Forced, early rhubarb makes its appearance at the beginning of the year and by the late spring it is sprouting in gardens and the main crop is coming into the shops. Preserved ginger, which comes mostly from China, gives a good bite and extra flavour to the jam.
MAKES ABOUT 1.4 kg (3 lb)
1.1 kg (2 1/2 lb) trimmed rhubarb, chopped
1.1 kg (2 1/2 lb) sugar
juice of 2 lemons
25 g (1 oz) fresh root ginger
100 g (4 oz) preserved or crystallised ginger, chopped
1. Put the rhubarb in a large bowl in alternate layers with the sugar and lemon juice, cover and leave overnight.
2. Next day, bruise the root ginger slightly with a weight or rolling pin, and tie it in a piece of muslin. Put the rhubarb mixture into a preserving pan with the muslin bag, bring to the boil and boil rapidly for 15 minutes.
3. Remove the muslin bag, add the preserved or crystallised ginger and boil for a further 5 minutes or until the rhubarb is clear. Test for a set and, when setting point is reached, take the pan off the heat and skim the surface with a slotted spoon. Pot and cover the jam.