as hers, so I don’t think it is an essential step.
Rhubarb The Second Way (Honey Lavender Rhubarb Jam)
2 pounds sliced rhubarb
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 ounces light honey
3 T. lemon juice
3 tsp. dried lavender blossoms
1. Combine rhubarb, sugar, lemon juice and lavender blossoms in a nonmetallic bowl. Stir this mixture gently, cover with a plate and macerate in fridge overnight.
2. In the morning, prepare the canner and boiling water bath; wash and sterilize jars and lids. Turn heat down and leave jars in canner until ready to fill.
3. Pour rhubarb mixture into a non-reactive pan. Add honey and bring to a boil. Continue cooking until the jam is sufficiently set. Process in a hot water bath for 5 minutes.
yields approximately five 1/2 pint or two pint jars.
Again, if you prefer a printable version, click here: Honey Lavender Rhubarb Jam Printable Recipe
Not only did I clear up some space in the freezer, but I’m a quart-and-a-half closer to my jam and food storage goals!