I love making homemade jams with local ingredients! The first jams I canned last summer were made with Blackberries from Tuckaseegee where my darlin’ was the warden. Then, in the fall I canned a few jars with figs from a tree where the fruit was just rotting in the branches along my bike ride to work.
For the holidays I gave them away as gifts of heart!
Unfortunately this season, I just could not find any rhubarb when the strawberries were in season in May. And now that I’ve found the rhubarb the only strawberries around were at the grocery store. But they smelled sweet and came from Florida…how far away is Florida from NC again?
The fruit should be good juicy before you begin to cook the mixture.
Try and remove as much of the foamy top layer while the fruit cooks down.
Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
makes 6 half pint jars
3 lbs of fresh strawberries sliced
1 1/2 lbs fresh rhubarb cleaned sliced in 1/2 inch pieces
2 1/2 c sugar
Juice of one lemon
1. Combine strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, and lemon juice in a large pot. Let macerate for at least 30 minutes to, stirring occasionally to let juices emerge.
2. Fill your largest pot (I’m talking big) with water to cover the tops of filled jars by several inches. Begin heating your water bath pot on high. Gently place open jars, lids and rims into the water. Once water has come to a boil let jars boil for 10 min. to sterilize. Remove jars, lids and rims carefully and place on towel on counter to dry and wait to be filled.
3. Place a small saucer in the freezer, to use later.
4. While waiting for water bath water to boil begin to cook fruit mixture on high. It will take 30 -45 minutes for fruit to cook down to the gel point when it is ready to be canned. Once it comes to a boil reduce heat to a quick simmer. Skim off as much of the foam that forms on top as possible. You can leave it but the jam will look cloudy.
5. To test if jam has reach the gel point, spoon a small amount of jam onto the saucer from the freezer and return to the freezer for 1 minute. After a minute, gently push the edge of the jam with your finger, if jam wrinkles then it is ready. This is also your chance to taste your jam concoction. If not, continue to cook and test again.
6. Return water bath to a rolling boil. Fill jars to within a 1/4 inch of the top. Clean rim and place top, tighten rim cap. Gently place jars into boiling water. Boil for at least 10 minutes.
7. Remove from water and let cool. Test tops to see if they are sealed. If you notice one is not sealed right away I usually re-do the seal and return it to the water bath to boil longer.
8. Eat Strawberry Rhubarb Jam all year long! Or pass the love around.