In many climates, strawberries and rhubarb are in season at the same time, which makes this low-sugar strawberry rhubarb jam recipe a great way to preserve the harvest. This small batch recipe is a bit different than other strawberry-rhubarb jam recipes in that we added just a bit of balsamic vinegar that turns this humble homemade jam into a gourmet jam that is perfect for gift giving.
Strawberries – You will need about 2 pounds of fresh strawberries for this jam recipe. Wash and hull the strawberries. They will need to be crushed, you can use a potato masher or a food processor to crush them. If you don’t have fresh strawberries, you can use frozen strawberries. However, they will need to be thawed so they can be crushed.
Rhubarb – You will need about 1 cup of fresh rhubarb. Like the strawberries, the rhubarb will need to be crushed. If you don’t have fresh rhubarb, you can use frozen but it will need to be thawed.
Balsamic vinegar – There is a wide variety of balsamic vinegars, some are very expensive and some are cheaper mass-produced versions. Save your well-aged, expensive balsamic vinegar for something else, and use a less expensive version for this jam. While it certainly adds to the flavor depth of the jam, it is not so pronounced that you need to spend extra money on it.
Sugar – To ensure that jams gel, most homemade jams have a lot of sugar in them. However, this simple recipe is a low sugar jam recipe..
Fruit Pectin – Because this recipe calls for less sugar, you will need to use a specific low or no sugar pectin to ensure the jam gels properly. Low-sugar and no-sugar pectin can be found in most grocery stores.
Canning Jars and Lids – You’ll need 6 half-pint jars for this recipe. If you prefer smaller jars than half pints, you can use 4-ounce mason jars. Do not adjust the processing time.
Water Bath Canner – If want your delicious jam to be shelf stable, you will need to process the filled jars in a hot water bath. If you don’t have a water bath canner, you can put a kitchen towel or silicone mat on the bottom of a large stockpot and use it as a canner. It needs to be large enough that when filled, the water will cover the jars by at least 1-inch.
Bubble Removal and Headspace Checker Tool – This is a super handy tool. However, if you don’t have one, you can use a thin silicone spatula or wooden spoon to remove bubbles and a ruler to check the headspace.
Canning Jam Safety
Remember, to process jam safely for yourself and loved ones. All jam needs to be processed in a water bath canner. Do not simply pour jam into jars and seal.
If you prefer not to can this jam, it can be frozen or refrigerated immediately for storage.
Freezer jam should be used up within 12 months. If refrigerated, use up within 1 month – longer may be okay, but watch for mold. Because there’s not much sugar in this recipe, it will not stay fresh as long as full sugar jams do.
Way to use Balsamic Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
There are so many ways you can use this easy strawberry rhubarb jam.
- Spread on pancakes, waffles, biscuits, or English muffins
- Mix into yogurt
- Topping for ice cream
- Mix with a little avocado oil and balsamic vinegar to make a salad dress
- Top a block of cream cheese and sever with crackers
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- 2 1/2 cups crushed strawberries (A little over 2 pounds of whole strawberries or so)
- 1 cup diced rhubarb, crushed
- 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons low or no sugar pectin
- 1 3/4 to 2 cups of sugar
- Prepare the water bath canner (or other large pot) by rinsing it out, filling it about two-thirds full of water, putting in the rack, and put it on the stove. Heat over medium heat.
- Wash 6 half pint jars and lids. Have bands ready. Since this jam is processed in the water bath canner for 10 minutes the jars don't need to be sterilized, just washed in hot soapy water. You can put the jars in the canner to keep them hot.
- In a large stockpot, combine rhubarb, strawberries and balsamic vinegar. Crush them with a potato masher.
- Whisk in pectin until is has completely dissolved. Bring to a boil over high heat. Stir constantly. Make sure the mixture comes to a full boil.
- Pour in the sugar all at once and mix well.
- Bring the mixture to a full rolling boil and boil for 1 minute.
- Remove the saucepan from heat.
- One by one, remove the clean jars from the canner and fill them with the hot jam. Leave a 1/4-inch headspace (the space between the jam and the top of the jar.)
- Remove any air bubbles with a wooden spoon or thin spatula.
- Wipe jar rims with a clean damp cloth.
- Place lids and screw bands on jars.
- Put the filled jars back into the water bath canner and heat over medium-high heat until the water is boiling.
- Process jars in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes, adjust time for elevation.
- After the 10 minutes, turn the heat off and let the jars remain in the canner for 5 minutes.
- Using a jar lifter, remove the hot jars from the canner and put them on a towel on the counter.
- Let the jars cool overnight (12-24 hours). Don't mess them or tighten the bands.
- The next day, remove the bands and check the lids to make sure they sealed.
- If any failed to seal, put it in the refrigerator to use first.
- Wipe down sealed jars of jam and label them.
- Store in a cool, dark place. For the best quality, consume within one year. That being said, as long as the jars are sealed, they are safe to consume.
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