It’s not too hard to make your own strawberry rhubarb jam. It’s even easier to eat your own jam…super easy, especially if there are biscuits just lying around with nothing else to do with their leftover life. They’re just begging you to make jam…come on, you know you want to.
I spent a few days with my mom and when we’re together we’re always cooking up some kind of trouble. Err…food, we’re always cooking up some kind of food. The rhubarb was ready to be harvested, so we decided to make Strawberry Rhubarb Jam, one of my favorites!
Is rhubarb a vegetable or fruit?
It looks like a vegetable, but you always add sugar and eat it for dessert or in some type of sweet bread. I’ve never eaten vegetables for dessert, so it MUST be a fruit, right?
I turned to Wikipedia for the answer. As we all know, everything you read on the internet must be true. Wikipedia says, “Rhubarb is botanically classified as a vegetable; however, in the United States a New York court decided in 1947 that since it was used in the United States as a fruit it was to be counted as a fruit for the purposes of regulations and duties.”
A few notes about this recipe…
- All you need for this recipe: sugar, strawberry jello, and rhubarb. That’s it! Check out this Simply Jello that has no artificial dyes, flavors or preservatives.
- You will need to wash the rhubarb WELL to be sure you get all the dirt off. Similar to celery – it can get gritty by the base of roots. My mom likes to dice the rhubarb very small. I prefer chunkier jams – but it is totally up to you.
- Sprinkle sugar over the top of rhubarb (a lot of sugar), then cover the bowl with a towel and let it sit overnight. Strange things will happen – science fair things will happen! But don’t skip this step.
- Put your rhubarb and sugar in a saucepan and bring it to a boil, but you only want it to boil just long enough to get the rhubarb a little soft. You don’t want it to cook all the way down, you just want it non-chewy. Chewy jam = you did something wrong. Remove from heat and stir in the jello.
- Pull out a hot jar from the oven (with an oven mitt because it’s HOT!) and start ladling your hot strawberry rhubarb jam into it. You need to fill it almost to the very top. Leave very little headspace.
- After you get all your jars filled, wipe the rims with a wet dishcloth. You don’t want anything between your rubber seal and the jar. Don’t let anything come between you and your jam! A woman and her jam are not soon parted.
Before I share the recipe, let me just pause a minute to talk about canning jars.
My mom has always taught me to use what we have instead of running out to the store to buy every little thing. She learned it from her mom, and I’ll pass it down to my kids. Some of you out there might wonder why we’re “canning” in salsa jars. Because we have salsa jars! They’re great for canning jellies and jams! If the fact that it says “Tostitos” on it bothers you, you can cover it up with a piece of fabric and ribbon. Problem solved!
Just make sure your jars have a rubber seal that runs around the inner lid. That’s what will seal your jam when it’s hot. Trust me. To sterilize your jars, turn your oven on to the lowest setting possible. Stick your jars in there so they can get hot. They need to be hot to sterilize them and also to help them seal. While you are doing that, put your lids in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring them to a boil. This sterilizes them and also gets the rubber seals ready.
You can follow this same procedure with Mason jars – of any size. I like the small 4 oz. jelly jar size for gifting. You can buy the canning jar lids and rings in just about any grocery store.
Remove your lids from the boiling water and BE CAREFUL. Like I said, they’re hot. Dry the lids completely before you put them tightly on the jars.
Good luck in your strawberry rhubarb jam making!
Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
- large saucepan or pot
- canning jars (or any jars with lid that has interior rubber seal)
- 5 cups diced rhubarb
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 3 oz. strawberry Jell-O I use the Jell-O "Simply Good" Strawberry
The Evening Before…
- Thoroughly wash rhubarb and dice it in small pieces.
- Mix rhubarb and sugar in a large dish. Cover with dish towel. Let stand overnight.
The Next Day: Prep Canning Supplies
- Sterilize your canning jars by placing them in your oven and setting it to its lowest possible temperature. Leave them in there until ready for use.
- Sterilize jar lids by boiling them for a few minutes in a pot of water. Remove from water. Allow them to completely.
Let's Make Jam!
- Transfer rhubarb/sugar mixture into a large saucepan
- Bring to a boil and cook for 3 minutes or until rhubarb is tender.
- Remove from heat and add Jell-O. Stir until dissolved.
- Pour into hot, sterilized jars leaving very little headspace, and put on lid until tight.