There has, indeed, been more picking, more eating, and more jam-making since I first mentioned it last week. How could we not? It's so yummy, and, well, next strawberry season seems a long ways off. And the 'jam' shelf in the pantry was looking mighty bare...just waiting.
As promised, here's the recipe I used. But you have to promise to remember that I really don't know what I'm doing and honestly, I made it all up as I went along, so take it all for what it's worth (how's that for an intro?). If you want good sound advice on strawberry-rhubarb jam from a pro, check out the current issue of Bon Appetit, where Ms. Molly's monthly article and recipe this month is on strawberry rhubarb jam! I haven't seen it yet, but like everything else of hers, I'm sure it's wonderfully good.
So, here's what we did:
Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
5 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered
3 cups rhubarb, sliced 1/2"
juice of 1.5 lemon
1 TBSP grated lemon zest
1.5 cups sweetener (I used turbinado sugar the first time, and honey the second - both worked well, though I think the specific pectin I used was helpful in making the liquid of honey be okay as a substitute)
1 oz pectin (I used Pomona's Universal Pectin, found at Whole Foods; but here's an article on making your own)
Combine all ingredients in a glass bowl (except the pectin), cover with wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
Drain juice from berries and rhubarb, and put in a large pot. Add half of the berry/rhubarb mix, and the pectin powder. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until it starts to thicken a bit. Puree, and then return to pot.
Add remaining berry/rhubarb mix. Bring to another boil, and then lower heat to a simmer for 20 -30 minutes, or until the jam thickens to your liking.
Pour into prepared jars, filling to within 1/2" of the rim, and place lids on. These could be eaten immediately, refrigerated (for a few months?) or preserved:
For preserving, I use (sterilized in the dishwasher, followed by a few minutes in the oven) ball jars, and once filled, the simple 'open canning method' of placing the filled jars in a large pot of boiling water for five minutes. I've been keeping my eye out for years for a canner while thrifing, but no luck yet, and I seem to get by fine without it. A jar lifter is really helpful though, and I do have one of those. For a great canning resource online (a little overwhelming, but everything you need is on there...somewhere!), Pick Your Own is really helpful. Should preserving/canning the jam be the option you choose, I strongly recommend you do a little more reading about it. That website is a good start, as well as one of the many canning cookbooks out there.
That's it! I hope that's clear and I especially hope that it works for you should you try it. Though we've nearly eaten three jars this week, I've got to slow our pace down. Because there is nothing like the feeling - to me - of a fully stocked pantry headed into the fall season. And of course, that dream of strawberry jam in January. Okay, and all the days from here to there in which strawberry jam will certainly be a breakfast feature.