Rhubarb and Strawberry Jam
I was so excited to make my own jam, I’ve never made jam before but I wanted to make something that will help me preserve rhubarb after the season is over. This rhubarb and strawberry jam was supposed to be a test but it turned out so good that I simply have to share it with you. Another consequence of it tasting so good was that we finished it no time so didn’t manage to preserve much (nothing at all) for later during the season, oh well.
I’ve heard so many stories from Andrea about her experience growing up and preserving different fruits from her backyard and coming from a dry island with relatively infertile soil I didn’t get the opportunity to experience this. Most of the food in Curaçao is imported and it’s only the last few years that people started looking into creative ways to grow more food on island in order to be less reliant on imported food. For me, growing up I only bought jam from the supermarket and making my own was not something I ever considered. I find it funny to see now how many people on the island are embracing this practice and embracing more of our local produce making jam from papaya and mango for example.
For my first attempt I apparently didn’t pick the easiest fruits to make jam, simply because they don’t contain a lot of natural pectin. When pectin is heated up with sugar it creates that thick consistency people have come to know and love about jam. The other key element in this process is sugar, which I substituted for honey, but honey doesn’t have the same effect as sugar when it comes to thickening it. Mine wasn’t runny but don’t expect the thickness of a store-bought jam. Technically it’s also possible to use xylitol with pectin, but my body doesn’t react well to xylitol so I avoid it like the plague.
Another trick I learned in this process was to freeze a spoon at the start and use it to check whether your jam will set properly. Basically, when the jam is hot it will remain quite runny and if you are waiting for the hot jam to set, you will be waiting a long time. By freezing the spoon and drizzling the jam on top of it you will know how the jam will behave once cooled. After a minute you can run your finger on the spoon, if the path remains clear your jam is ready for cool down.
After this first successful attempt at jam making, I’m excited to try out new things and combine different flavors together. Keep your eyes open because there’s definitely more jams and preserves coming your way.
Rhubarb and Strawberry Jam
- 500 gram rhubarb cut into small chunks
- 500 gram strawberry destemmed and quartered
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 zest of lime
- ¾ cup honey
- ½ tsp salt
- Before you get started put a spoon in your freezer, as you can use this to test whether the jam is done or not.
- Place all ingredients in a heavy bottomed pan, (I used my Dutch oven) and turn on heat to medium.
- Allow to simmer for 20 minutes, after 20 minutes lower the heat to medium low and cover the pan for 80%.
- Allow to simmer for another 40 minutes and check if it’s done by using the frozen spoon. Drizzle the jam on the spoon and allow to set for 1 minutes, then swipe your finger through the middle of the spoon. If the path remains clear and doesn’t fill in, it is ready to be taken off the stove. If it’s still runny, continue cooking and check back every 10 minutes till it is to your liking. Remember that the jam will set and become thicker once it’s cooled down.
- Use clean mason jars to save the jam, I used 4 jars. Let it cool down completely and after save in the fridge.