Strawberry Rhubarb Jam Recipe
Strawberries and rhubarb jam together like rhythm and blues. The sweetness of the strawberries provides a harmonious balance to the tartness of the rhubarb, and the punch of rhubarb adds a flavorful forte to the jam ensemble. The combination of the flavors is absolutely amazing!
Easy Strawberry Rhubarb Jam Recipe
Laziness is my specialty, so if there’s an easier way to do things… I will find it, and share it with you! Strawberries and rhubarb are some of the easiest plants to garden, because they are perennial plants that are hard to kill (once they have established roots). To make strawberry rhubarb jam from the garden, all you have to do is go harvest the fruit (and maybe water them in times of extreme drought).
Ingredients for Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
- Strawberries: Strawberries will be ready for harvest during rhubarb season, so you should be able to harvest both ingredients at the same time. Strawberries can be stored in the refrigerator on a paper towel in an airtight container for up to a week. There are many health benefits to consuming strawberries including anti-oxidant benefits like preventing cardiovascular disease, decreasing LDL (bad) cholesterol, decreasing systolic blood pressure, and preventing cancer. You can read more about the health benefits of homegrown strawberries in this article.
- Rhubarb: Rhubarb will keep in the refrigerator for 3 weeks, but don’t wash the stalks. The long shelf life of rhubarb is forgiving and flexible for the short shelf life of strawberries There are many health benefits to consuming rhubarb including promoting gut health, combating allergies, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory benefits. You can read more about the health benefits of rhubarb in this article.
- Sugar: Sugar is needed for preservation and thickening. If you want to omit the sugar and use strictly honey, then you’ll need to add pectin for the jam to thicken. (I try to avoid sugar because of the chemicals used in processing sugar, and usually substitute it with local honey.)
- Honey: Honey has many medicinal benefits, and can help boost the immune system. Honey in this recipe can be omitted and replaced with sugar.
- Lemon: Lemon has lots of natural pectin, and adding lemon eliminates the need to add commercial pectin. Pectin can be found in the lemon juice, lemon peel, and lemon plith. Lemon also adds acid to the jam to increase the safety of canning.
- Pectin (optional): Some people prefer the consistency of jams with pectin, and can be added to this recipe if desired. Jam made with commercial pectin has texture similar to store-bought jams.
Equipment Needed to Make Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
- 10 Half-pint Mason Jars and lids (or 20 Jelly jars) (Amazon affiliate link)
- Water bath canner (Amazon affiliate link)
- Canning tongs, funnel, and de-bubbler (Amazon affiliate link)
- 4 Quart Pot (Amazon affiliate link)
- Candy thermometer (optional) (Amazon affiliate link)
How to Make Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
Use the different portion sizes to make (located next to the ingredients list):
- 0.5x for 10 jelly jars (4 ounce)
- 1x for 10 half-pint jars (8 ounce), or 20 jelly jars (4 ounce)
- 2x for 10 pint jars (16 ounce), or 20 half-pint jars (8 ounce), or 40 jelly jars (4 ounce)
- 3x for 10 wide mouth pint and a half jars (24 ounce), or 30 half-pint jars (8 ounce), or 60 jelly jars (4 ounce)
- 4x for 10 quart jars (32 ounce), 13 wide mouth pint and a half jars (24 ounce), or 20 pint jars (16 ounce), or 40 half-pint jars (8 ounce)
Strawberry Rhubarb Jam Recipe
- 4 cups Diced strawberries (about 1½ pounds of washed and hulled strawberries per 1x batch)
- 4 cups Diced rhubarb (about 8 stalks of rhubarb per 1x batch)
- 3/4 cup Sugar
- 3/4 cup Honey
- 1 Lemon (you can substitute 2 teaspoons of lemon juice)
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla
- Clean and sterilize the jars, lids, and rings for canning. Use a sink full of extremely hot water, or you can run them through the dishwasher.
- Wash and hull strawberries, and remove any blemishes. Wash and remove ends of rhubarb stalks, and dice the rhubarb. Then puree the strawberries and rhubarb using a food processor (or mash in a bowl). Slice the lemon in half.4 cups Diced strawberries, 4 cups Diced rhubarb, 1 Lemon
- Combine the strawberry rhubarb puree with honey, sugar, vanilla, and lemon halves into a pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the mixture thickens (about 1-1.5 hours). Be sure to leave the lid off and stir frequently to prevent scorching.4 cups Diced strawberries, 3/4 cup Sugar, 3/4 cup Honey, 2 teaspoons Vanilla, 1 Lemon
- Measure the amount of water needed in the water bath canner by filling the jars with water, and placing them in the water bath canner on the rack. Fill the water bath canner until the jars are completely submerged in water, giving an extra inch of water for evaporation. Pull the full jars of water out, and start heating the canner with the lid on.
- When the jam gets near the gelling point, bubbles or foam will cover the surfaces of the jam. Continue boiling the jam until it reaches 220°F, and the jam should set nicely (make sure the candy thermometer is not touching the bottom of the pot). You can also check the jam with a cold spoon, dipping it in the jam and lifting it above the pot. The jam should no longer drip off the spoon, but "sheet off" the spoon.
- Remove the lemon halves.1 Lemon
- Place the funnel on the jar, and ladle the strawberry rhubarb jam into mason jars, leaving 1/4" to 1/2" of headspace. Use a canning de-bubbler or knife to remove any air bubbles. Clean the brim and place the lids on, and place the rings on fingertip tight (pretend you are tightening a lid for a 3 year old to open).
- Process the strawberry rhubarb jam for 5 minutes in 1/2 pint and pint jars, 10 minutes for quart jars in a boiling water bath canner. (Use the rack, and be sure that the boiling water covers the jars.) Adjust processing time according to your altitude.
- Remove the jars with canning tongs, and place them on a towel on the counter to let them cool.
- Leave the jars to seal until tomorrow. Don't touch them, just let them do their thing. (You'll hear the seals popping almost immediately, but leave them alone until they cool.)
- The next day, you can remove the rings. Check the seals by lifting the jar by just the lid (with the ring removed). If the seal holds the lid to the jar, it is good for storage. Store at room temperature for up to 18 months without the rings, and do not set anything on top of the lid (this can affect the seal).
Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam Fruit Substitutes
- Strawberry Rhubarb Jam With Pectin (Sure Jell) or Without Pectin: This homemade jam recipe works great with or without pectin. Pectin simply thickens the jam, and can reduce the amount of time it takes to simmer the jam. Some people prefer the extra thick texture of homemade preserves with pectin, others prefer the softer and easier to spread texture of jam without pectin. The lemon halves in this recipe add natural pectin, so additional store bought pectin isn’t necessary.
- Low Sugar Strawberry Rhubarb Jam: For a healthy homemade strawberry-rhubarb jam recipe, you can reduce the amount of sugar and honey to total 1 cup, but be sure to add 6 tablespoons of low sugar pectin (the pink box of Sure Jell).
- Strawberry Rhubarb Jam With Jello: If you don’t have strawberries on hand, you could substitute the fruit with strawberry jello. You would only need 3 ingredients: 6-8 cups of finely diced rhubarb, 2.5 cups of sugar, and a 3 ounce package of strawberry jello. This jam would need to be stored in the refrigerator or freezer, as canning jello is not recommended by the USDA.
Rhubarb and Strawberries FAQs
- Use fruit from the garden! Store bought fruit has preservatives and pesticides, which are unhealthy for the body. Unfortunately, this will make the homemade strawberry rhubarb jam spoil faster than store bought jam.
- Unsealed strawberry rhubarb jam is good in the refrigerator for about 1 month (you’ll be able to tell when it is bad).
- Jam that turns out runny is usually due to not simmering long enough for adequate evaporation, and it most likely did not thicken and reach the 220°F temperature required for gelling. Runny jam is still good, you can use it more like a syrup than jam. You can also re-boil the jam to thicken it (and it won’t take as long since it’s a smaller batch).
- Strawberry rhubarb jam can turn brown over time when stored in the pantry. It is still safe to eat (as long as there are no other signs of spoilage). Additional lemon juice or citric acid can prevent browning.