Sunday, July 5, 2009

Rhubarb Conserves... A Work in Progress

Last October while we were in France, I spotted Bonne Maman's Confiture de Rhubarbe in a supermarket. Not being a huge fan of all things sweet first thing in the morning, this was perfect for my taste buds. It had a lovely balance of sweet and tart. We devoured the jar in the two weeks we were there. After making Rhubarb Ice Cream a few weeks back, I've been eager to recreate this French treat. Luckily I spotted some rhubarb yesterday, so bought a pound to try my luck.
I first started by slicing 1 pound of rhubarb, covering with 3/4 cups of sugar and cooked over low heat, covered, for 5 minutes, until the water began to release from the rhubarb.

Next, cook for 20 minutes over medium heat, uncovered, stirring frequently.
As I hadn't really planned on making this, I didn't have jars on hand. Instead, once the mixture cooled, I stored in an enamel covered tin in the refrigerator over night.
As this was my first attempt, it didn't come out 100% right. While I was very pleased with the flavor, it was a little more watery than I had imagined. The consistency was perfect, so I wouldn't recommend cooking longer. As in the Bonne Maman version, I think I will use a little pectin next time to thicken. Do you have any advice or experience on using pectin? I'd love to hear your suggestions before trying!


Michelle said...

Well despite your comments it looks great!! I'm sure it tastes great too! Hope you had a wonderful weekend, Amy. :)

Amy J said...

Thanks Michelle! :-) Overall, I was very happy with it. The taste was right, but it was a little too watery. Good excuse to make it again! x

Jane King said...

Hello! You could try using Jam sugar that has added pectin in. Rhubarb is low in pectin so it will need help to achieve a set. Also you need to bring it to a rolling boil stirring all the time. Boil for 5 mins and start testing for a set. To test put a saucer in the freezer and after the 5 mins blob a teaspoon of your jam on the saucer if you can then push it with your finger and it wrinkles and the two halves remain separate you have a set. If not return to heat and boil again test every 5 mins. Thats how you make jam and i am not sure if thats what you want? But you could try it at different intervals to see what texture you get and what you want? xxxxx

Amy J said...

Thanks for the good advice Jane! I don't want it completely jam like, just a little less watery. Bonne Maman use pectin in theirs, so I really should have. Have never heard of jam sugar. Do you get that in the super market? Will have to look for that. You are the master of jams! x