Thursday, May 28, 2009
Rosella Jam (again)
(The first Batch)
I'm quickly typing this while some more Rosellas bubble away on the stove! This is my third and final Batch. Enough's enough!
I'm talking about Rosella jam and if you've never tasted it man you're missing something special! The plant Rosellas come from grows in the tropics so it's quite likely if you live in a temporate climate you've never heard of this jam.
(Rosella calixes. Jam aficionado behind, Ubud Botanic Gardens)
While in Bali we visited the botanic gardens in Ubud. I noticed there were some familiar Hibiscus bushes scattered through the garden. They were Hibiscus Sabdariffa (Rosella bushes). Back at reception on our way out I stopped to talk to the lady at the counter who had a basket full of very large Rosella calixes. On the counter were bags of Rosella tea and when she opened the door to the fridge it was full of jam jars.
Inevitably we got talking about rosella jam and I came away with a jar of some very delicious jam made right there at the Ubud botanic gardens. Great products!
A couple of weeks after getting back to Darwin I headed out to a spot where I can usually find Rosellas at this time of year (Between the end of April and early June). There were heaps there but picking Rosellas takes a fair bit of time so I only took one shopping bag full. This was enough for me to cook up 6 jars of jam, twice the number I made last year!
(First Batch of jam)
The jam turned out fantastically! I don't like to cook it too long and use as little sugar as possible. Fortunately I had enough pectin for it to set just right.
After this great success I went back out there and picked another bag full which I soon converted into another 5 jars worth. This time I used less sugar and cooked for only 10-15 minutes. The result was thinner and much more tart but great on toast!
This is the most I've ever made and I've been distributing the jam to friends all over the place. Finally I went back out one more time and collected another bag full which converted down to 1kg of calixes. They are bubbling away on the stove right now and I can smell them cooking. I thought I'd blog about them while they cook as a means of distracting myself so I don't interupt the process before time. I just want to give them a bit more time than the last batch.
I expect after having cooked this batch I would have created about 4 litres of jam! That's so cool.
If you've never tasted it you've gotta try it. I suppose the closest flavour that matches it might be rhubarb. It has the same tartyness and is red but doesn't quite match the special flavour.
Get some if you can. It's awesome!