June 29, 2009

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

This is the first time I have made jam on my own, and it turned out great, if I do say so myself. I used the strawberries I recently picked from Maxwell's in Cape Elizabeth and rhubarb that I bought from Uncle's Farm Stand at the Monument Square Farmers' Market.

I am learning how to can and am pleasantly surprised to find that preserving jams and jellies is relatively easy. My first foray yielded me 4 half-pints of jam that all sealed successfully.

Here are the babies taking a dip in the hot tub or boiling water bath. If you've never canned before, I recommend it. I'm not going to attempt to teach you how to can in one blog post, but I do want you to know that it is not as intimidating or time consuming as you probably think.

Here are the finished products cooling on a rack. For this recipe, I used Pomona's Universal Pectin, which is the only commercially available pectin that lets you create your own recipe. Since I couldn't easily find a low sugar added pectin recipe for strawberry rhubarb jam, I turned to Pomona's to make my own recipe.

Low-Sugar Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

4 cups mashed fruit (3 cups strawberries, 1 cup rhubarb)
4 teaspoons Pomona's pectin
2 teaspoons calcium water (comes with the pectin)
1 1/2 cups sugar

Bring the fruit and calcium water to a boil, add sugar and pectin. Stir 1 to 2 minutes to dissolve and bring fruit back to a boil.

Meanwhile, sterilize your washed jars in your boiling water bath by boiling for 10 minutes. Remove jars, fill with jam, leaving 1/4" headspace. Wipe the rim, center a lid on the jar, and twist screw band on until finger tight.

Process in boiling water bath for ten minutes, beginning your timing once the water has returned to a boil.