Strawberry and rhubarb is one of my all time favourite flavour combos. Sweet and tart. There’s probably a joke in there, but watch me restrain myself and move on. As I was saying, I was at our local farmers’ market and the lovely Greek man selling his home grown strawberries sold me and the organic rhubarb was a steal, so what’s a girl to do?
The recipe below has slightly less sugar, and as a result it’s not technically a jam. It’s a bit runnier and will need to be kept in the fridge where it should be good for six months, but there’s no way mine ever lasts that long. The fruit needs to be ripe or slightly under ripe with any bruises cut out as they can shorten the life span. The apples are a silent partner in the recipe, they’re there to round out the flavour and bulk out the quantity a bit.
Before I get to the recipe, I need to share a leetle secret for those new to making jam. You won’t read it anywhere and that’s because it’s a sacrilegious suggestion that the jam gods and goddesses would have conniptions about.
The only challenge in this whole process is figuring out when the mixture is thick enough to stop cooking. If you have some gelatin leaves or gelatin powder on standby you can just slip in a little bit if you’re not sure or having a mild panic. And as your jam confidence grows you can ditch the gelatin.
Strawberry and rhubarb jam ingredients
600g/1.3lb rhubarb, trimmed and chopped 350g/12 0z granny smith apples peeled, cored and chopped 600g/1.3lb strawberries hulled 1.1k/2.4lb white sugar
Before you start chopping, start sterilising the jarsby popping them in the oven and turn the heat to 160 °C (320 °F). Read more about sterilising here. Place sugar in an oven proof container and put in the oven too. This will help it dissolve in the fruit mixture.
In a large saucepan combine rhubarb and apples with 2 cups of water, bring to the boil and turn the heat down to medium and cook, covered, for 35 minutes or until the fruit is mushy. Stir the mixture into a coarse puree. Add strawberries and sugar and slowly bring mixture to a simmer, where little bubbles are rising to the surface. Continue stirring to dissolve the sugar. Set the heat to medium and cook the deliciousness uncovered for an hour or until reduced and thickened.
Whilst this recipe will not reach a setting point like a normal jam, I still test it by spooning a small amount into a cold dish and popping in the fridge to check if it’s the consistency I’m happy with.
Cybele Masterman (Bele) trained as a beauty therapist, aromatherapist and journalist. After working as all of the above has found herself on a quest for a beautiful and meaningful life that doesn't cost the earth. Follow on google: +blahblahmagazine twitter: @blahblahzine or Instagram: BlahBlahMagazine