Monthly Archives: February 2013

Rhubarb Jam

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It’s February! And that can mean only one thing. Yes. Early Rhubarb! That gorgeous, skinny, bright pink stuff that is grown in the dark in the Yorkshire rhubarb triangle between Wakefield, Leeds and Bradford.

Now I love rhubarb, I love the colour, the taste and even the funny stringy texture. And when I saw some in the lovely Priory Farm shop I bought it without knowing what I would do with it. Having just made a load of marmalade my preserving stuff was still hanging around, and I realised I had never made rhubarb jam, so why not give it a try?

Naturally I went straight to Pam Corbin’s River Cottage preserves book and used her recipe. It really is amazing, and I wholeheartedly recommend it as the only preserving book you will ever need.

And naturally I didn’t pay attention and made a bit of a hash of it. But it turned out ok in the end! In fact, I bought some more rhubarb when I saw it in Sainsbury’s, and it turned out perfectly second time around.

I used 500g of rhubarb, about 400g of preserving sugar, juice of 1 orange.
Well in reality I used 1 kg of sugar, but that’s because I’m a fool and thought there was 500g in the packet not 1kg!

It’s pretty simple to do. Just chop the rhubarb into chunks.

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And layer with the sugar in a preserving pan (layer of sugar on top and bottom).

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Note that this is where I added too much sugar, but I didn’t twig until later.

Pour over the orange juice and leave overnight.

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The next day I realised my sugar error and took out half of it and added a bit more juice. Of course being sensible, you don’t have to do this!

Slowly bring it to the boil and give a bit of a stir. Try not to break the rhubarb up too much.

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Then rolling boil for about 5 minutes until setting point is reached.

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Pop into warm sterilised jars (I put mine in the dishwasher and then in a 150 degree oven to sterilise them), and Bob’s your uncle.

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To quote Len from Strictly. Yum yum pigs bum.

I also made some honey preserved rhubarb and some delicious rice pudding this weekend, but more of that later.

Update: I also made some in May with regular rhubarb, and this is what it looks like. Not such a lovely colour, but still yummy.

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Cheats Chocolate and Orange Cookies

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I love baking, but sometimes even I like to cheat and make something with minimal effort and fuss. And that is where the lovely Iris at Baked By Me comes in. She sells a great range of cookie mixes and fantastic bakeware.

My last week in my current job starts tomorrow, so I thought I would take in some cookies as a treat for my colleagues. Of course I decided this at 8.30pm in Sunday night, so I needed something quick and easy.

I always keep a packet or two of Iris’ cookie mixes in the cupboard. I decided to use the Double Chocolate one, and pimp it up with some orange zest.

After mixing some soft butter and an eg together I tipped in the contents of the mix. The chocolate chips come separately from the rest of the mix, so I put half in the mix, an saved the rest for later. I also grated in the rind of an orange.

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A quick mix is all it needs, and then put walnut sized dollops on a baking tray. It’s quite sticky, but I don’t add extra flour as it makes lovely flat and slightly chewy cookies.

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Bake for 8-10mins at 180.

When they’re done whip them out and sprinkle with the remaining chocolate chips.

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Eat when cold. If you can wait that long!