Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

My friends and I went to the St. Paul Farmer’s Market this past weekend and I picked up some rhubarb among other fun things!  I have been wanting to make some jam, so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to play around with a recipe and see what I come up with.  Here is a recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb jam with some blueberries (because I had a half pint sitting in the fridge so I thought why not!)

You will need:

1 bunch of rhubarb

1 quart of strawberries

1 cup of sugar

and the zest and juice of 1 lemon

Chop the rhubarb and strawberries into decent sized chunks.  No need to dice or make perfect cuts.

Put all of the chopped pieces into a nice heavy pot.

Next, you want to zest your lemon into the pot.  Make sure to only use the zest and not scrape any of the white stuff (or pith) into your jam.  It’s really bitter and unpleasant!

Then juice your lemon.  I like to hold the lemon up and juice through my fingers incase any seeds pop out.  If you don’t have lemon you could always add 2 tbsp of lemonade or water.  I like the tart lemon flavor with my jam so that it’s not too sweet.

Next, add your 1 cup of sugar.

Now set your stovetop to medium/medium high heat and stir everything around so that all the ingredients are mixed together.

You want to keep stirring, letting the sugar draw out all the juices.  This jam recipe doesn’t require any thickening agents, instead it relies on the natural pectin found in fruits that will make it jell up nicely.  It will just take some time.

It’s hard to see in this picture but, you will want to bring this up to a boil/bubble and keep cooking it and stirring it for about a half an hour.  If you have a candy thermometer, you can temp it to 220 degrees.  Then, turn off the burner and let it sit for 3 hours.  This is when some serious jelling will happen!  Then just jar it up.

This recipe makes about 24 oz of jam.  I didn’t can it using a traditional canning method, so the shelf life (refrigerated) is about 2 weeks.  It won’t last that long in this house, and I gave some to friends.  Eventually, when I make bigger batches I’ll do some more real canning.

What are some of your favorite homemade jams?  Do you know any good homemade bread recipes that I could try out with this??

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