This small batch of strawberry rhubarb jam is the perfect embodiment of spring. Sweet, tart, and quick to make, you’re certain to be glad you spent the time.
It’s conventional wisdom will tell you that strawberries and rhubarb go well together. Just about everyone I know has a fond memory of a pie or cobbler made with a smattering of sugar and those two ingredients. It should come as no surprise to you that these natural partners make an exceptionally good jam.
I’ve made this recipe a couple of times recently, though as I looked for photos to use in this post, I realized that I didn’t manage to capture the process. This happens sometimes. When I’m awash in fruit and canning more for myself than for the blog (I know it might shock you, but this does happen), I will head into the kitchen and let myself slip into the meditation that cooking something familiar can offer. The camera doesn’t get much play when that happens.
Outside of the stack of sealed jars now cooling their heels in my coat closet, the only evidence that I even made this jam is the corner of that yellow bowl off on the right edge of this picture. It’s full of macerated berries and chopped rhubarb. The new copper preserving pan I got obviously stole the show that day. (I’ve made a few batches in the copper pan so far and I’m really enjoying it. I plan on writing up my thoughts in a more organized fashion sometime soon, so keep your eyes peeled for that.)
Now, on to that recipe!
Small Batch Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
- 2 cups of chopped rhubarb, approximately 1 1/2 pounds of stalks
- 4 cups of chopped strawberries, approximately one quart
- 3 cups sugar
- 3 tablespoons powdered fruit pectin
- 1 lemon zested and juiced
- Prepare a boiling water bath and four half pint jars. Wash lids and rings in warm, soapy water.
- Place the chopped rhubarb and strawberries in a large, nonreactive pot.
- Whisk the sugar and pectin powder together. Add it to the fruit and stir to combine. Let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes, until the sugar begins to dissolve.
- Place the pot on the stove over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium high.
- Add the lemon juice and zest to the pot and let it cook at a low boil for approximately 20 minutes. As the jam cooks, use the back of a wooden spoon or a potato masher to help break down any large pieces of fruit.
- Once the jam has reduced by about 1/3, looks thick, and very shiny, it is done. Double check for set using your favorite method. When you've determined it is done, remove the pot from the heat.
- Funnel the jam into your prepared jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.
- When the time is up, turn off the heat and remove the lid from the pot. Let the jars stand in the cooling water for five minutes. Then remove the jars from the hot water, placing them on a folded kitchen towel or wooden board to protect them from heat shock.
- Let the jars cool undisturbed until they are no longer warm to the touch. Remove the rings and check that the seals are good. Sealed jars are shelf stable for up to 18 months. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used promptly.