I couldn’t grow a fruit tree if my life depended on it.
But I CAN grow a mean crop of rhubarb… so at least I have that going for me.
Ok, fine…. rhubarb isn’t technically a fruit (yes, it’s a vegetable…), but we basically treat it like a fruit when we smother it in sugar and bake it into pies and tarts.
Or make strawberry rhubarb jam.
While I’m a big fan of freezing fruits and other foods to use later on in the year (like my awesome freezer-friendly peach pie filling), it’s always hard for me to sacrifice valuable freezer space when we have plenty of other foods (like our meat chickens) to store in there.
So I can as much fruit as possible. I mean what’s not to like about canning cherries with honey, and canning peaches with honey, and canning pears with maple syrup. Yum.
Now don’t get me wrong, some jams are worth taking up some valuable freezer space, like my strawberry freezer jam. (That’s my go-to easy recipe when I have leftover strawberries and I’m not in the mood to pull out the canning supplies.) But there’s something pretty awesome about preserving an entire season’s worth of strawberries and rhubarb without giving up any valuable freezer territory.
Enter stage right: My Favorite Homemade Strawberry Rhubarb Jam.
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This strawberry rhubarb jam is perfect for canning or eating fresh. And it doesn’t call for a lot of honey- although the sweeter your strawberries are, the better!
Scroll down for some tips to make it right the first, third, or fiftieth time you make it as well as lots of great suggestions for how you’ll want to eat this deliciousness.
Strawberry Rhubarb Jam Recipe
Yield: 5 or 6 8-oz jelly jars
- 2 cups mashed strawberries (I start with about 4 cups of whole strawberries)
- 2 cups cooked rhubarb (see notes)
- 3 teaspoons calcium water (see notes)
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ –1 cup honey (this is my favorite honey)
- 3 teaspoons Pomona’s pectin
- Wash 6 jelly jars, lids, and bands. (You might find you only need 5, but with 6 you’ll be prepared for the best case scenario.)
- Place jars in canner, fill canner 2/3 full with water, bring to a boil. Turn off heat, cover, and keep jars in hot canner water until ready to use.
- Meanwhile, place your lids in a small sauce pan, covered in water, and heat to a simmer. Turn off heat and keep lids in hot water until ready to use.
Wash, remove hulls, and mash strawberries.
Prepare rhubarb. (See notes.)
Measure your mashed strawberries into a clean sauce pan.
Add calcium water and lemon juice to the berries and mix well.
Measure honey into a bowl. (If it’s not room temperature, let it sit until it is before adding in pectin.)
Add pectin powder to honey and mix thoroughly. Set aside.
Bring fruit mixture to a full boil.
Add pectin-sweetener mixture to fruit mixture, stirring vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes to dissolve the pectin while the jam comes back up to a boil.
Once the jam returns to a full boil, remove it from the heat.
- Carefully remove jars, one at a time, using a jar lifter tool, from the hot water. Pour the hot water that is in each jar back into the canner.
Fill hot jars with jam mixture, to ¼” of top. Wipe rims clean before placing on lids and screwing bands on securely, but not overly tight.
Place filled jars in boiling water (make sure water is covering the tops of the jars) and boil 10 minutes (add 1 minute more for every 1,000 ft. above sea level).
Remove from water & let jars cool.
Strawberry Rhubarb Jam Notes:
- If you’ve preserved foods with Pomona’s pectin before, you’re familiar with calcium water. It’s super easy to prepare, using the small packet of calcium powder that comes in every box of pectin. Simply grab a small lidded jar and add 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 tsp of calcium powder. Shake well, and it’s ready. If you make more than you use, no problem. You can store it in the fridge until you make your next batch of jam.
- Always wash your strawberries before you remove the stems and leaves. Otherwise, you may have water pool inside your berries and wind up with jam that doesn’t set properly.
- To prepare your rhubarb, chop your stems into small pieces and add them to a sauce pan, covered with water. Cook them until they’re soft, checking them often. Then measure out 2 cups of the now-soft, cooked rhubarb pieces. The quantity of rhubarb shrinks pretty drastically as it cooks, so you’ll need at least 3 heaping cups of uncooked, cut rhubarb (or about a pound of it) for this recipe.
- Make sure your honey is room temperature before adding your pectin into it. This is my favorite raw honey. Code “JILL” will save you 15% at checkout.
- After your canned jars have cooled (I like to let them sit on the kitchen counter until the next morning), remove rims and check seals. The lids should be nice and secure. If one isn’t, place it in the fridge and enjoy over the next 3-4 weeks.
- If you don’t happen to have rhubarb available locally, Azure Standard is a great source for fresh rhubarb. Want to grow your own? They also carry heirloom rhubarb seeds. True Leaf Market also carries rhubarb seeds.
Does Rhubarb Have Natural Pectin?
While rhubarb does naturally contain pectin, it’s officially a low-pectin vegetable. While you can definitely find rhubarb jam recipes that don’t call for pectin, you’ll also notice those same recipes DO call for a giant amount of sugar. I’d rather skip the sugar, or this naturally fruity delicious jam just winds up being a dessert.
So, yeah, I’d much rather use honey, not only in this recipe but also in my other jam canning recipes (like this delicious honey currant jam I love to make).
I love that Pomona’s pectin relies on calcium calcium water instead of boat-loads of refined sugar to set the jam. And the calcium packets are included in every box. You can even snag Pomona’s in bulk sizes if you’re an avid jam maker.
You can learn more about my secret weapon for making jam with no white sugar in this video tutorial–>
How Long Does Homemade Strawberry Rhubarb Jam Last?
Homemade, canned strawberry rhubarb jam should last for at least a year without losing any taste or freshness. And honestly, it will last much, much longer than that (providing it has been properly canned), although 18 months is the ballpark timeframe recommended by most canning experts.
(But yes– I regularly eat home-canned food that’s older than 18 months old with zero issues!)
What Do You Do With Strawberry Rhubarb Jam?
If you’re stuck for recipe ideas and have tons of strawberry rhubarb jam to use up, don’t fret. Here are a few ideas:
- Make strawberry rhubarb jam dessert bars
- Put a dollop on a big scoop (or two…or three!) on vanilla ice cream (by the way, homemade ice cream is the best!)
- Spread it on fresh sourdough bread
- Eat it in your morning bowl of cereal or dish of yogurt (check out how easy it is to make homemade yogurt)
- Obviously, topping homemade biscuits with homemade jam is always a win, as well.
The opportunities are endless! Of course, I *might* be known to eat mine just straight out of the jar… no judgment if you do, too!
More Canning Tips & Recipes:
- Learn how to Can (the perfect course for beginners!)
- My Secret Weapon for Making Jam with No White Sugar (A Video Canning Tutorial)
- Honey Currant Jam Recipe
- Beginner’s Guide to Water Bath Canning
- Best Resources for Safe Canning
- Tips for Canning With Zero Special Equipment
Check out my homestead mercantile for all of my favorite homesteading and cooking products.
I literally just made my strawberry and strawberry rhubarb jam last night. However, the color is nowhere near as vibrant as the picture. I’ve had jam that brilliant, but it used sugar. Was there a filter or polarizer, or do different varieties of strawberries and rhubarb brighten up?