Posts Tagged ‘Grapefruit’
I must admit, I honestly and truly don’t even know what rhubarb really tastes like. Yes, I’ve had my fair share of strawberry-rhubarb crumbles, or the rhubarb-raspberry flavor cousin in the form of a jamy crostata or a big crumb coffee cake. I know its a little bitter and even a bit sour, from the bites I get of it of said rhubarb-raspberry-or-strawberry treats. I always like whatever it’s in, including this jam here. But in terms of what its flavor actually is, I’ve no idea.
While we’re at it, I might as well tell you that I’m not really even sure what one is suppose to call this… spread. Luisa, where I got the recipe from, calls it preserves, I’ve been calling it a jam because frankly any type of fruit boiled down with a shocking amount of sugar is a jam to me, and Wikipedia is telling me it’s technically a marmalade. I am not choosing to go with Wikipedia because I trust it more than Luisa Weiss or Alice Waters (quite the opposite, probably), but I think I finally decided to call it a marmalade because the tart grapefruit peel, minced up and speckled throughout, just makes it feel more marmalade-y to me than anything else.
So I guess what I’m figuring out here is that, for some reason, I intuitively know what marmalade is suppose to taste like, but if you asked me what the flavor of rhubarb is, I would stare at you with a blank, clueless face? Woo boy I am just killing it today with the eloquence!
Anyway, I didn’t know what to expect when I was making this. The ingredients are rhubarb, an ingredient of which my situation is embarrassingly noted above, and grapefruit, a citrus that I only really take to about half the time I eat it. And together? It just sounded, I don’t know, a little weird. I’m not sure what happened, but somewhere between dumping all that sugar to soak with the grapefruit juice and rhubarb and having it bubble and hiss down to a thick consistency, a delicious jam, or ermm, marmalade was born. Somehow, the flavors just work. It’s not overly tart and not at all bitter like a lot of orange marmalades I’ve tried, but it doesn’t have that cloying sweetness of something like strawberry jam. It’s a little hard to describe, so you might just have to trust me (if you can, after reading this post!)–it’s interesting, and awesome.
I made some of this bread to go with it (and is what you see featured in the above picture when I was trying it out with the marmalade), hoping for an awesome double-packed post, but something about that bread fell flat with me. This is most likely my fault, because I was in the mood for something pillowy and yeasty to top my marmalade with, and a quick soda bread that baked up to be dense and hard was probably not the right choice for that. Especially when paired with the marmalade, the dominant nutty and flax-flavored flavor of the bread just clashed with the sweet marmalade. The marmalade was, however, pretty awesome the following day when I topped my pancakes with a dollop of it. It also sounds perfect with some warm cream biscuits, or even just a single scoop as is from the jar.
Slightly adapted from Alice Waters and The Wednesday Chef
Makes about four cups
I halved the recipe and as a result didn’t process it, seeing as I am pretty sure that jar you see above is going to be empty within the next week or two.
2 pounds rhubarb, rinsed
2 grapefruit, rinsed and scrubbed
3 1/2 cups sugar
Cut the rhubarb into about 1/2-inch slices. Peel the zest of one of the grapefruits using a vegetable peeler or a paring knife, and mince into very fine pieces. Place the rhubarb slices, the minced zest and the sugar in a large sturdy pot and juice both of the grapefruits into the pot. Let this mixture stand for at least half an house, but preferably for a couple hours or even overnight, in order for the sugar to dissolve and the rhubarb to release its juice (this is where the flavor magic happens, I think, so don’t skip it).
Place a small plate in the freezer. This will be used to more accurately test the “doneness” of the jam by its consistency. Bring the pot of fruit to a boil over high heat, stirring every once in awhile to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom. Once it starts boiling it will bubble up high on the sides of the pot, so beware. While the fruit mixture is bubbling, skim off any light-tinted foam that gathers around the edges of the pot. After about maybe ten minutes, more or less, the jam will subside and start bubbling thickly. At this point (you’ll know when it happens), stir frequently and start testing for the consistency by taking small spoonfuls of the jam and putting it on the cold plate. It quickly cools the sample, so you get a better sense at what the finished consistency will be. This test is helpful– your jam will look a lot less loose and liquidy than how it will be when it sets up.
When the jam has cooked down to the consistency of your liking (for me it was a couple minutes after the “subside and bubble thickly” part occurred), turn off the heat and carefully pour the jam into sterilized jars and process according to the manufacturer’s instructions.