Monday night was the inaugural meeting of the Seattle Ladies’ Preservation Society! The LPS is a group of my friends that are interested in food preservation. We have varying degrees of experience, but are all excited to learn more. I started it because I’m super into food preservation right now, I love cooking with friends, and I figured it would be a great way to learn from smart and creative women. The bonus is that when we combine resources, we can get more done for less money, and share the spoils. (I had been a member of a community canning club, but it got large and unruly. There were 6 of us here, which is a good number.)
Looking for something seasonal and somewhat basic, I chose strawberry-rhubarb jam. I’ve never made it before, but it sounded fun. I found a great-looking recipe online, but on Monday the webpage was down! We ended up patching together multiple recipes and using group-think to solve problems. I believe we came up with a pretty solid recipe, so thank you, internet and friends!
One of my friends brought homemade bread. We ate the jam on the bread and had a grand time. If you aren’t canning with friends, I strongly recommend it. This was such a fun night! We did run kind of late, next time we’ll start earlier.
Here’s the recipe we used:
2 lbs strawberries (hulled and chopped)
1 lb rhubarb (peeled and chopped. We peeled it to reduce stringiness in the final product.)
1 cup water
¼ cup lemon juice
1 package no-sugar pectin + 1 Tbsp more
2 cups sugar
Combine fruit and water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Mash fruit a little, just to break up the strawberries if they are large, the rhubarb should be liquefied at this point. Add lemon juice and pectin. Stirring constantly, bring to a rolling boil.
Add sugar, one cup at a time, mixing completely in between cups. Stir constantly and return to a rolling boil. Cook for another minute at a rolling boil. Remove from heat.
Let cool a minute or two, and skim the foam off the top. Ladle into jars, leaving ¼” headspace. Place jar lids (that have been keeping warm in almost boiling water) and twist on rings.
Boil in water bath for 10 minutes. Remove from water and let cool for up to 2 days to let jam set. Or, if you’re like us, save a little out and taste-test it on bread!
We made 2 batches, because with jam I hear you shouldn’t combine batches, or the jam won’t set. In the second batch, I had a complete brain freeze and put in 12x the amount of citric acid I needed (I ran out of lemon juice and was using citric acid to replace it, ¼ tsp of citric acid = 1 Tbsp of lemon juice.) This made the 2nd batch very tart, so we added another ½ cup sugar. Some of the gals in the club thought that batch was way tastier, so at least it wasn’t a fatal error. Another reminder to me to follow directions!
I prefer the sweeter batch, but even that isn’t crazy sweet. I like the no-sugar pectin, you are able to reduce the sweetness and taste more of the fruit. I don’t actually recommend using the no-sugar pectin without sugar; the texture ends up weird and “fluffy.”