A while back, I introduced you to the wonder that is the Rhubarb Pie – my gloriously tart/sweet dessert of choice. Following my purchase of the entire bulk of rhubarb that my local Kroger had at the time, I was left with about 3 cups left over that I froze to use later. Well ‘Later’ finally caught up with me and I decided to be particularly ambitious and try my hand at making some jam.
Growing up, my mom and I would go strawberry picking and she would make some mean jam from the fruit we snagged. The canning process always seemed like such a, well, process, and as a result I shied away from any sort of recipe involving sterilized Mason Jars. Until now, that is.
At first I was going to make a very simple and traditional jam – the easier the better – but as I set out to purchase my various necessities, I realized I had a big fat bag of splenda hanging out in my cupboards and figured I would feel far less guilty about spooning out jam if it had a few less calories.
Research enlightened me that jam will not set with artificial sweetener. Some nonsense about pectin…So I loop-holed my way around that and purchased a box of this:
Sure Jell. A packet of this will gel any ol’ fruit right up – perfect for me. And it included a ginormous list of possible recipes which I used as a guideline for my jam.
*Sidenote – I know many may have an aversion to artificial sweeteners so feel free to follow this recipe, substituting the fruit for rhubarb and possibly adding more sugar to taste (rhubarb is TART).
Now, rhubarb pie itself is delicious but the the syrup-y juice that develops during the baking process and leaks onto the pie pan and plate once cut is heavenly. And although I do try to strictly limit my plate licking habits while out in public, at home you can find me sopping up every last drop up because it’s that damn good. This jam, tastes just like it. A little tart, a little sweet and perfect. Smear a dollop on a cracker with some brie, stir it in your oatmeal, or just eat in on an English Muffin sprinkled with a bit of cinnamon for breakfast. Yums.
Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
Yields: Three 8 oz. jars
Difficulty: If you know anything about jam making, easy. If not, medium
- 3 cups rhubarb, diced into 1/2 in, chunks
- 1 cup water (or rhubarb juice if you’re using frozen rhubarb)
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1 box less or no sugar needed Sure-Jell
- 1 cup Splenda or Truvia
- Wash four 8 oz. mason jars and their screw bands in warm soapy water and set aside to dry.
- Microwave a cup of water to boil then submerge the flat jar lids until ready to use.
- In a canning pot (or one large enough to fit the jars) bring enough water to boil to cover the jars by about two inches.
- Place your rhubarb in a bowl. (Mine was frozen so I de-frosted the fruit and squeezed the extra juice out to use for my “water” in the jam).
- I used my dough cutter at this time to chunk up the fruit a bit more, but it’s not necessary.
- In a large pot over medium/high heat, place the rhubarb, 3/4 cup water, lemon juice, and Sure-Jell, stirring frequently until a full rolling boil is reached. If the mixture seems too dry to you, add the additional 1/4 cup.
- Boil for one minute, stirring constantly.
- Remove the fruit mixture from the heat and stir in your sweetener of choice until dissolved.
- Ladle the hot mixture into jars almost to the top, leaving about 1/4-1/8 of an inch.
- Remove the flat lids from the water, dry off, and place on top of the jars.
- Tightly screw on the screw lids.
- Place jars on an elevated rack in the pot of boiling water. I don’t have a rack to elevate, so I was ghetto and used a steamer. Hey, it worked.
- Cover the pot and allow the water to come back to a gentle boil
- Boil for 10 minutes
- Using tongs, remove the jars and place on a towel to dry and cool.
- After the jars are cooled, check to see that the pop hasn’t popped (there should be no give when you press down at the center) If there is, the seal didn’t work and you’ll have to keep the jam in the fridge and use within a few weeks.
- But if it worked, congratulations! You are now a legit jam maker and you can give away your bounty as gifts that will last for about a year in a cool/dry cupboard.
Now wrap some twine or ribbon around these little jars of love and put a cute label on them to distribute to adoring fans of your domesticated awesomeness.