I'm always looking for new and unexpected ways to use rhubarb. My latest obsession is pairing it with sweet cherries. In this recipe, 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. Sure the ingredients are expensive, but rhubarb comes but once a year. And trust me, the results are well worth the splurge.
This jam is the perfect addition to any festive, celebratory brunch (hello, Mother's Day). It would be delicious over waffles with a dollop of crème fresh, or sandwiched in a biscuit with a wedge of brie.
- 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.