This Strawberry Rhubarb Jam is an easy recipe that can be enjoyed on toast, biscuits, ice cream, or shortcakes and can even be used as a fruity filling for recipes such as homemade hand pies! Sweet summer strawberries meet tart vibrant rhubarb for an absolutely delicious combination.
There’s something super rewarding about making your very own jam. For one thing, it’s definitely a healthier option than store-bought jams which are usually packed with artificial flavorings and preservatives to extend their purchasing shelf life. If this is your first time making jam, have no fear! I will walk you through every step whether you want to store this like my strawberry freezer jam or use the water bath method for a prolonged shelf life. For instructions on using a slow cooker, check out how we make Apricot Pineapple Jam or Strawberry Raspberry Jam.
Homemade jam like this Strawberry Rhubarb Jam is a great way to use up any excess rhubarb or strawberries you may have in the kitchen. When poured into decorative jars, this jam is a thoughtful and delicious gift for family and friends!
What is Strawberry Rhubarb Jam?
This easy recipe is a homemade jam made from fresh whole strawberries, rhubarb stalks, granulated sugar, and fruit pectin. This jam is a great way to use up seasonal fruit that you may have bought in bulk from a local farmer’s market, or have growing in your garden!
What do I Need for this Recipe?
- 3 cups crushed fresh strawberries (4 cups of hulled and quartered strawberries)
- 3 cups fresh rhubarb pieces (about 2-3 large stalks)
- 8 ½ cups of sugar
- 1.75 oz. box of fruit pectin (we used Sure-Jell)
Large pot for cooking the jam on the stovetop. You will also need a very large pot for processing the jam if you wish to make shelf-stable jam. Canning jars, lids, and rings should be used for processing jam. Sterilize the jars and lids by running them through a sterilization cycle on your dishwasher or boil for 10 minutes in a large pot of water before using. A ladle is useful for transferring the jam into the jars and a canning funnel also comes in quite handy to keep the hot, sticky jam clear of the jar rims.
Variations and Substitutions:
Reduced Sugar Jam: Use a no-sugar or a low-sugar box of fruit pectin to reduce overall sugar intake in this jam without affecting the flavor or consistency. If you simply reduce the amount of sugar and use regular pectin, the jam won’t set. Use a low-sugar pectin and follow the quantity of sugar indicated for a strawberry jam on the instructions included in the box.
Flavor Variation: If you don’t enjoy rhubarb, simply make strawberry jam using this recipe and increase the number of strawberries. Alternately, you can substitute raspberries, blackberries, or boysenberries for the rhubarb and make a mixed berry jam.
Add Lemon: Add a teaspoon or two of fresh lemon juice or a teaspoon of lemon zest to the jam mixture as a way to cut some of the sweetness. Lemon also helps preserve the color in the jam.
Add Butter: If you have a lot of bubbles or foam in your jam, stir in a tablespoon of butter when it has finished cooking – this will help reduce the foam and reduce air bubbles in the finished jam.
Frozen Fruit: You can use frozen strawberries and/or frozen rhubarb. I would only recommend using frozen fruit if I had grown or purchased ripe fruit during peak season and stored it in the freezer. If you purchase frozen fruit, it is not typically ripe or particularly flavorful and would not be ideal for this recipe.
PREP: Wash jars and lids and sterilize in boiling water (submerge for 10 minutes) or run through the sterilization cycle on the dishwasher.
Step 1: Wash strawberries and rhubarb. Slice fresh berries into halves or quarters and then crush them with a potato masher. Cut rhubarb into small pieces. You do not need to peel the rhubarb in advance.
Step 2: Measure out 3 cups of crushed strawberries precisely and put into a large saucepan. Place rhubarb pieces in the pan as well.
Step 3: Add sugar and pectin and begin heating over medium high heat.
Step 4: Cook, stirring frequently, until mixture is broken down, juicy, and bubbling.
Step 5: Bring jam to a full boil over medium heat for 4 minutes and then remove from heat. If you are uncertain that your jam has cooked long enough or if you’re concerned about it setting properly, you can drop a bit onto a cold plate to test doneness. If the jam congeals rather than running, it is set.
Step 6: To reduce excess foam, you can stir in a tablespoon of butter before transferring the jam to jars.
Step 7: Ladle the jam into the sterilized jars. I like to hold the hot jars with a thick towel or heat-proof glove so that I can manage the jars without burning myself. A canning funnel is also very helpful in directing the hot jam into a small jar.
Step 8: Once you have filled your jars, wipe the rims with a damp towel or washcloth. Place the lids and rings on top and gently secure.
Jam that has been processed and sealed in canning jars can be stored in the cupboard for up to 1 year. If you don’t want to process the jam, you can transfer it to clean jars and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks or in the freezer up to 3 months. Read more about freezer jam in this Strawberry Freezer Jam recipe.
Step 9: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. You will need enough water that it comes 1-2 inches above the tops of the jars when they are submerged. However, keep in mind that when you add the jars, they will displace the water and the water level will rise. Adjust the water level as needed once you place the jars into the hot water bath. Boil for 15 minutes to process and seal the jars.
Step 10: Carefully remove from the water bath and place jars on the counter for 24 hours. Then you can tighten the rings and store in a cool, dry location for up to 1 year.
Don’t worry if you still have a few pieces of strawberry or rhubarb in your jam. While this Strawberry Rhubarb Jam is intended to be much smoother in consistency compared to something like strawberry freezer jam, it’s totally normal to find small pieces of fruit in your jam, and in fact, I think that it adds to the enjoyment when eating it over toast, biscuits or in other baked recipes.
For any jam that you make from scratch and intend to store at room temperature, it’s an absolute MUST to properly sterilize the jars or glass containers used. This sterilization process helps to reduce the presence and growth of bacteria in the jam.
In instances where you are going to store your jam in the refrigerator or in the freezer, it’s not an absolute necessity to sterilize the jam jars.
My rule is usually, if in doubt… sterilize!
If you’re unfamiliar with “pectin”, it’s a component in fruit that has natural congealing properties – meaning that it helps the gelling process required for jams and jellies to set.
Since different fruits have different pectin levels, the ability to isolate pectin and add it to jam recipes using naturally low-pectin fruits (such as strawberries and rhubarb), is incredibly convenient!
While it certainly is possible to make jam without pectin, it will require a substantial increase in cooking time, requiring you to stand over your stove top tentatively while checking the temperature of the jam mixture.
This jam can be refrigerated for up to 3 weeks once the jam jar has been opened or you can store your sealed jam jar on the shelf in a dark place for up to 1 year.
If your jam hasn’t been processed in a water bath as directed in the recipe, then it’s best to store it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Any good quality sealable glass jar, like mason jars, can be used for storing this Strawberry Rhubarb Jam. When using jars, make sure to leave a small amount of space (about ½ inch headspace) at the top of your jar to allow for expansion.
If you love gifting homemade jams to friends and family as I do, then consider using decorative jars that can be sourced in stores or online. Here are a couple affiliate links for great options: Diamond Design Mason Jars; Ball Collection Elite Jam Jars. I would stick to high quality jars, particularly if you will be processing in boiling water – I don’t want to use a cheap brand and risk breakage.
You can! Making jam in the crockpot is a great way to beat the heat. You do have to be cautious to not overcook the jam, though. I’ve found that crockpot jam does not set as thick as stovetop jam, but no one has ever complained. haha. Follow my general instructions for crockpot jam in this Strawberry Raspberry Crockpot Jam recipe and alter your fruit by swapping in rhubarb for the raspberries.
Tips For Making Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
- When making any jam, it’s vitally important to measure all the ingredients as precisely as possible. If you alter any of the amounts in a recipe then you risk compromising the consistency of the jam. In some instances, this can result in your jam not setting properly.
- Use sweet strawberries for the best flavor. Buy during the height of strawberry season so that you can capitalize on all of that natural flavor. The sugar in the recipe will compensate for a lack of sweetness in the fruit, but you will miss the depth of flavor if your berries are not ripe. The tart rhubarb contrasts with vine-ripened strawberries for the best flavor.
- Remember, it’s not absolutely necessary to process jars in a boiling water bath when you intend to store your jam in the freezer. If you want to store your jam at room temperature then you MUST sterilize the jars beforehand to prevent any growth of bacteria. If you have any jars with lids that don’t seal well then I suggest that you store your jam in the refrigerator from the outset.
- Don’t skip the important step of allowing your jam to sit for 24 hours prior to sealing the lids for storage. This step gives the pectin sufficient time to properly set.
- Rhubarb is available in different shades of pink, red, or even green and can be easily sourced in-store from late winter to early summer, being most readily available in the springtime.
- Most jam recipes instruct you to wait until the fruit and pectin come to a boil before adding the sugar, but I’ve opted to add it all to the pot at once and it always sets just fine and tastes delicious!
- I haven’t used a candy thermometer when cooking the hot jam but you are welcome to do so if you wish.
- This recipe makes 11 cups of jam that can be stored in half-pint jars or any jars that you have on hand and that can withstand a water-bath canner.
More Strawberry Rhubarb Recipes
If you try this Strawberry Raspberry Jam or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how you liked it in the 📝 comments below.
Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
- 3 cups crushed fresh strawberries about 4 cups of hulled and quartered strawberries
- 3 cups rhubarb pieces about 2-3 large stalks
- 8 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 1.75 oz. box of fruit pectin we used Sure-Jell
- Prepare mason jars and lids by washing and sterilizing in boiling water or running through the sterilization cycle on the dishwasher.
- Wash strawberries and rhubarb. Slice strawberries into halves or quarters and then crush them with a potato masher. Measure out 3 cups precisely and put into a large saucepan.
- Cut rhubarb into small pieces. You do not need to peel the rhubarb in advance. Place the rhubarb into the saucepan also.
- Add sugar and pectin and begin heating over medium high heat.
- Cook, stirring frequently, until mixture is broken down, juicy, and bubbling. Bring jam to a full boil for 4 minutes and then remove from heat.
- Ladle jam into the prepared jelly jars, secure the lids, and leave the jars to set for 24 hours before storing in the freezer.
- Alternately, bring a tall stockpot of water to a full rolling boil. Submerge jam jars under the boiling water bath for 15 minutes.
- Remove from the boiling water and set on the countertop for 24 hours.
- After 24 hours, tighten the lids completely and store processed jam on the shelf for up to 1 year. Refrigerate after opening for up to three weeks.
- As with all jams, it is vitally important to measure the sugar and fruit accurately. Use “reduced sugar”-specific pectin if you want to reduce the amount of sugar. It is made specifically for low-sugar recipes. Regular pectin requires the right amount of sugar to gel properly.
- Jam typically gets foamy across the top while cooking. After removing the jam from the heat, you can stir in ½-1 tablespoon of butter to reduce the foam.
- Check that the lids are sealed and secured before storing them on the shelf. Jars that do not seal properly should be stored in the refrigerator.
- Rhubarb varieties come in different shades of pink, red, or even mostly green. Rhubarb is typically available in the grocery store in spring.
- Jam recipes will tell you to wait until fruit and pectin come to a boil before adding the sugar, but I add it all to the pot at once and it always sets just fine and tastes delicious!
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