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Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam

June 23, 2010

Before the end of strawberry season caught up to us, Jane and I managed to get another round of jam-making in.  This time, we found rhubarb as well as strawberries (at the same stand, no less!).  Not too cheap though – we spent about $20 on 2.5 pounds each of strawberries and rhubarb.  No mind, the tasty end product was well worth it!

Lots of chopping...

Taking some cues and a modified recipe from Saving the Season, we chopped up the rhubarb and strawberries and let them sit in their own separate bowls for about an hour.   This is the genius of this recipe, because you can cook the rhubarb down, which the rhubarb can handle, and then add the strawberries, so that they don’t get overcooked.  Next time we might even take it a step further and add the strained strawberry juice first, cook that down, and then add the strawberries.

Chopped fruit macerating

Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam, adapted from Saving the Season’s Fancy Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam

2.5 pounds rhubarb

2.5 pounds strawberries

4 cups sugar

zest of 1  lemon

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1. Chop the rhubarb into manageable lengths that allow you to split it lengthwise in quarters.  The roughly dice those quarters.  Set aside in a bowl with 2 cups of sugar, half of the zest, and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.

2. Remove caps of strawberries and chop – I prefer to cut in half lengthwise and then cut each half lengthwise a few times.  Basically nice small pieces release their juice faster and break down well.  Set aside with the remainder of sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice.

3. In a large pot (the bigger the better), heat the rhubarb over medium heat for about 15-20 minutes, constantly stirring (tag team stirring works well here…).  Once the rhubarb is cooked down and starting to look uniform, add the strawberries and cook for an additional 10 minutes.  For the last 5 minutes or so of this, we switched to a wisk.

4. Pour into sterilized (that means in boiling water for 10 minutes) jars, apply lids (that have been sitting in not-quite boiling water), screw on caps (not too tight) and process for 10 minutes.  And that means 10 minutes from the time it returns to a boil, so no cheating!

Yield: 10 8-oz jars and 4 4-oz jars

Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam, ready to can!

Update: As of the beginning of August, I noticed that this jam was already starting to fade in color.  I quickly used it all up in a fruit crumble, but was surprised it would turn so quickly.  I will likely try a different recipe next year…perhaps the sugar was too low?  Or I should add ascorbic acid to keep the color?  We shall see.  The plain strawberry jam did not have this issue.

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