Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
I prefer jams that don’t go as heavy on the added sugar, as I like to let the sweetness of the fruit (namely the strawberries here) shine. In this case just enough sugar is added to offset the sourness of the rhubarb and complement the strawberry. Rhubarb already has an underlying strawberry note so it makes it for a natural pairing in a jam. The prime season for rhubarb is from April to early June and when purchasing it look for firm, crisp stalks that look shiny. Of the plant only the stalks are eaten, the leaves are actually poisonous so if it comes with the leaves be sure to discard them immediately.
I like to serve the jam slathered on thick, toasted slices of bread smothered with fresh ricotta and layered with the jam.
1 pound rhubarb, trimmed and cut into ½” slices
2 pounds strawberries, hulled and quartered
2½ cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest
¼ cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Before making the jam sterilize any canning jam jars by running them through the dishwasher or boiling them in a large pot of hot water for 10 minutes.
Add the rhubarb, strawberries and sugar to a large non-reactive bowl and toss to combine. Let sit until the fruit is macerated, about 2 hours.
Add the fruit and sugar mixture with the lemon zest and lemon juice to a large non-reactive saucepot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in the vanilla then lower the heat to medium. Simmer, stirring frequently, until the rhubarb has broken down and the mixture begins to thicken about 30 minutes (the temperature should read 220ºF). The jam should set a little bit if you drop a little onto a plate.
Skim any foam off the top and discard. Ladle the jam into the prepared jars, leaving ½-inch of space at the top. Wipe the rims of the jars with a towel then close the jars.
To can the jars add them to a large pot of boiling water with the water covering the top by 1-inch and boil for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and continue to let the jars sit in the water for an additional 5 minutes.
Use tongs to carefully remove the jars from the water. You should hear the lids suction while in the pot but to test them, remove the ring from the jar and lift the jars by the flat, inner lid. If the lid releases then it is not properly sealed. Unsealed jars should be used within a month and kept in the refrigerator. Sealed jars can be kept in a dark area for up to 6 months.
Makes 4 (8-ounce) jars.