Strawberry-rhubarb jam

strawberry-rhubarb jam

First jam of the season!  I grow my own strawberries and rhubarb, but production is still low, so I bought the rhubarb at the Portland Farmer’s Market this weekend, and used strawberries I’d frozen from previous harvests.

There are many different variations on this kind of jam, and lots of decisions to make – how much sugar (if any)?  What kind of pectin (if any)?  What ratio of strawberries to rhubarb?  Here’s what I did:

2.25 pounds of rhubarb, chopped fine and cooked down (makes about 3 1/2 cups)
5 1/2 cups strawberries (defrosted and mashed with a potato masher)
5 1/3 tlb Ball low/no sugar pectin
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups sugar

I combined the rhubarb, strawberries, and water in a large pot, then slowly added in the pectin; brought the mixture to a full rolling boil that couldn’t be stirred down; reduced the heat and added in the sugar; brought it back to a hard boil for exactly one minute; and then ladled it into half pint jars and hot bath canned it for 10 minutes.

I got 10 half pint jars out of one batch, and I like the taste and texture – not too thick, not too sweet.  The rhubarb definitely adds a little tartness – just a little zing – without hurting the strawberry flavor.  I’m a nervous “jammer” because I always worry that it won’t set up, or the jars won’t seal, and then it’s been a lot of work for nothing, but so far, my odds have been pretty good.

This is going to be a big jamming season – I didn’t put up any last year because I had so many jars in my pantry, but we’ve worked it down to almost nothing, so we have plans for raspberries, marionberries, blackberries, and maybe some fun combinations with blueberries, apricots, and peaches, as well.

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