A three to one ratio of rhubarb to cherries yields the perfect balance of tart and sweet. Half a vanilla bean and a generous splash of orange liqueur make for one fancy jam. It would be delicious over waffles with a dollop of crème fresh, or sandwiched in a biscuit with a wedge of brie.
About the Author: Lucy Baker is a food writer and the author of The Boozy Baker: 75 Recipes for Spirited Sweets and Edible DIY: Simple, Giftable Recipes to Savor and Share. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, son, and dachshund.
- 2 1/4 cups sugar
- 3 teaspoons Pomona's Universal Pectin
- 6 cups diced rhubarb
- 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 2 cups fresh or frozen pitted sweet cherries
- Zest and juice from one lemon
- 4 teaspoons calcium water (included in the Pomona's packet)
- 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
Whisk the sugar and pectin in a medium bowl and set aside.
Combine the rhubarb, vanilla bean, and 1/2 cup water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer just until the rhubarb breaks down, 10 to 12 minutes. Meanwhile, puree the cherries in a food processor or blender. You should have 1 cup.
Measure the stewed rhubarb. You should have 3 cups. Discard the vanilla bean. Return the rhubarb and the pureed cherries to the saucepan. Add lemon zest and juice and calcium water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the sugar-pectin mixture and return the fruit mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil hard for one minute.
Remove the pot from the heat and skim any foam from the surface of the jam with a cold metal spoon. Stir in the Grand Marnier. Ladle the jam into hot sterilized jars and process them in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.