As a child, my favourite jam without question was strawberry jam. I loved my grandma’s homemade jam and I slathered it thick on fresh slices of homemade bread. However, once I became an adult, strawberry jam kind of tasted. . . bland. I wondered how I loved it so much as a kid, but not as an adult?
Then I added rhubarb to my strawberry jam and everything changed.
It’s a funny thing when you add rhubarb. You can make strawberry rhubarb jam with mostly rhubarb and only a bit of strawberries, and it will still taste like strawberry–only better. Rhubarb adds just enough of a sweet tang to keep adult tastebuds happy, and kid tastebuds are none the wiser.
Thinking back, I wonder if my grandma added rhubarb and just never told me?
- 4 cups chopped rhubarb
- 2 cups sliced strawberries
- 5 cups white sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 package pectin
- Chop rhubarb into small pieces, and core and slice strawberries.
- Sterilize jars you'll be using for canning be either boiling for 10 minutes, running through a bottle sterilizer, or cooking in the oven for 10 minutes at 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Boil the lids and rings in water for 10 minutes.
- Cook rhubarb, strawberries, sugar and lemon juice in a tall pot. Mash with a potato masher as fruit softens.
- Cook on medium high heat, stirring frequently. Add the pectin when the mixture boils.
- The pectin package says to boil for one minute, but I frequently find that my jam never sets with that short of a boil. I suggest boiling for 3-5 minutes.
- Turn off heat and pour jam into sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace..
- Clean off any spillage on the rims with a clean cloth.
- Put on lids and secure with rims. Boil in water for 10 minutes. The water must be at least 1 inch over the top of the jars.
- Remove after 10 minutes and set jars on a clean towel. Do not tilt the jar as you remove it, as that could compromise the seal. Do not move jars for 24 hours.
- If you have any jars that don't seal, or a jar with too much headspace, put it in the fridge and use that one first.
If you live at a higher altitude, you will need to boil everything for longer to sterilize it. Please consult this guide.
New to making jam? You can watch how I make peach jam here. The recipe is obviously different, but the whole canning process is the same. Just ignore the frizzy hair, messy kitchen, crying baby, and silly seven year old. Or don’t, and let them encourage you that you’ve totally got this, even if you’re a beginner.
Kristen is a former farm kid turned urban gardener who owns the popular gardening website, Shifting Roots. She is obsessed with growing flowers and pushing the limits of what can be grown in her zone 3b garden. She also loves to grow tomatoes, but oddly enough, dislikes eating them raw.