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Finally the first stalks of rhubarb have appeared here in New York. They are very slender and barely pink, but after a long cold winter, I'll take them. This week I went on a bit of a binge, baking up two crisps and make a big batch of this jam with strawberries, honey, cinnamon, and lemon zest.
The key to perfect rhubarb jam is to simmer the chopped stalks just until they begin to break down. This ensures that every bit of jam is infused with tart rhubarb flavor and that there are no tough, fibrous chunks. Then stir in the rest of the fruit, sweetener, and any other ingredients (zest, spices, etc.).
I kept this recipe simple, but you could experiment by replacing the water used to simmer the rhubarb with wine (a rosé would be particularly nice), or swapping orange zest and juice for the lemon. Or swap the cinnamon stick for a split vanilla bean.
The tart flavors of this jam make it a perfect compliment to sweet breads, cakes, and other desserts. Try it spooned over vanilla ice cream or swirled into rice pudding.
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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.
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