Rhubarb Raspberry & Vanilla Jam

I was not very friendly with rhubarb for quite a long time. It was just a foreign looking thing I walked past at the supermarket - looked kind of like a stalk of pinkish celery, or the stem of a swiss/rainbow chard, and I just had no idea what to do with it. So I left it well alone.

My first real discovery of it was probably being introduced to the rhubarb tart at Le Pain Quotidien by my friend, who was obsessed with it. I had to admit it was pretty delicious, not too sweet and quite unique in flavour.

And then one day, my mum suddenly made rhubarb jam at home, without so much as a mention of her being aware of its existence prior to this day. My sister and I both fell in love with her jam, which we enjoyed mostly on lovely, white flour toast.

I decided to try my hand at this the other day, and it didn't turn out too bad at all. It's so easy that I struggle to call it a recipe, but here is what I did.

Firstly, I took one bunch of rhubarb and chopped it up into about 3cm pieces.

The important thing is to weight the amount of fruit you're going to use. For the very sweet-toothed person, some recipes recommend an equal amount of sugar and fruit. I don't really enjoy very sweet things, so I cut that by quite a lot and used about a quarter of the weight of the fruit (which was about 100g caster sugar).

I heated up the fruit & sugar on medium heat, until the sugar started to melt and the the fruit softened. And then I added a half cup of water, the juice of one small lemon & 1 TBSP of good quality vanilla extract.

As I kept stirring (to ensure none of it burnt) and it started to simmer, it didn't look very appetising - the colour wasn't the prettiest, really.

That's where the raspberries come in. As well as tasting lovely, the colour they give off is also beautiful, so I added 50g of frozen raspberries (just because I had them on hand, but obviously fresh would be great too), and it turned out a pretty pink colour.

I basically just let the whole thing simmer for about 10-15 minutes, until it had reached a fairly thick consistency that could pass as a jam.

I let it cool down, and that was it!

It tastes great on toast, and I bet it would go perfectly with scones too (yet to try that, I don't even know why). But I also love it the healthy way, on top of light greek yogurt with a sprinkle of granola

Jam-making is really not rocket science, and it's so versatile you might as well give it a try.