Despite having known about the April Can Jam challenge for more than a month (I helped pick the topic, after all), I still waited until the VERY last minute to make my jam. What can I say, I’m motivated by deadlines (although I do sometimes wonder what it would be like to have a bit of daylight with which to take my photos).
Happily, all the time I invested in delaying the actual making paid off, because when I finally went to the kitchen, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. Rhubarb. Rosemary. Sugar. A bit of lemon. Oh yes.
I’ve been smitten with the flavor of rosemary since I was in high school. We had several large bushes in our front yard and I would often grasp one of the fragrant fronds as I walked down the driveway on my way out of the house, to carry the scent with me. I’ve often wished that I had followed the lead of our neighbor, who would snip an armful to float in her bathwater.
I know that a lot of people struggled with this particular challenge, because it was at once very specific and yet totally open. However, I’ve loved seeing all the ways that people have applied herbs to their pickles and preserves. I do hope this will lead to further herbal experimentation (pure thoughts, kids) as we move into the heart of the canning season.
- 4 cups chopped rhubarb
- 3 cups sugar
- 2 generous fronds of rosemary
- 2 lemons, zested and juiced
- In a large, non-reactive pot, combine the rhubarb, sugar, rosemary and lemon juice.
- Stir so that the sugar coats everything evenly and let it sit for 30-45 minutes, until it looks juicy. Place pot on the heat bring to a bubble. Cook until the rhubarb has broken down (7-10 minutes).
- Let the jam boil for 2 minutes and remove the pot from heat (with a batch this size, it is very easy to overcook the jam).
- Add the lemon zest and stir to combine.
- Remove the rosemary fronds.
- Pour jam into prepared jars.
- Wipe rims, apply lids, screw on bands and process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes.
- When time is up, remove jars to a towel-lined countertop and let cool.