IT’S RHUBARB SEASON!
Rhubarb is such a unique fruit – so tangy and versatile and truly signifies the arrival of Spring. It reminds me of being a kid and playing in my grandma’s back yard where she grew huge rhubarb plants with leaves the size of my entire little body. Of course, as a child, I could care less about her rhubarb plants – I was more intent on picking the sugar snap peas or raspberries or grapes.
In my dreams I would have a yard (hahaha! Having a yard is actually a laughable concept, given that I live in a city where real estate prices are sky high!) full of fruit trees – and would be able to preserve all fruit to enjoy year round.
As a kid I used to dream about living on a farm – and still to this day, I can’t say I disagree! As long as the farm has my dream orchard 😉
Because rhubarb season is so short, it’s lovely to preserve the flavour of Spring year round!
There’s just something about making jam that feels homey and satisfying – harkening back to traditional homesteading when canning was the way we survived the winter.
Making jam is a slow process – stir, stir, stir the fruit, creating your hot water bath, processing the jars, listening for that gratifying little ‘pop’ when the lids seal themselves.
In a world that moves quickly, it’s so enjoyable to take the time to savour the process of making jam.
If you’ve never made jam before – give it a try! It is really not as scary as it seems.
Usually, people find the “hot water bath” the most intimidating part – but you don’t actually need a professional water bath canner to make jam. I use a large pot of boiling water on my stove. This article gives a thorough step-by-step about how to make your own hot water bath.
If you’re new to jammin’, just make sure to give yourself an hour or two so you don’t feel rushed – and embrace the slowness of making jam!
Strawberry Rhubarb Jam is a classic combination – and delicious on everything from plain buttered toast to spread across a scrumptious muffin. I think you’ll probably agree 😉
Strawberry Rhubarb Jam is a classic combination - and delicious on everything from plain buttered toast to spread across a scrumptious muffin. This recipe does not use pectin.
- 2 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
- 2 cups chopped rhubarb
- 1/2 cup water
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
In a large pot over medium heat, add strawberries, rhubarb, water, and lemon and bring to a boil. Reduce heat the medium low and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add sugar and continue stirring occasionally, until jam has thickened - about 10-15 minutes (see note for how to test jam for doneness). Skim off any foam that's formed on the surface and discard.
Divide the jam between 4 sterilized half-pint mason jars. Wipe down rims with a clean cloth, then screw on lids until they're finger-tight.
Process the jars in a hot water bath (see note below). I usually do this by filling my largest pot with enough water to cover the tops of the jars and bringing it to a rapid boil. Place the jars into the boiling water (using tongs or a jar lifter) and let them sit in the bath for 10-15 minutes - the lids will "pop" inwards, which signifies the lids have vacuum-sealed. (The lids may not pop until after you remove the jars from the water bath.)
Remove jars from the water bath and let cool. Any lids that don't dip down in the middle, or that spring back, have not sealed. Place those jars in the refrigerator and enjoy them first.
All other sealed jars may be stored in a dark, dry place for up to one year.