Meatless Monday With Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

02
Jul 2012

I’ve never made jam before, only watched my Dad make beach plum jelly year after year from the plums he collected on Fire Island. I always loved the tart flavor of the beach plum and I think it influenced my palate for the jam choices I like today.

I’ve recently been bitten by the canning bug and with local strawberries overflowing at farmer’s markets, I thought I’d give jam a try. I like the addition of rhubarb in this recipe, as it makes for a more tart flavor.

Ingredients: {makes 4-1 pint or 8 half pint gift jars}

  • 8 cups dried and chopped strawberries – about 2 quarts
  • 11/2cups chopped rhubarb
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 2 vanilla beans-split and scraped
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 3oz. Packets of liquid pectin

  • Combine strawberries, rhubarb, 1 cup sugar and vanilla beans in a glass bowl and allow to macerate for at least 1 hour. Over night is even better-but at least an hour.
  • Prepare jars for canning according to directions {available here}
  • In a non-reactive pot-add remaining sugar to the strawberry mixture along with the lemon zest and juice from the 2 lemons.

  • Bring to a boil, and be careful that the mixture does not foam over. Boil vigorously for 15-20 minutes. The consistency will become syrupy.
  • Remove the vanilla pods and process about 1/3 of the mixture in a blender. Remix the puree back into the pot.
  • Add the 2 packs of pectin to the pot and bring back up a boil. Using a candy thermometer, bring up to 220* and boil at that temperature for 2 minutes.
  • Ladle the jam into the prepared jars, leaving 1/2″ room at the top. Lightly screw on the tops and prepare boiling water bath as directed above.

One tip I would highly recommend is to not skimp out on the canning tongs and think that you can use the same utensil you use for regular cooking. It is very difficult to get the jars out, and I dropped one of the jars and badly burned my wrist with boiling water. Lesson learned!
This is a pretty foolproof recipe for a beginner, small batch, and not too time consuming. I can’t wait to put up small batches of seasonal fruits and vegies throughout the summer.
Have you ever tried canning? What is your favorite item to preserve?