This delicious rhubarb jam with health-boosting elderflowers makes a perfect seasonal combination that can be spread on toast, mixed in smoothies or served on top of baked camembert.
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The season of elderflowers just keeps me restless as I want to use their power and distinctive smell in various dishes, especially in desserts. They give a specific floral taste to ice-creams or marshmallows but I was ready to experiment.
Elderflowers are not only delicious and fragrant but also packed with antioxidants and antibacterial properties. They also work like insulin to lower blood sugar.
The elderflower blossoms have a specific floral rose-like scent that boosts the fruity flavors of raspberries or passion fruits. However, I like to live in seasons and use the fruits that are available at the same time as elderflowers bloom. The rhubarb season starts from April to June and their stalks are tender and delicate in spring. At the same time Elderflowers bloom, the garden is full of rhubarb, so I thought I’d give it a try.
Advantages of homemade jam
Making your own jam is not the only way to preserve fruits or herbs for later use. The main advantage is to decide what ingredients will be put into your delicious jam and how it will be cooked.
For example I tend to cook the fruits for a shorter time to retain more of their flavours and prefer to make low-sugar jams or use other sweeteners such as honey or syrups instead.
One of the biggest advantages is to try new flavours and combinations that are not available in the shop. So I usually make two or three jars, one we eat within the first week. The other I usually give it to my mom or sister to try something new and the third one I use to make ice cream. I just simply mix it with whipped double cream and freeze it. Last year I gave one jar of rosehip jam to my mom and she was asking me next week to make another batch.
I also like to make jams with a softer set very often without any pectin.
Rhubarb belongs to the low pectin fruit category but I use citrus seeds that are high in pectin without any added store-bought pectin.
I left the rhubarb to macerate overnight with brown sugar to release some liquid. To get the elderflower flavor I used a muslin bag with a few Elderflowers that I left to macerate with rhubarb as well as a few citrus seeds and juice from 1 lemon.
Sweeteners in Rhubarb jam with Elderflowers
Usually, I prefer to use honey or elderflower cordial to sweeten the jam but I needed sugar for rhubarb to relieve its juices.
I have seen other rhubarb jam recipes using 1:1 sugar ratio (1cup of sugar to 1 cup of rhubarb) which I found too sweet. I prefer savoury taste rather than sweet so I reduced the amount of sugar to 1:4 sugar ratio (1 cup of sugar to 4 cups of rhubarb) which I found very tasty. Add more sugar if you like the jam sweet. I recommend tasting it before adding additional sugar.
How to make low sugar no pectin Elderflower Rhubarb jam
Remove the toxic leaves from rhubarb stalks first and compost them or throw them away
Rinse and chop the rhubarb into small pieces
Cut the lemon in half, squeeze its juices and keep lemon seeds on the side
Make a tiny sachet of citrus seeds using muslin bag
Make a small sachet with 4 Elderflower heads
Mix rhubarb and brown sugar together in a saucepan.
Add a tiny sachet of citrus seeds, a sachet of elderflowers and juice from one lemon to the mixture. Cover the saucepan and let it macerate overnight
Next day simmer the mixture over low heat until the sugar has dissolved and juices begin to run but no longer than 10 minutes and let cool.
Remove both sachets
Fill the jam in sterilized jars and keep them in the fridge or process them to use them later.
Certainly, you can use a water canner. Place the jars on the rack inside the pot. Fill the pot with water ¾ full. Cover the pot, bring it to boil and let it simmer for 10 minutes for a shelf stable Elderflower rhubarb jam.
It is not necessary to peel it as the stalks soften nicely when cooked.
If the jam was processed by canning in the water bath, it should last up to 2 years.
Without the canning process, the Elderflower rhubarb jam should be kept refrigerated and used within 2 weeks time.
Ways to use Elderflower Rhubarb jam
- Serve it with cheese like Gruyère or camembert on a cheese platter
- Spread it On top of toast
- Use it on top of cheesecake
- Add elderflower rhubarb jam full of antioxidants into white plain yoghurt instead of eating commercial sweet yoghurts
- Mix it into smoothies to boost the flavor
- Serve it on top of baked camembert
- Elderflower Rhubarb jam makes a perfect Pancake filling
- Mix it with whipped double cream, freeze it and eat it as an ice cream
- Add a few spoons into the oatmeal you make for breakfast.