This month the Food in Jars Mastery Challenge is all about jellies and shrubs and so a friend and I got together last weekend to make one of each. I’ll tell you more about the shrub later (I’d never heard the term before – they’re actually “drinking vinegars”) but this post is about the delicious, delicious jelly that we combined efforts to make.
Via text chat one night in preparation for our time together a few days later, my friend and I determined that she had rhubarb in the freezer and I had a bottle of given-to-us sparkling wine. She suggested the Rhubarb Prosecco Jelly that was featured in Marisa’s post (above) as a jelly recipe option, so that’s what we did. If you read the recipe from the Local Kitchen Blog, you’ll see that it really does take some time to prepare and so we decided that, the night before we got together, my friend would cook the rhubarb (Step 1), while I made the pectin. (I’ll tell you more about that step in the next blog post.) So these two things gave us both jobs to do the night before we got together to save time the next day. (Of course we texted each other pics as we were doing it!)
The next day we met at my house and started at Step 3 of the recipe. We got the broken down rhubarb juice on the stove, combined it with the sparkling wine (it wasn’t “prosecco” but still could be used in this recipe), sugar, lemon juice and salt, and warmed it until the sugar dissolved:
We added the pectin and cooked it:
until the mixture started to boil:
and boiled very high (boy, we should have used my stockpot! I kept having to lift the pot off the stove so it wouldn’t boil over – lesson learned):
and finally reached the gel point. You’ll notice that I have a candy thermometer set in the Dutch oven and we also used the freezer plate test to see if the jelly was going to set. This took a few tries and even when we pulled it off the stove I was only semi-confident that we were doing it at the right time. But it worked!
And look how pretty it turned out! And, more importantly, it tastes delicious. We had it soon after on salt and pepper baked crackers with a little white Balderson sharp cheddar and it was so good. I think we had been skeptical that this recipe would be as tasty as it was! I think this would be pretty to give as gifts for Christmas, if I sometime have the foresight to freeze rhubarb for pulling out later. (Mental note to self – find rhubarb when it comes out starting next month on Vancouver Island for this very purpose!)