Some Jam Experiments

It was time to clean out the freezer and use up last year’s berries!  We still had several containers of frozen strawberries, and a whole lot of bags of frozen blackberries.  Luckily the strawberries were ready to be used for jam, since we froze them as puree. The blackberries needed to be thawed, heated and run through the food mill to remove seeds before we could use them.

We set all the berries out to thaw on Friday, and Saturday morning at least the strawberries were ready to use. While the blackberries were slowly heating on the stove (in a 22 quart pot), we decided to experiment a bit with rhubarb-strawberry jam.  Roughly we used twice as many strawberries as rhubarb, plus lemon juice – the trick was to know how much total fruit to use in order to get a nicely set jam.  After the initial runny batch, which had the consistency of apple butter, we reduced the amount of fruit by a cup, and ended up with a soft jam, slightly tart, but nicely balanced with the sweetness of strawberries.

Here is our recipe for strawberry-rhubarb jam:

  • 1 and 3/4 cups of cooked rhubarb (chopped cleaned rhubarb is heated with very little water and cooked until soft)
  • 3 and 1/2 cup of mashed strawberries (can use fresh, we used frozen “chunky” puree) 
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 cups of sugar
  • 1 packet of low-sugar SureJell  
We followed the SureJell instructions for cooked jam.  This sized batch made 4 pint sized jars of jam.
The blackberries yielded enough puree for 5 + batches of jam.  We kept the extra out for smoothies 🙂