Rhubarb & apple jam...

Summer is the season of putting things in jars. It's that time of the year with the abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables. Personally I love the whole process of preserving food in jars. I love chopping and simmering (usually fruit) on top of the stove. I love the sweet, fruity smell that fills my kitchen and the rest of the house. And I simply can't wait to try and see what will be the result of the fruit combination I made that time. 

Apart from the obvious - that you save money when you make your own jam, chutneys etc. and the fact that you know exactly what you're eating (no colourants, E-ingredients and unnecessary ingredients in your preserves) I simply like the feeling of accomplishment. I like the look of my cupboard shelf and the knowledge - Yes, I made all that. All home made and natural, labor of love!

This time it was rhubarb, which again I was fortunate enough to get a bag full for free. I normally don't use jam sugar and stick to the plain white one, but decided to give it a go this time and check the result. I think that using jam sugar allows me to use less of it in general, making me feel that I'm making that particular jam a little bit "healthier", but is it as good as the traditional one? Yes, it is.

How to make it...
- 1 kg fresh rhubarb, washed (no need to dry) and roughly chopped
- 3 apples, pealed, cored and finely diced
- 500 g jam sugar (sugar with added pectin)

Put your chopped rhubarb and diced apple into a big heavy-bottom pot with a lid, cover and simmer on a medium heat for about 1 hour, until rhubarb breaks down completely and the apple pieces are soft and mushy. When the fruit is ready add the jam sugar and follow the instructions on the packet (mine called for bringing the whole thing to a vigorous boil and boiling it for 4 minutes, not a minute more, stirring constantly). Transfer your jam into sterilized jars and secure the lids. I always put my jars closely together, on a kitchen counter top, cover with thick kitchen towel and I leave them until they have cooled down completely, once they're cold the lid is sealed. After opening keep the jam in the fridge.


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