The first time that I made Strawberry Rhubarb Jam it was out of pure necessity.
As a young, 20 something year old, I received a bundle of rhubarb from a friendly neighbor, and had absolutely no idea what to do with it.
I had heard of rhubarb, but never had eaten it growing up. In fact, when I saw it in the store when I was a child, I thought it was a colorful type of celery.
So, I looked up recipes in my favorite Canning and Preserving Cookbook and quickly figured out that the perfect partner to rhubarb was strawberries.
With several strawberries on hand, I decided to give this strawberry rhubarb jam a try. And as much as I love my Strawberry Honey Jam recipe, I have adapted this recipe and it has become one of my all-time favorites.
What is Rhubarb?
But before we get into the actual recipe, let me first explain what Rhubarb is to those who were like me and have wondered the same thing.
Rhubarb is a perennial and that grows in cool climates. That is why it is seen almost everywhere in April and May.
The stalks turn a beautiful red color and the plant has wide green leaves at the top. However, the only part of the plant that is edible are the stalks themselves.
The leaves actually are poisonous to both humans and animals when consumed in large quantities.
Is Rhubarb a Fruit or Vegetable?
Although technically rhubarb is a vegetable, it has legally been declared a fruit as well. That is because the sour and tart taste is often compared to other fruits. And most often when prepared it is done in conjunction with another fruit, most often strawberries, just like in this Strawberry Rhubarb Jam recipe.
But not matter what you call it, rhubarb is the perfect fruit/vegetable to make jam. It is tart and it that has a natural thickening property. Therefore, it makes for the perfection addition in jams, pies and even bread recipes.
And best of all, when used to make jam, there is no pectin required. When broken down, the rhubarb itself thickens the mixture so it is the perfect consistency to be spread on your favorite toast, English Muffin or bagel.
And with only 4 ingredients, this jam is extremely easy to make. So when you don’t know what to do with all that rhubarb this year, give this simple jam recipe a try!
Pectin Free Strawberry Rhubarb Jam Recipe
*Complete recipe instructions are located in a printable recipe card at the bottom of this article.
- Granulated Sugar
- Lemon juice
The first step in making Strawberry Rhubarb Jam is to prepare and cut the rhubarb. Cut each stem (be sure to discard the leaves) in 1/2 inch sections.
Then place the rhubarb in a large stock pot and add the sugar. Let it stand for at least 2 hours so the rhubarb begins to break down.
Next, cut the strawberries in half or in four sections. Add them to the pot with the rhubarb and stir in the lemon juice. Just like in all canning recipes, it is important to use bottled lemon juice instead of fresh squeezed juice.
Bring the mixture a boil and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Continue to cook the jam at a full rolling boil until thickened, stirring often to prevent scorching the bottom of the pan.
This process should take approximately 20 minutes. Use a food thermometer or a candy thermometer to test the center of the mixture, being sure that it doesn’t touch the bottom of the pot. Once it reaches 220°F the Strawberry Rhubarb Jam can be taken off of the heat.
Fill sterilized, half pint size canning jars with the hot jam, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Run a plastic knife down the inside of the jar to release any air bubbles.
Then wipe the rims of the jars with a moist towel to remove any residue. Top with lids and screw on the rings.
Using the water bath method, lower the jars into boiling water, making sure that the water is at least one inch above the top of the jars. Bring the water back to a full boil and process for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude as necessary.
Once the 10 minute water bath time is up, remove the jars from the pot and place onto a thick towel to cool.
Wait for 24 hours before storing the Strawberry Rhubarb Jam, making sure each jar sealed by pressing down on the top of each lid. If the lid does not move up or down at all, store in a cool, dry place for up to 1 year.
For any jars that did not seal properly, store in the refrigerator or freezer.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you use home grown, or fresh picked strawberries, you can decrease the amount of granulated sugar in this recipe. That is because they are much sweeter than store bought strawberries. I have used as little as 2 cups of granulated white sugar with great results.
Although I have never tried using a sugar substitute for this recipe, many of our readers have commented on their success with doing so. The consensus that leads the best results in taste and texture is to use erythritol and Splenda at a 2:1 ratio. Add 1 cup of erythritol and 1/2 cup of Splenda instead of the sugar called for in this strawberry rhubarb jam recipe. And as always, you can adjust the sugar substitute amount to your liking.
By all means, feel free to make the jam and refrigerate or freeze it instead of canning. However, please note, that if you don’t process in the recommended water bath method, the jam is not shelf stable. And that includes even if you hear the lids seal/pop.
Mary and Jim
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Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
4 Ingredient Stawberry Rhubarb Jam recipe made with only 4 ingredients and NO pectin!
- 4 ½ cups rhubarb cut in ½ inch pieces
- 4 ½ cups strawberries halved
- 4 cups white sugar
- ¼ cup bottled lemon juice
Mix rhubarb and sugar in a large heavy pot and let stand for 2 hours.
Stir in lemon juice and strawberries and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Cook jam at a full rolling boil until thickened, stirring often to prevent scorching (approximately 20 minutes) until a candy thermometer reads 220°F at the center of the mixture.
Remove jam from heat and stir to skim off any foam.
Sterilize your 8oz canning jars and fill them with the jam, leaving ¼ inch of head space. Be sure to run a plastic knife along the inside of the jars to remove any air bubbles. Wipe the rims of the jars with a moist towel to remove any residue. Top with warm lids and screw on rings.
Using the water bath method, lower the jars into boiling water, making sure that the water is at least one inch above the top of the jars. Bring the water back to a full boil and process for 10 minutes.
Remove the jars from the pot and place onto a thick towel to cool. Wait for 24 hours before storing, making sure each jar sealed by pressing the top of each lid with a finger, that the lid does not move up or down at all. Store in a cool, dry place for up to 1 year.
Yield will vary depending on the amount of sugar or sugar substitute that you use.
Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms