Canning and Freezing

How To Have The Sweetest Jam Session In Your Kitchen

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Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam Recipe

strawberry rhubarb jam

When we make jam, something we love to do a few times a year, we always say we’re having a jam session. It sounds like fun, and it certainly is a fun process to see fruit, sugar, pectin, and love combined to make a sweet, shareable spread.

Good old-fashioned homemade jam transforms an ordinary PBJ into Pure Blissful Joy and a simple piece of toast into a Memorable Morning Moment. Ask anyone who has enjoyed a gift of homemade jam.

This recipe for homemade strawberry-rhubarb is a perfect choice, especially if you are a canning newbie. Jam is easier and more forgiving than jelly, so it’s a great place to begin your adventure in preserving!

My mom, Soffia, came here from Iceland. She taught herself how to make jam, passed along her recipe, and taught me how. Now, my daughters and I have a “jam session” now and then, and we make several batches, one after another.

It’s become a tradition, and lots of people look forward to receiving their very own jar of this sweet concoction at Christmas. It’s a memorable gift for almost anyone!

How To Get Ready For A Jam Session A Word To The Wise

Read through the instructions and be ready to follow them. They are simple but critical to success.

Before you begin, get all your canning supplies together to avoid a mad rush to the store. Once you have started a batch, it’s almost impossible to stop.

Everything you’ll need is readily available at grocery stores, hardware stores, online, and even Walmart. The things you’ll need are inexpensive and last a long time. And believe me, you’ll find lots of uses for jars, jar lifters, and canning funnels beyond making jam!

That’s my lovely canning towel. Probably a graduation gift from long ago. I keep it stashed in a handy drawer on my island where we conduct our jam sessions!

We’re revisiting and embracing the home arts again. As a result, there are many cute and fancy canning jars available in several different styles, usually boxed by the dozen. Four-ounce and eight-ounce jars are good options. Save the 12-ounce jars for home use or extra-special people!

You Can Make Delicious Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam With Fresh Or Frozen Fruit

This time I had frozen rhubarb from our little patch, and I needed to use frozen strawberries from the store! Make sure the strawberries are UNSWEETENED!

Good news! You can’t go wrong with strawberry-rhubarb jam! Whether the fruit is all fresh, all frozen, or both, it’s all good!

Begin by measuring sugar into a bowl. Yes, it is a lot of sugar, you’re right. Set it aside for now. 

frozen rhubarb and strawberries

Next, combine two cups of rhubarb with three cups of strawberries in a tall stockpot. To be honest, I have varied the proportion a little, as long as there are five cups of fruit.

Put the stockpot on low heat and let the fruits get to know each other as the strawberries and rhubarb defrost. Next, add pectin, a pat of butter, and a tablespoon of lemon juice. Then, begin cooking it, mashing the fruit as it cooks.

Once it comes to a boil, add the sugar all at once and continue cooking. Yes, it is a lot of sugar. This is not diet food! As the jam cooks, the mixture becomes clear, colorful, and very hot. The sugar makes it boil at a temperature hotter than boiling water. I suggest you use the longest spoon you have, and I have even put a glove or an oven mitt on my stirring hand!

sugar in jam

Stir the pot continuously until it reaches a boil that you cannot stir down. Then set a timer and let it cook for exactly one minute, stirring constantly.

strawberry-rhubarb jam

Here Are The Final Steps To A Successful Jam Session

Now remove the pot from the stove and set it on a rack or a thick folded towel. Use your canning funnel to ladle the hot mixture into the jelly jars and screw the lid, and ring in place. Refer to the recipe for more specific directions.

jam in water bath

Finally, you’ll need to process the jars in a boiling water bath for ten minutes. When the timer rings, use the jar lifter to set the jars on a rack or thickly folded towel and let them sit until they are completely cool without moving them. Success! Enjoy hearing the satisfying “ping” sound as the jars seal.

Yield: 80 servings about 1 tablespoon each

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

strawberry rhubarb jam

Easy homemade jam for beginners, delicious enough you'll want to make some every year!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups unsweetened sliced strawberries fresh or frozen
  • 2 cups diced raw rhubarb, fresh or frozen 
  • 6 1/2 cups sugar
  • One 1.75 ounce package pectin
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tsp butter

Instructions

  1. Get ready for your "jam session." Assemble everything you need before you begin!
  2. Choose a tall stockpot to cook jam in. It needs to be defrosted and mashed up a little if using frozen fruit. It's up to you how chunky you want to leave it. 
  3. You'll need a second tall pot of water deep enough to cover the jars by one inch for the boiling water bath after filling them. Start it now. Put flats (lids) in a bowl of very hot water, ready to use. Add a tablespoon or so of vinegar to the water, so lime doesn't form on jars.
  4. Jars are fine to use if you've run them through a dishwasher on a hot cycle. Assemble a canning funnel, sterilized jars, jar lifter, flats, rings, and a clean damp dishcloth for wiping rims. Lay a thick bath towel on the area where you'll fill your jars.
  5. Now, combine fruit, pectin, lemon juice, and butter in the stockpot. Bring to a boil.
  6. Next, add sugar all at once, and keep cooking and stirring until the mixture comes to such a boiling point it cannot be "stirred down." You do not need a thermometer.
  7. Keep cooking for one minute;, set a timer! The jam will be HOT! Use a very long wooden spoon to keep stirring, or wear an oven mitt on your stirring hand! Remember: The jam will be HOT!
  8. Remove from heat. Put the pot of jam on a heatproof cutting board or trivet. It's hot!
  9. Ladle jam into sterilized jars with a canning funnel. Leave about 1/2" headspace. Wipe the rim of each jar with a clean, damp cloth. Check for any nicks on the jar rim with your fingertip. Do not use if a nick is present. Put on lid and ring. Tighten by hand.
  10. Put jars in a boiling water bath and process for 10 minutes. Using the jar lifter, remove jars from the water bath onto a rack or towel-covered surface. Allow them to sit without moving them until cool. You'll hear the distinctive "ping" sound as the jars seal.
  11. If one does not seal, refrigerate it and use it within about a month. Trust me; this will not be hard to do!

This is a great recipe for beginners and a dependable one for anyone! Two more bits of advice. Don’t try to reduce the amount of sugar. The sugar, pectin, and fruit ratio are exactly what it needs to be.

Each batch will vary slightly in yield. Do not double the recipe, thinking you will save time. It simply doesn’t work. Jam juju requires it to be made in single batches.

We always have some rolls or plain bread handy to mop up any goodies clinging to the sides of the pot or to use up amounts too small for a jar. It’s the honor and privilege of being the jam maker! 

Have you ever made homemade jam? Who taught you to make it? What is your very favorite kind?

Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam Recipe
Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam Recipe

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3 Comments

  1. How many pint jars does this Strawberry Rhubarb Jam recipe fill?

     
  2. Pingback: Homemade Orange Marmalade - yeyfood.com

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