After touring a local strawberry farm where I learned everything about my family’s favorite berry, I am sharing with you my favorite way to save summer in a jar, this recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Jam.
I moved to California over 20 years ago. And since my roots have nestled deep into this state, I have come to realize that there are wonderful benefits to living here.
One of the many reasons I love living in Southern California is the fresh produce. Our farmers here grow such wonderous things, and I have access to all of them – avocados, pomegranates, oranges and so much more. I am so thankful to have access to such delicious sweet strawberries every year.
Besides eating strawberries just as they are, I love to bake with them. One of my favorite fruit pairings is strawberry and rhubarb. A true match made in heaven! And this recipe for my strawberry rhubarb jam combines this marvelous sweet and sour combination.
Why this recipe rocks!
I come from a family of avid jam makers. It’s how we preserve foods and share a bottle of love in a jar. Whenever we have any fresh fruit around, we make jam.
And this strawberry rhubarb jam is no different. It is ridiculously easy to make and you don’t need anything special, like pectin. You can make one jar or one hundred. It is easy to adjust the recipe to the quantity you need.
But most of all, this particular jam bottles up everything that makes summer so special: sweet strawberries and tangy rhubarb.
Ingredients you need
Don’t let the simplicity of this recipe fool you. You only need four ingredients to make this strawberry rhubarb jam. What makes the jam so tasty is choosing high quality and flavorful strawberries and rhubarb.
- Strawberries: Fresh is always best when making jam. You want sweet and flavorful berries. You can use frozen strawberries. Just thaw and drain the juice.
- Rhubarb: Like the berries, I prefer to make jam with fresh rhubarb, but you can also use frozen. Rhubarb falls apart and melt when you make jam, whether you use fresh or frozen.
- Sugar: I use granulated sugar in this recipe, but I have also made jam with honey and with brown sugar. I include these adjustments in the recipe card below. I also use minimal amounts of sugar. So this makes a sweet and sour type jam. If you want it sweeter, add more sugar.
- Lemon: Both the lemon zest and juice is often used in jam making. Citrus fruits include natural pectin, which thickens the jam. No additional pectin is necessary unless your jam is watery, as it could be if you use frozen strawberries.
Recipe Step-by-Step Instructions
1 – Clean the fruit: Both the strawberries and the rhubarb need to be rinsed clean before you begin the jam making process. For the strawberries, this means removing the hull and giving them a quick rinse to remove excess seeds and dirt. Give them a little pat dry.
2 – Slice the fruit: Once clean, coarsely chop the berries and rhubarb. The fruit will melt during the cooking process, so the slices don’t have to be perfect. But do keep the slices about 1/2-inch thick or less.
3 – Macerate the fruit: Place the fruit in a large bowl with the lemon juice, zest and sugar. This macerating process lets the sugar to soften the fruit and release its juices. Let the fruit sit in this mixture for 4 hours or up to overnight. Notice how much liquid is released during this process.
4 – Cook the jam: Once macerated, the fruit is ready to be cooked. Place everything in a small pot and bring to a boil. Once it boils, reduce heat to medium and let it simmer and thicken. Use a spoon to remove any foam that rises to the top. These are impurities that need to be removed.
5- Smash the jam: Using a potato masher, mash up the fruit to break down the bigger chunks of strawberries. If you want a smoother jam, use a hand blender and blend everything in the pot.
6 – Jar the jam: If you are canning the jam, you will need to sanitize the jars. This can be done by hand washing with hot water and soap or by running the jars through the dishwasher. I have full directions on how to can using hot water here.
Tips on jam making
Jam making is not only fun, but it also very easy for even the novice cook. Just follow these tips and tricks and you’ll be sharing your award winning jam with everyone soon enough!
- Microwave your sanitized jars right before ladling the hot jam in. This keeps the jars from breaking from extreme swings in temperature.
- Fight the urge to overfill the jars! Fill only to 1/2-inch from the top of the jar or else the jars will burst.
- Sweet fruit will need less sugar. I always err on the side of less sugar when making jam. If your fruit is not very sweet, taste the jam while it simmers and add more if you need it.
To test the jam, scoop a spoonful onto a plate and place it in the fridge for a few minutes. If the jam looks thick after it sets in the fridge, it’s ready
Yes! A good rule of thumb is to use half the amount of honey as you would sugar. So for every 1 cup of sugar, use 1/2 cup of honey.
Absolutely! Be sure to use the right container for freezing. Glass can shatter, so be careful. There are plastic freezer jars available that you can use. Again, do not overfill as jam will expand while it freezes.
- 1 lb chopped strawberries
- 12 oz chopped rhubarb, about 2 stalks
- 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 lemon, juice and grated zest
- In a large 4-quart pot mix chopped strawberries, chopped rhubarb, sugar and lemon juice and grated lemon zest together to combine.
- Let strawberry mixture sit for at least 4 hours or up to overnight to macerate and release the fruits' juices.
- Transfer mixture to a heavy pot and heat over medium heat.
- Bring the mixture to boil slowly, stirring often to prevent sticking.
- Reduce temperature to medium-low if and cook until thickened, approximately 1 hour.
- Use a potato masher to break down the bigger chunks of strawberries. If you want a smoother jam, use a hand blender and blend everything in the pot.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If hot water canning click here.
Microwave your sanitized jars right before ladling the hot jam in. This keeps the jars from breaking from extreme swings in temperature.
Fight the urge to overfill the jars! Fill only to 1/2-inch from the top of the jar or else they will burst.
Sweet fruit will need less sugar. I always err on the side of less sugar when making jam. If your fruit is not very sweet, taste the jam while it simmers and add more if you need it.
You can make jam with honey too. Start with 3/4 cup of honey and adjust the sweetness to your personal taste.
Serving Size:1 oz
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 43Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 0gSugar: 10gProtein: 0g
PS If you try this recipe, why not leave a star rating in the recipe card right below and/or a review in the comment section further down the page? I always appreciate your feedback.
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