Rhubarb, a reddish pink vegetable that grows in celery-like stalks and is harvested through the late summer, has a pleasing tartness, so it pairs well with sweet strawberries in a jam. We featured this recipe in “August’s Feast” (August/September 2009), a piece by Sasha Chapman about the cooking traditions of Cape Breton Island in Canada.
- 5 cups rhubarb (about 1 1⁄4 lbs.), cut into 3⁄4″ x 1⁄2″ cubes
- 2 cups hulled and quartered strawberries (about 1⁄2 lb.)
- 2 1⁄4 cups sugar
- 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- Combine the ingredients in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring occasionally, until the rhubarb breaks down and the jam has thickened, about 1 hour. To determine whether jam has set, place a small spoonful on a chilled plate; if the dollop of jam holds firm and doesn’t get runny around the edges, it is ready for canning. If it runs, continue to cook for another 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, submerge three 1-cup canning jars, along with their lids and ring bands, in a large pot of boiling water and sterilize over high heat for 10 minutes. Transfer sterilized jars, lids, and bands to a clean dish towel. Fill each jar with hot jam, leaving at least 1⁄4″ of space at the top. Wipe jar rims with a clean dish towel, place lids on jars, and secure ring bands.
- Transfer filled jars to a canning rack; place rack in a pot of gently boiling water so that jars are submerged by at least 1″; let boil for 10 minutes. Transfer jars, set at least 1″ apart, to a dish towel and let cool, undisturbed, for 24 hours. To test that jars have properly sealed, unscrew bands and lift each jar by the edge of the lid; if the lid holds, the jar is sealed. If it loosens, jar is not fully sealed, and jam should be refrigerated and used within 2 weeks. Sealed jars will keep, in a cool, dark place, for up to a year.