Saturday I had the pleasure to attend a Jam Making class at the Brooklyn Kitchen taught by Millicent Souris. During the class we also learned the basics of canning safely. (Millicent put the fear of botulism in me.)
The class was great fun. Small, with 12 students working in groups of 4, and very hands on. We learned both about jam making and canning.
We made two types of Rhubarb Jam - a slow version which was deeper in flavor with a smooth jelly texture and a quick one which had a punchier flavor and preserved some of the rhubarbs shape and texture. We ate the slow jam warm over a delicious biscuit of Millicent's own recipe. We were all very curious how to make these biscuit and she told us the recipe is online - look it up!
Quick Rhubarb Jam
2 lbs rhubarb stalks, leaves trimmed and sliced
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon pectin
zest and juice of one lemon
1 teaspoon corriander
1 teaspoon lavender
2 sprigs thyme
1 teaspoon calcium water
Toss rhubarb with sugar, salt and pectin and let sit about 10 minutes until it begins to soften and release liquid. Add lemon juice and zest. Tie corriander, lavender and thyme is cheesecloth and add to rhubarb mix. Transfer everything to a large pot and simmer about 12 minutes. Add calcium water. Once ready, remove from heat.
We learned to test for doneness with a frozen plate: place a bit of cooked rhubarb on a frozen plate. Push it with a finger and see if it moves cleanly over like jelly.
Jam can now be processed and canned or eaten over toasty biscuits. For safe canning instructions take a peek at the usda guide to home canning.