This is a very quick and easy compote to make: it keeps for a few weeks in a closed preserve or jam jar in the fridge. Spread it on bread, stir it into yogurt or serve it with any Italian semi-hard cheese from Asiago to Parmesan.
Makes 1 x 200ml pot
1 bunch rhubarb, topped and tailed and cut into 1 inch chunks
50 caster sugar (you may need more depending on how tart your rhubarb is)
120ml cold water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1. Put the first three ingredients into a non-stick saucepan. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Bring the mixture to the boil and cook until it thickens. Taste and add more sugar to sweeten if it needs it – it will depend on your rhubarb. At the end you should have a thick compote that is caramel in colour. Remove the pan from the heat and add the vanilla and the lemon juice (the lemon juice brightens the flavour) and stir. Pot into a sterilised jar, pop the lid on, leave to cool, then store in the fridge.
How to sterilise a preserving jar
Wash a heatproof jar, lid and preserving rubber ring if you are using one in warm soapy water. Rinse well and dry with a clean tea towel or paper towel. Put it on a baking tray into a 170C/325F/Gas 3 oven and leave for ten minutes. Fill the jar when it is still warm and put the lid on and seal. (Be careful lifting or touching the jar, it will be very hot.) It’s easier to use a small ladle to fill the jar.
Recipe notes and variations
– You can make this jam even richer by using demerara sugar instead of caster sugar.
– Feel free to use granulated sugar instead of caster sugar if you have it.
– You don’t have to put the finished preserve in a sterilised jar: just spoon it into a bowl, leave it to cool, cover with cling film or a lid and use straight from the fridge. It will keep about a week this way.
Photograph copyright foodpixies.com