I’ve been dreaming of strawberries and rhubarb — quintessentially spring — while I wait for the rain to stop so I can finish making my little deck . . .
I once tasted the most exquisite apricot jam made with dried/condensed apricots . . . an intense apricot flavor.
My strawberry jam usually tastes very fresh and good, but it’s not what I’d call exquisite.
That was then, and this is now!
Roasting is the key. It concentrates the strawberry flavor. I think it brings out a duskiness that is easy to overlook when strawberries are fresh and bright.
I created this recipe in honor of my latest class of canners. They did such a great job learning! And in their final week, I wanted to offer something special.
So here it is —
1. Roast 3 cups (1 lb) diced strawberries at 300 degrees for about 2 hours (don’t let them blacken) and retain the liquid they release. You can almost let them blacken, because the carmelized sugar is what helps give this jam a deep flavor.
2. Add 3 cups of fresh strawberries to jam pot.
3. Pour in the roasted strawberries.
4. Dice and add 2 cups of fresh rhubarb.
5. Pour in 2 cups of sugar.
That’s it! Don’t add any water, and simmer all together until you reach the jell point. Now this all seems simple to me, but figure you will simmer for 20-40 minutes or so.
First it will be all chunky like this . . .
And then it will start to have a liquid part and a fruity part . . .
The colors will darken as it thickens up. Hold up a spoon and let the juice run off it. If there’s one drop, it’s not ready yet. If there are two drops dropping off at the same time, it’s almost ready, and if the two drops run together and fall off together as a sheet, it’s ready!
Pour into hot sterilized jars. You’ll need about 5 cups or half-pints. Process in water bath for 10 minutes, adding 1 minute for every 1000 feet in elevation.
Try this over a thin layer of cream cheese on cinnamon toast. Just one of those things that you might never forget . . .
What’s your favorite thing to make with strawberries and rhubarb?