Day 156 Rhubarb Jelly

I wanted to try another of the rhubarb recipes in the cook book so I bought some rhubarb at the market on Saturday as my plant isn’t producing much yet. Miss K. Fisher’s recipe for Rhubarb Jelly is an example of the somewhat confusing Preserving section of the 1906 Berlin Cook Book. There are traditional jam and jelly recipes but also a few like this one which are more dessert recipes.

I cut the rhubarb into chunks and put a small amount of water over it in a saucepan. I soaked the gelatine in the cold water and then poured it into the boiling rhubarb. I squeezed one lemon into the mixture as well as the sugar. A quick stir and it was ready to pour into the mould to cool.

Miss K. Fisher could be the Catherine Fisher listed in the 1901 census. At that time she is 17 years old and one of several daughters living with her mother Josephene. Catherine has three older sisters, one younger sister, a younger brother and the household includes a female lodger. This is a family with German ancestry although the lodger is the only one born in Germany. They are all listed as Roman Catholic but unfortunately the occupation listed is illegible. All but the oldest girl and the mother are working in the same occupation.

This is not jelly to spread on toast. Instead this gelatine is a dessert for rhubarb lovers. I really liked it as it retains the tang of the rhubarb but still has some sweetness. It is important to use the minimum amount of water possible to cook the rhubarb. My jelly didn’t set well and I imagine it is due to the somewhat watery rhubarb. I think I’ll try this one again but cut the recipe in half.

4 cups cooked rhubarb, 3 tablespoons gelatine, juice of 1 lemon, 4 tablespoons cold water, 1 1/2 cups sugar. Put rhubarb on stove to boil, soften gelatine in water, and on it pour the boiling rhubarb, stirring well. Add sugar and lemon juice. Pour into a wet mould. Serve with whipped cream. Level measurements are used.

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