When we went to the farm the weekend before last, we found a vast selection of rhubarb and greens. Everything else is behind, due to our incredibly rainy spring.
But we also found last summer’s blueberries in the freezer. I couldn’t resist buying them, if only because I have eaten enough grapefruit for breakfast and oranges for snack time to last me well until next winter.
And then, as we drove home along the water, inspiration struck: blueberry rhubarb jam! Yes, I thought, I’ll do one part rhubarb to two parts blueberry – basically, enough rhubarb to perk up the blueberries but not so much that it’s chalky.
For a little while, I was very proud of myself. Imagine inventing such an unusual combination!
Turns out – according to the Internet – lots of people beat me to it. There’s even a name for it: blubarb jam. It seems possible I am not so creative after all. (I am also quite certain I would never have thought of the word blubarb.)
However, I did not let that dissuade me and I plowed ahead, washing canning jars and chopping rhubarb. I found a recipe attributed to Canadian Living Magazine on lots of sites, but it wasn’t actually on Canadian Living’s site. It didn’t call for pectin – which always makes me nervous – but Canadian Living has proven itself so trustworthy and reliable (like a good Canadian) that I gave it a go.
Because I relish alcoholic jam on toast in the morning, I also stirred in a bit of rum at the end. The jam came out like an intense blueberry on a late summer’s day, with just a hint of rhubarb and rum rounding it off. Even without pectin, it set perfectly.
I hadn’t actually planned to share this jam with you, because it is so close to the original. But as I slather it on my toast every morning, I feel guilty that you might not know about it yet.
That’s why you don’t see any pictures of the whole jam-making process. Those little chopped rhubarb up above are actually body doubles. They’re just hanging out until I stew them this evening. And there are no pictures of frozen blueberries, because I put them all in the jam. Who wants to see a picture of a frozen blueberry, anyway?
Just make some jam and spread it on your toast in the morning and be happy.
last june: chocolate peanut butter oatcakes
blueberry rhubarb rum jam
slightly adapted from a recipe attributed to Canadian Living Magazine
Makes about 8 cups of jam
8 c. blueberries
4 c. rhubarb, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
1 tsp. lemon rind
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 c. water
4 c. sugar
1/4 c. rum
Bring the blueberries, rhubarb, lemon rind and juice, and sugar to a boil in a heavy pot. Stir often while you’re bringing the heat up.
Turn the heat down and simmer, stirring often for about 25 minutes – until the rhubarb is very tender and your spoon can easily break through it against the side of the pot.
Turn the heat up to medium and add the sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring often. Once it has reached the setting point,* remove from the heat. Stir in the rum. Stir for a couple minutes to move the fruit pieces. Use a spoon to remove any skim.
Fill sterilized jars. Process in a hot water canner for 10 minutes.
*For me, the setting point was about 210 degrees Farhenheit, although the original recipe called for 218 – 220 degrees Fahrenheit. Another way to test the jam is to dollop some on a small plate that has been in the freezer. Use the back of a spoon to push against the jam. If it wrinkles, it’s ready.