A few weeks ago, it first appeared — several ribs of red and green rhubarb at the farmers market. It’s one of the first signs of the impending summer harvest season, and a glorious tart element that adds a tasty balance to spring sweets. I bought some, imagining all the things I could use it for.
Pies and cakes and bars, oh my.
Though I only cooked with rhubarb for the first time last year, I’ve quickly fallen in love with it. And although there are so many things I want to make with it this year, the first on my list was jam — a classic strawberry rhubarb jam.
This jam recipe is based on my go-to one. It makes a small batch — just one jelly jar’s worth — and doesn’t take a lot of fruit. It’s flavor is a pleasant sweet-tart, but not too sweet or too tart.
And best of all? It’s so, so easy! You mix the ingredients in a pan, heat to boiling and then simmer it until it’s thickened. While you do have to keep an eye on it and occasionally stir it, this jam is really low maintenance.
This recipe doesn’t need any added pectin — the berries and lemon zest together help create the necessary jelling. You may have also noticed that there’s no liquid in this recipe. That’s isn’t a mistake. As the fruit cooks with the sugar and lemon zest, it releases all the liquid this needs. And as it cooks, the fruit breaks down to form the perfect consistency.
Spread this on fresh biscuits, toast, English muffins or whatever you enjoy jam on. And enjoy.
Psst! One more thing … here’s how to know if your jam is ready to set:
- 1 cup halved strawberries
- 1 cup diced fresh rhubarb
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan, stirring well to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. The fruit will release juices as it cooks.
- Reduce the burner's heat to medium-low, and simmer 40-45 minutes, stirring occasionally. The jam is done when it's thickened and a spoon leaves a wide wake when pushed through it.
- Transfer to a jelly jar (8 oz.) and seal with a lid. Let cool before storing in the fridge. This should be enjoyed within 2 weeks.