This post is sponsored by Ball® Fresh Preserving.
For the last nine canning seasons (I can’t quite believe it’s been that long), I’ve been partnering with the folks at Ball Canning to share recipes, new products, and canning tips. So far this year, I’ve tackled a pantry makeover (those clean-up shelves still bring me so much joy), and shared my cheater shrub recipe.
This month, I made a batch of Strawberry Rhubarb Jam using the recipe from Ball Canning. Strawberry season arrived quite late here in the Philadelphia region, and so I’ve been waiting on this recipe for a bit until the berries came in. But they finally arrived and they’ve been glorious. So plump, juicy and red!
This recipe uses an approach to combining the fruit, pectin and sugar that I rarely opt for but think I might choose more often going forward. Instead of macerating the fruit with the sugar, you cook the fruit with the pectin for a time before adding the sugar.
While you do have to stir near-constantly to ensure that the fruit doesn’t stick, this method shortens the cooking time and helps the finished jam retain a slightly more fresh tasting finished flavor.
This recipe does call for one vanilla bean to add flavor to the jam. Prices for natural vanilla beans are still high (there’s been a global shortage for several years now) and I exhausted my stash of beans last Christmas. In place of the bean, I used a teaspoon of vanilla bean paste. It’s my favorite substitute and brings both good vanilla flavor and those tell-tale vanilla bean specks.
Prior to cooking the jam, you want to prepare your canning pot. Gather six half pint jars. If they’re new, wash them in warm soapy water before proceeding. If they’re jars that have been used before, be sure to give the rims a quick examination, to ensure that there aren’t any chips or cracks that would lead to seal failure.
Place the jars in your canning pot (if you don’t have a dedicated canner, you can use your tallest stock pot fitting with a rack. I like the one that comes in the Ball Preserving Starter Kit) and fill it about halfway up with water. Add a healthy glug of white vinegar if you have hard water. Bring it to a simmer so that it’s ready for you when you are ready for it.
Once the jam is finished cooking, remove one jar from your canner. Place it on a wooden board or towel-lined countertop and fit it with a wide mouth canning funnel. Fill the jar with jam, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe the rim with a damp cloth and fit the jar with a new, cleaned lid (they don’t need to be boiled anymore, but they do need a quick washing in warm, soapy water before using). Secure the lid in place with a ring, taking care to not overtighten.
Place the filled jar into the canner and repeat the process with the next, until all the jars are filled. Process the jars for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude.
When the processing time is up, turn off the heat, remove the lid from the pot and let the jars stand in the pot for an additional five minutes (this allows them to cool more gradually, which helps prevent siphoning and can also help develop a more robust seal).
Remove the jars from the canner and set them on a folded kitchen towel. Let them sit undisturbed for 12-24 hours so they can fully cool and seal. Before storing, make sure to check that the seals are firm and unbending.
My batch matched the six half pint yield perfectly, with a tablespoon leftover for immediate snacking. The flavor is sweet from the berries, tart from the rhubarb, with the vanilla supporting both star players. To get the recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Jam, click here.
Make sure to visit Ball® Fresh Preserving for more seasonal recipes, as well as to find new promotional offers throughout the summer!