There’s nothing I enjoy more than learning how to make my own something, and then triumphantly claiming “I’ll never buy that again!” Once you make your own jam or preserves you will never spend another penny on store bought. Not only that, you can buy local and eat seasonally without eating only what’s in season. These strawberries are in pretty bad condition – we bought them at closing time from a farmer’s market for almost nothing.
Warning: This recipe uses 1/2 the sugar of most recipes and might not set depending on the ripeness of the strawberries. If it doesn’t set, no problem, the thickness of the rhubarb still makes it thick enough to spread. I do not believe in using sugar substitutes!
Low Sugar Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
1 lb Strawberries, Hulled & Halved
1 lb Rhubarb, Cut into 2″ pieces
1 lb Sugar (Double the sugar for a more traditional jam)
1tsp Pectin (Can omit if using very under ripe strawberries)
2 tsp Lemon Juice
1 Tbsp Butter
Start cooking your rhubarb over medium heat in the same pot you will use to make the jam until it softens just a little. Add the strawberries, pectin, lemon juice and butter then stir. Keep on medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Switch to a low heat boil. Stir occasionally and skim off any foam. Using a thermometer (every home canner needs one) check your jam and turn off the heat when it reaches 222 degrees Fahrenheit (or 105 Celcius). Using pre-sterilized jars, pour the jam into the jars. Close the jars and turn upside down to cool.
Tips on Jam Making: Copper pots rule! I know they’re expensive, but investing in one copper pot can give you great cooking results. When I switched from regular pots to copper pots, I noticed a marked decrease in unintentional burned food. Maybe it’s my imagination, but it seems like jam making is easier in the copper pot because the heat is more steady.
Tips on Jars: Use a funnel to pour into jars. If you’re reusing jars, check and make sure there are absolutely no signs of wear and tear in the lids whatsoever. In fact, I recommend purchasing new lids often – you can get them separate from the jars.
Tips on Pasteurization: This jam is NOT pasteurized – it must be used in about a month or two if refrigerated and should be frozen if you don’t think you will use it. If you want to pasteurize it, do it. Maybe when I’m a mommy I’ll pasteurize, but for right now I’m happy not pasteurizing.
Tips on What to do with Jam: If you’re like me, you have a glut of jam. Aside from giving it away, here is one cute thing we did with ours. We made Spelt Strawberry Rhubarb Jam Cookies.
Notes: While not necessarily inspired by this recipe, I did get the idea of adding butter in jam from this All Recipes Strawberry Rhubarb Jam. I was happy with the results.