Strawberry season has arrived and we are lucky to have the Sheepscot General store available for Maine's only certified organic pick-your-own berry patch. So, for the 2nd year in a row, the family and I headed a we bit south for some time spent in the fields. After only about 45 minutes of picking, we harvested a modest 30 pounds of deliciously sun ripened strawberries. Unfortunately, 30 pounds is not enough of a harvest to keep us sustained for the year, but it will keep us happy for a few months. Atleast until blueberry season comes around. Whenever I come across a large quantity of food, I do my best to preserve it for the future. After last years strawberry harvest, I crafted 5 gallons of elderberry flower-strawberry mead which we are still enjoying. This year, I decided I would preserve some strawberries by making jam. After finding a recipe for strawberry-rhubarb jam and having rhubarb still growing in our garden, I thought i'd give it a shot. I consider myself still a bit of a rookie, when it comes to canning, but I do enjoy having bulk food that can last long term without refrigeration.
Pamona's Pectin seems to be the most "natural" option I could find and also had an easy to follow recipe that seemed fool proof. In the past, I have been turned off by the high amounts of sugar that are used in fruit based canning recipes, but Pamona's pectin appears to require less then the norm. Plus, I have come to realize that I'd have to eat a heck of a lot of jam to have any ill effect. For me, having a sense of food security easily outweighs eating a tad bit more sugar then normal.
I've listed the ingredients down below but for the full recipe and directions, click HERE. I made a 2x batch and ended up with 21 jars of jam that gelled up perfectly.
Are you a canner? Have any fun recipes to share? I'd love to hear from you!
- 2 cups mashed Strawberries (about 4 cups whole strawberries)
- 2 cups cooked Rhubarb (chop rhubarb, add a little water, cook until soft, measure)
- 2 teaspoons Calcium water
- 2 Tablespoons Lemon juice
- ½ cup up to 1 cup Honey or ¾ cup up to 2 cups sugar ( I used Palm Sugar)
- 2 ½ teaspoons Pomona’s pectin powder
1. Wash jars, lids, and bands. Place jars in canner, fill canner 2/3 full with water, bring to a boil. Turn off heat, cover, and keep jars in hot canner water until ready to use. Place lids in water in a small sauce pan; cover and heat to a low boil. Turn off heat and keep lids in hot water until ready to use.
2. Wash, remove hulls, and mash strawberries. Prepare rhubarb. Measure fruit into sauce pan.
3. Add calcium water and lemon juice and mix well.
4. Measure sugar or room temperature honey into a bowl. Thoroughly mix pectin powder into sweetener. Set aside.
5. Bring fruit mixture to a full boil. Add pectin-sweetener mixture, stirring vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes to dissolve the pectin while the jam comes back up to a boil. Once the jam returns to a full boil, remove it from the heat.
6. Fill hot jars to ¼” of top. Wipe rims clean. Screw on 2-piece lids. Put filled jars in boiling water to cover. Boil 10 minutes (add 1 minute more for every 1,000 ft. above sea level). Remove from water. Let jars cool. Check seals; lids should be sucked down. Eat within 1 year. Lasts 3 weeks once opened.
Note: If you’re not sure if your jam is sweet enough, taste it after the pectin is dissolved and jam has come back up to a boil. Not sweet enough? Add more sweetener and stir 1 minute at full boil.