Strawberry Rhubarb Jam is a sweet, slightly tart spread, and a delicious take on a classic with an out-of-this-work taste. Perfect on biscuits on a summer morning!
Rhubarb has always been one of my dad’s favorites. He loves tart flavors. And it was easy to grow in Tennessee, so I never really thought much about its preferred growing conditions, or the fact that fresh rhubarb is not easy to find in small towns central Texas.
But that’s where I live now, where not only did I not have any success growing it, but it’s not available at the farmer’s markets. So I buy it frozen.
As much as I love to eat locally and support local growers, I am thankful for the modern miracle of refrigeration and semi trucks to deliver out of area produce. Not everything is as easy to grow as strawberries.
Anyway, regardless of where and how you get your rhubarb, this recipe will be easy to make, and just as delicious.
Ingredients for Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
This jam recipe is very simple – if you’ve made homemade strawberry jam in the past, there’s just one extra ingredients.
- Strawberries. If you have a supply of farm fresh strawberries, this is perfect! There’s no better flavor than a freshly picked, in season strawberry. If not, don’t be afraid to use frozen strawberries! This means that if you run out of time to make jam in the spring, you can always freeze your fresh strawberries to make this jam later. It also means you can buy frozen strawberries to make it with. Don’t let ideal get in the way of good!
- Rhubarb. The same principles apply to rhubarb. As I mentioned earlier, I don’t have access to fresh rhubarb in my area without driving to a larger city – and even then, it’s trucked in from areas where its grown. The upside is that buying frozen rhubarb cuts down on prep time for me, since it’s already sliced.
- Fruit pectin. This is essential for making the jam set up. I use Sure Jel powdered pectin. It’s easy use, and available practically everywhere.
- Lemon juice. This adds flavor, and a little moisture to get you going while you heat the fruit to cook and mash it. But most importantly, it lowers the pH of your jam mixture, neutralizing negative charges on the pectin, allowing the jam to come to gather and gel. Food science is crazy.
- Sugar. As we know, rhubarb is fairly tart. Plus the sugar actually helps aid the pectin in setting the jam. You can make sugar free jam such as in this sugar free strawberry jam recipe. But for most of us, since jam is eaten in small quantities, excess sugar consumption isn’t too much of a concern.
Tips For Success
Making jam is a pretty simple process, but I do have a few tips.
The first one is about butter; another common ingredient in making jams and jellies.
Does that surprise you?
During the process of boiling the fruit and sugar, it can get quite foamy. The foam is perfectly edible, but also airy, so it doesn’t can well, and needs to be skimmed off before the jam is ladled into jars. You can skim the foam into a bowl for eating fresh, but many people prefer to minimize the foam by adding a small amount of butter or oil before the jam starts to boil. This minimizes foam production, which can be helpful, but it completely optional.
A second tip is to cut your fruit into smaller pieces before cooking it. This will ensure that you don’t miss any whole strawberries or giant chunks of rhubarb when you mash or blend the fruit.
Thirdly, Be sure to start the cooking process gently. Adding a little lemon juice to the fruit will help speed along the process of moisture release, but heating it gently will help avoid scorching until you get to the point where the fruit is soft enough to blend or mash.
Fourth, set your jars and lids out ahead of time. I usually use half-pint jars for jam, but a larger family might want to use full pints.
Fifth, make sure you use quality lids. I’ve made the mistake of buying bulk volumes of lids that weren’t the best, and ended up with spoiled food because of it. Today, I use a lot of Denali canning lids, which have a money-back guarantee, and I’ve yet to have one not seal.
Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam Recipe Full Instructions
- Wash your fruit, and cap and dice your strawberries.
- Slice rhubarb across the stalk to no more than half inch thick pieces. This is to minimize stringiness in your jam.
- Place measured out fruit (specific quantities and methods are detailed in the recipe card below) in a heavy bottomed 4 quart or larger pot.
- Add lemon juice, and heat over low-medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the fruit softened, and begins to release some juice.
- Mash fruit with a potato masher, or immersion blender. I much prefer the blender, as it’s quick and easy. If you don’t have one, but want smaller chunks of fruit, you can process fruit (carefully to avoid burns) in a blender or food processor, then add it back to the pan.
- Once the fruit is blended or mashed to your satisfaction, add fruit pectin, and stir until fully combined.
- Add a teaspoon of butter or oil if desired to minimize foaming.
- Heat mixture over medium heat until it reaches a full boil. This might not look like a full rolling boil, but rather a popping and sputtering because the mixture is fairly thick.
- At this point, stir in all the sugar, all at once, until fulling dissolved.
- Bring mixture back to a full, rolling boil that can’t be stirred down.
- Boil for one minute, then remove from heat.
- Use a spoon to skim any foam from the top into a bowl. This foam is perfectly edible, but not great for canning. (Note: these photos give you an idea of how much foam to expect without using butter as a preventative.)
- Ladle hot jam into clean jars leaving about a half inch headspace, wipe jar rim clean, and fit with lids, and screw down rings tightly.
- I like to use Denali canning lids. They have a guaranteed seal, and I have yet to have one fail on me.
How to can strawberry Rhubarb Jam
Canning jam is actually a very simple process. In fact, it’s really not much different from boiling pasta – no need to be intimidated – ever!
- You will need a kettle large enough to hold your jars, with extra height to make sure water will cover the jars.
- You will need a rack of some sort to put in the bottom of the kettle to separate the jars from the bottom of the kettle. In a pinch, you can use a folded dish towel, but a metal rack, is best.
- You will need a lid.
A water bath canner kettle comes with all fo these things, but it’s always okay to improvise If you have a pressure canner, you can put that rack in a stock pot. If you have an instant pot, you can use the rack that came with it in a smaller kettle, etc.
- To prepare your kettle, fit it with the rack, and fill it 2/3 full of water.
- If your jars or jam are still hot, heat the water. If they’re cold, use cool water.
- Essentially, use water that is the same temperature as your jam.
- Put jars in the pot, making sure they’re covered with at least an inch of water.
- Cover pot, and bring to a full rolling boil.
- Boil pint jars for 10 minutes, and half pints for 5 minutes. I you have a mix of sizes, just go for 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and leave in the water bath until cooled.
- Or, remove lid, being careful not to burn yourself with boiling water, to speed up cooling process, and remove water at least 15 minutes of cooling. Protect jars from drafts as you remove them, and set them in a place they won’t be disturbed as they cool, covering hot jars with a towel to protect from drafts.
- Once completely cool check for seals.
- After 24 hours, you can remove rings, and wash any stickiness from jars.
- Store in a cool place out of direct sunlight.
How much does this recipe make?
You should end up with about 9 cups of jam. This comes out to 9 half pints, or 4 pints and 1 half pint. You may also choose to use quarter pint jars. These are great for making sampler packs, and make awesome hostess gifts.
Other recipes to enjoy
- Rhubarb Crisp
- Homemade strawberry Jam
- Sugar-Free Strawberry Jam
- Raspberry-Peach Jam
- Blackberry Freezer Jam
How to make Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
Sweet and tart jam made with strawberries and rhubarb.
- Prep Time: 35 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 9 cups 1x
- Category: canning and preserving
- Method: stove top
- Cuisine: American
- 2 1/2 cups strawberries, hulled, and diced
- 2 1/2 cups rhubarb, sliced across the stalk into 1/2 inch thick (or smaller) pieces
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1.75 oz. powdered pectin (one box of Sure Jel)
- 5 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- Combine fruit and lemon juice in 4 quart (or larger) pot
- Heat gently, stirring often, until fruit is softened
- Mash fruit with a potato masher, or blend with immersion blender until fruit is pureed to your satisfaction
- Add fruit pectin, and stir to dissolve
- Heat fruit to a full boil. It may not look like much of a boil because the mixture may be too thick to roll and boil, but it will bubble and pop, regardless of how much you stir
- Add sugar, all at once, and stir until dissolved
- Bring back to a full, rolling boil that can’t be stirred down
- Set timer and boil for one minute
- Remove from heat and ladle into clean jars
- Wipe jar rims clean, and screw down lids firmly
- To can: Prepare water bath canner with hot water (if canning hot jam right away. If, for some reason, you need to wait until jam is cooled to start the canning process, use cool water)
- Place jars in canner, making sure that they are covered by at least 1 inch of water
- Place lid on canner and bring to a full, rolling boil over medium-high heat
- Boil for 5 minutes
- Remove from heat and let cool. If possible, leave jars in water until cool enough to handle. If not, remove lid from kettle, and let temperature come down for at least 15 minutes, then remove jars, and cover them with a towel to protect from drafts that could crack jars until cooled
- Store jam in a cool place out of direct sunlight
Keywords: homemade jam, rhubarb jam, strawberry jam, canning
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