When I set out to make jam this morning, I dropped the cooking pot on my foot. An ominous beginning, to be sure, but the jam is so delicious that I’d bruise my foot all over again for a jar of the stuff.
Rhubarb and strawberries are a tried and true combination for pies and compotes, and they are equally suited to homemade jam. Sweet, tart, and thick, the preserves are perfect for spreading on toast, or as an accompaniment to a cheese plate. Better yet, for a sophistocated twist on PB&J, try some good french bread slathered with strawberry rhubarb jam and almond butter.
Jam is really not that hard to make, it just involves a little pre-planning and a clean kitchen. As I explained before in my recipe for Apricot Pineapple Jam, you’ll want to have all your equipment laid out before you start — sterilized jars atop a towel-lined counter, jam funnel and jar tongs at the ready.
This recipe contains no added pectin — the strawberries and rhubarb have enough thickening powers of their own to make a nice, thick jam. Pectin-free jams are a little bit more labor intensive to make, since you must stir continuously to avoid scorching your jam, but I think they are oh so worth it. When boiled for twenty five minutes, the fruit flavor concentrates and the texture is incomparable to anything you can buy in a store.
Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
makes 6 (8oz) jars
1 1/2 lbs. (3 large stalks) rhubarb, cut into 1/2″ pieces
1 1/2 lbs. (about 2 pints) strawberries
4 1/4 C. organic cane sugar
juice of 2 lemons (about 1/3 C.)
1/2 tsp. butter or Earth Balance Buttery Spread
1. Combine rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice in a large (8-quart) pot. Stir to distribute the sugar evenly, then leave to macerate for 2 hours.
2. While ingredients are macerating, sterilize the jars and get your canning set-up ready.
3. Put the pot of strawberries and rhubarb over a medium flame and bring to a boil. Stirring continuously to prevent scorching, boil for 20-25 minutes, until the jam begins to thicken and set.
4. Turn off heat and add butter. Stir until foam has subsided, then skim off any that remains.
5. Ladle the jam into sterilized jars, then process them in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.
6. Cool jars to room temperature, remove bands, then rinse the bands and jars with warm water. Dry thoroughly, replace bands, and store.