This strawberry rhubarb jam is lovely to taste and incredibly easy to make compared to most homemade preserves, relying on a simple technique to make a small batch in just half an hour. And you can simply stash the jam in the fridge rather than properly process it.

Five jars of jam, two apricot and three strawberry rhubarb jam, with some wildflowers.

Those familiar with Sarabeth’s strawberry rhubarb jam know well the reassuring sight of those iconic and familiar jars on shelves at specialty grocers. And while there’s always an array of flavors, if you’re anything like us, strawberry rhubarb has always been your favorite. And now you can take comfort knowing that you can make Sarabeth’s very own recipe at home. You’ll be even more tickled to know that it takes a mere half hour to put up a small batch that boasts not just a superbly satiating taste and texture but lord, oh lord, a fragrance that’s intoxicating beyond words.

And it’s a small enough batch that there’s no need to process it for canning; instead you can simply stash it in the fridge with the knowing that it’ll easily disappear before it can possibly go bad.–Renee Schettler

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

Five jars of jam, two apricot and three strawberry rhubarb jam, with some wildflowers.

One of spring’s most beloved combinations becomes even more delicious with the addition of lemon and a vanilla bean. I use whole lemon slices, rind and all. The rind provides both extra pectin to help the preserves set and lovely bits to chew on. The speckles of vanilla seeds turn this into a stunner and add an aroma that makes you feel like you’re eating dessert.

Sarabeth Levine

Prep 15 mins

Cook 15 mins

Total 30 mins

16 servings | 2 half-pints

44 kcal

  • In a large nonreactive saucepan over medium heat, bring the rhubarb, strawberries, lemon, and water to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
  • Stir in 3/4 cup sugar. And then, since strawberries and rhubarb can vary in their sweetness, carefully take a taste and, if desired, add more of the remaining sugar, a little at a time.
  • Using the tip of a sharp knife, split the half vanilla bean lengthwise, scrape the seeds into the mixture, and then toss in the pod.
  • Continue simmering the jam mixture, stirring occasionally, until the preserves are slightly thickened, 10 to 15 minutes. (See our *How do I know when my jam is done? note below.) Skim and discard any foam that may appear on the surface. Discard the vanilla pod.

  • Divide the jam between 2 sterilized half-pint canning jars. Screw on the lids, let cool to room temperature, and then refrigerate overnight (before diving into it!) to allow the flavors to meld. You can keep your stash of strawberry rhubarb jam in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

*How do I know when my jam is done?

New to making jam? It can seem pretty daunting at first. That pot of scalding fruit lava burbling away might be enough to make you lose your bravado. But, hear us out, it’s actually easy to know when to pull it from the heat.  Our recipe tester Linda McElroy, an experienced home preserver, explains, you have a few ways to know when it’s time to safely pull that fruit off the stovetop, or, in home preservers’ parlance, to “check the set.” Here are the options: 1. The spoon test—drag a wooden spoon through the jam. If the spoon parts the preserves, leaving a clean streak on the bottom of the pan, it’s done. 2. The freezer test—before you begin to make the jam, place a small plate in your freezer. When you think the jam is ready, drop a very small amount of jam from a  spoon onto the chilled plate. If the jam doesn’t spread (or spreads very little) and you can draw your finger or the spoon through it and leave a clean streak on the plate, the jam is ready.

Serving: 2tablespoonsCalories: 44kcal (2%)Carbohydrates: 11g (4%)Protein: 1g (2%)Fat: 1g (2%)Saturated Fat: 1g (6%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 1mgPotassium: 63mg (2%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 10g (11%)Vitamin A: 16IUVitamin C: 9mg (11%)Calcium: 15mg (2%)Iron: 1mg (6%)

Originally published July 11, 2016

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