By Cassie Johnston
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When I was trying to figure out what should be the inaugural canning recipe posted here for the 1000 Jar Project, I knew it was going to be something strawberry-related.
Strawberries are the first cannable produce to come off in our area, and it’s normally the first time I pull out my canner for the year. I canned a number of wonderful strawberry recipes this year, but none of them hold a candle to the Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam recipe directly from the pages of the canning bible—the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving.
This strawberry-rhubarb jam is pretty much life-changing. It’s sweet, tangy, fruity. I know some people love the smooth, clear results you get with making jelly, but this jam is packed full of rhubarb chunks and strawberry pieces. I love that you can actually see the fruit when you spread it onto an English muffin. This strawberry-rhubarb jam makes my breakfast happy. This jam is my jam (yup, I went there).
I mentioned in my Canning 101 post how important it is to follow a tested canning recipe when you’re first starting out. Once you know the rules, you can learn to develop recipes on your own, but for your first go, to guarantee success, you’ll want to try out a recipe that’s been used in home kitchens for decades. And the canning experts at Ball are the place to go for these recipes.
Ball posts many of their recipes on their website for free, but I highly recommend picking up a copy of the Blue Book to have as a reference. If you know someone who cans food, I can almost guarantee they have a copy of this book in their kitchen (and it’s probably lovingly stained with jam and pickle juice!). I love the Blue Book because it isn’t overwhelming, but it’s comprehensive.
You can find a recipe and a how-to for pretty much everything you’d ever want to make in here. And, best of all, it’s totally affordable. The paperback is available around here for less than $10 a copy (and you can pick it up at just about every grocery and hardware store this time of year)! And if you can’t find it in store, you can order it online for just a few bucks more. Not too shabby!
I love the Blue Book for tried-and-true canning recipes (like this one for Strawberry-Rhubarb jam), but it’s also a wonderful resource for all kinds of home preserving. They’ve expanded the most recent edition to include fun ways to use dried and frozen foods, as well as how to can foods you may have never thought of doing before. Like say, blueberry-basil vinegar, anyone?
Or, Blueberry Focaccia? Can you tell blueberries are starting to come off here? I promise to move onto blueberry (and black raspberry—those are coming off too) recipes once I get through my backlog of strawberry tastiness. Having too much fresh food to develop recipes with is a wonderful problem to have!
Once you get your hands on your copy of the Blue Book (ahem, check below, there may or may not be an opportunity to win your own copy—spoiler alert—THERE IS), flip to page 55 to learn all about how to make this Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam. Strawberry Jam of any kind is a great starter jam because it gives you the opportunity to learn how to work with pectin.
Pectin sounds complicated, but it’s a breeze to use (it’s just a powder that you stir into the fruit to help it thicken and gel). It’s also all-natural—it’s a compound that already exists in most fruits, but strawberries need a little help to get thick enough to become jam. I promise you won’t mess it up! And the results will be delicious.
I’ve talked a lot about strawberries lately, but haven’t done a lot of talking about rhubarb! We grow our own rhubarb (are you surprised?) and just freeze it in 1-inch chunks as it comes off. That way, when it’s time to make a cobbler or jam, we just measure out what we need and are good to go.
If you don’t grow your own (you should, it’s crazy easy to grow, beautiful, and comes back year after year), you can pick it up around this time of year at most farmer’s markets. I’ve even seen some of the larger super markets in our area carrying rhubarb. If all else fails, check the frozen fruit section. Even our dinky small-town grocery store carries frozen rhubarb—but it ain’t cheap! Like with everything else food-wise, your best bet is to snag some from a local farmer. Enjoy!
The classic early summer flavor combo is pulled together beautifully in this recipe for Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam from the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving. It’s a great recipe to start canning with!
New to canning? Make sure to check out this great step-by-step guide from Ball to learn more about how to get started.
For a glossary of canning terms, check out this post.
To celebrate the 37th edition of the Ball Blue Book with 75 brand new recipes, Jarden Home Brands is giving away a prize package including a free copy of the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving and the Ball FreshTECH Electric Water Bath Canner and Multi-Cooker.
This electric canner is what I use in my own kitchen, and I love it! All you have to do to get entered is to pin some awesome canning recipes. Doesn’t sound that hard, does it? Follow these steps to get entered:
As a leader in home food preservation, Jarden Home Brands is committed to continuing the tradition started by the Ball® brothers and handed down through generations by providing quality products to help Americans preserve garden fresh produce. Join us in continuing our efforts to Preserve America for the next 125 years.
Thanks to Ball Canning for making this post possible. All content and opinions are my own.
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That looks so delicious! I will have to try and make some. We started growing rhubarb about 3 years ago but this year the stalks and huge but still green. Any idea why that might be?
Some rhubarb varieties stay green! We thought ours were never ripening, but they just barely get a little bit of pink on them, and sometimes none at all.
I love strawberry rhubarb jam! But My favorite thing to do with rhubarb is rhubarb raspberry pie! :)
I am loving your 1000 can project! Would love to do this one day!
Oh I LOVE this combination. Defitnely a favourite. Thanks for the recipe.
Interesting to note I have never understood putting butter & jam together on bread. Grosses me out for some reason, even though I love some fatty butter! haha
Strawberry-rhubarb is one those food combinations that has a lot of happy childhood memories for me — baking pies on my grandma’s farm. I canned up a batch last year and it was one of my more favorite jams I made. So yummy!
I love making jam! And I love the photos of your very photogenic strawberry rhubarb!
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