Cherry blossoms

Cherry blossom jam

  • Makes 1 large jar
  • Easy

Beth Al Rikabi shares her recipe for cherry blossom jam, which has a delicate, almondy flavour

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It’s extremely satisfying to realise that not only are these pink clouds of seasonal scents beautiful to look at but delicious in a jam. There’s a buxom cherry blossom tree growing in my mum and dad’s garden and for the last few years I’ve enjoyed experimenting with the petals, making cordials, jams and using them to decorate cakes. The flavour is delicate and slightly almondy and the petals are so light that they almost dissolve with the heat and sugar, leaving a silky texture.

As rhubarb is abundant at this time of year, I decided that would bring a welcome tang and with the lime, make for a rather summery flavour to spread in cakes or dollop on yoghurt and ice cream.

Read more about how to garden forage from Beth. 

How to make cherry blossom jam

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Ingredients

  • Cherry blossom petals 3 cups
  • Water 500 ml
  • Jam sugar 500g
  • Rhubarb (use the pinkest ones) 4 sticks, finely sliced
  • Limes, juice and zest 2

Method

  • Step 1

    Pop the petals in a sieve and place in a bowl of cold water and leave for a few minutes, encouraging any little bugs to climb out. Lift out of the water and place in a heavy based saucepan with the water, sugar, rhubarb and lime. Stir to combine then once the sugar has dissolved, bring to the boil.

  • Step 2

    Leave to gently putter away, giving a little stir every now and then to check it hasn’t caught on the bottom. If you have a sugar thermometer, allow the pot to reach 105°c. If you do not then drop a small bit on to a cold plate, leave for a few minutes then run your finger through it. It’s ready when the jam wrinkles up a bit when pushed. Repeat this process until it’s thickened. If it so happens that it doesn’t thicken to a traditional jam like consistency, not to worry. It will still be delicious. This just happens sometimes.

  • Step 3

    Pot up into sterilised jars and keep refrigerated.

Beth Al Rikabi is a 'free-range chef' who creates seasonal, foraged vegetarian food for retreats and supper clubs. beththefreerangechef.com

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