May 22, 2010

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

I think I may have strawberry rhubarb fever... Every year as the smell of summer comes closer and closer, there is nothing I love more than waking up in the early morning, sitting outside with some fresh coffee, and some toast with homemade jam. Homemade jam is just better, plain and simple. There is no comparison of taste to me. Once you have this jam, you too will be hooked. In fact, my mouth is watering for some right now, if it wasn't nearly midnight I would probably go get some. I guess I can wait for the morning...

This week was especially exciting because every grocery store around here was selling strawberries for an insanely cheap price. As soon as the wednesday ad came out, me and mom knew it was time for some homemade jam (partly because we just ran out of last years batch, and were dying for some bread and jam). It is quite surprising how simple it is to make jam, and also quite astonishing how much sugar goes into each batch (who knew sugar would be so vital to the life of jam). That is the beauty of jam. It is meant to be sweet, and without the sugar you would end up with strawberry rhubarb soup instead of jam. I figure unless you eat the entire jar in one setting (something that would not be all that hard to do), you will not be getting sugar overload.

 One note when making the jam, be very careful when it comes time to bottle. The liquid is VERY HOT! So use a kitchen mitt or towel. You can buy the jars and lids in the kitchen section of walmart, or any other grocery store. They are very cheap, and if you get the strawberries on sale like I did, the jam comes out to a steal deal. 

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
If you can't find fresh rhubarb, look for frozen, but you should be able to find it in season now. 
Makes 6-7 jars
2 cups Rhubarb, diced into small pieces
2 cups Strawberries, diced into small pieces
1 pkg. Certo Pectin (found where you find the jars)
1/2 teaspoon Butter
5 cups Sugar
Juice of a small Lemon
6-7 (8 oz) Jars and lids (washed and dried)

Put the strawberries and rhubarb into a large pot over medium-high heat, let it cook down and get juicy. Once it has juiced up, you can either leave the fruit as is (somewhat chunky), or mash with a potato masher if you like a smoother texture. I left mine chunky. Keep the heat at medium-high, and squeeze the lemon into the fruit mixture. Stir in the sugar and butter (the butter helps avoid a foam).

Increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly so the bottom does not scorch. Stir in the pectin, and return to a boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Take off heat, and immediately ladle the jam into your jars (that have been washed and dried fully). Put the lids on the jars, and keep at room temp until set.

You can keep the jars in your pantry forever (well a long time, although I suspect you will eat them all before long). Once you open a jar make sure and refrigerate it.

No comments:

Post a Comment