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Balsamic Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

Have you ever made jam before?  I’ve been averse to the idea for the longest time because of the botulism risk and visions of hot boiling sugar gobbling up my kitchen.  This is my third time making jam so far and it’s actually pretty easy!  Just make sure everything you’ll be using is sterilized to get rid of the bacterial spores that may cause botulism and store the finished product in the refrigerator.  You’ll need to be patient and focus for a couple of hours.  Singing and dancing to Bob Marley’s music is highly encouraged as long as you keep your eyes on the pot!  I assure you that the result will be better than anything you can buy at the grocery store.

jamprocess

The recipe is based on the Strawberry Rhubarb Jam recipe from The Rhubarb Compendium.

RECIPE

  • 2 quarts fresh strawberries from Bures
  • 1 1/2 lb. rhubarb from my garden
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 8 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 t. salt
  • 2 T. balsamic vinegar ( I use Academia Barilla)
  • 1 pouch Sure-Jell Certo liquid fruit pectin
  • 3 T. butter (I use Schullsburg sweet cream unsalted butter)

STERILIZING

Boil 6 to 7 twelve ounce  jars and lids for about 10 to 15 minutes.  Keep them in the hot water until it’s time to fill them up with the jam.

JAM

Clean rhubarb and berries.  Finely chop the rhubarb to avoid stringiness in your jam.  It’s fine to leave the berries whole because they will break down pretty easily later.  In a stock pot heat up the rhubarb, water, sugar, and salt.  Cook until sugar granules dissolve and the rhubarb is soft.  Add the strawberries.  Bring it to a boil.  I don’t like chunks of berries in my jam so I mash them up with the back of the ladle against the pot.  Simmer for about half an hour to reduce the water content.  Add the pectin, bring to a boil.  You’ll see a lot of foam at the top.  Add the butter to reduce foaming.  Before turning the stove off, I like to pour a little bit of the jam on a saucer then put it in the freezer for a minute.  Take the saucer out and check if you like the consistency.  If it’s too runny, boil for a few more minutes or add just a little more pectin (1-2 T.).  Ladle the mixture into hot sterilized jars.  I filled up 6 jars but only half of the seventh one.

Boil the sealed jam jars in water for about 5 minutes.  Take them out and leave them on the kitchen counter for a few hours until cool.  Store in the refrigerator.

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