Strawberries are back in season, thank goodness! Since they were plentiful and on sale (3 pints for $6!) at the farmers market, I decided it was finally time to try my hand at making jam. I’ve never used rhubarb before – what better opportunity than with delicious, sweet summer strawberries?
So… raw rhubarb by itself is kinda gross. It’s super sour with the texture of celery. Add a bit of sugar or honey to it and it transforms! Sugar is magic.
I added a vanilla bean to give a hint of richness to the jam, and the cardamom to give it a warm spice undertone. You can skip both of those and keep it pure and fruitful, if you like. Or try adding in some of your favorite spices. Choose your own jammy adventure!
Strawberry Cardamom Rhubarb Jam
adapted from david lebovitz
makes ~5 cups in about 1 hr 15 minutes
2 pounds rhubarb, trimmed and sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
4 cups (2 pints) fresh strawberries, hulled
1 cup water or apple juice
1/2 vanilla bean
5 cardamom pods, cracked
5 cups sugar
juice of one lemon
pinch of salt
In a large, non-reactive (read: stainless steel or ceramic, not aluminum) pot, combine the rhubarb, strawberries, vanilla bean, cardamom pods and water. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until rhubarb is cooked through and tender – about 15 minutes.
Place a small plate in the freezer.
Once the rhubarb is tender, add in sugar, lemon juice and pinch of salt. Cook, uncovered, skimming off any foam that comes to the top. Once the jam has thickened and reaches 220F or passes the wrinkle test, it’s ready (it took about 50 minutes for my jam to come up to 220F).
The wrinkle test: place a small spoonful of jam on the chilled plate from the freezer. Put the plate back in the freezer for a few minutes; if the jam wrinkles when you nudge it , it’s done. If it’s still quite runny, continue to cook.
Ladle the jam into clean jars (fish out the vanilla bean and any cardamom pods you can find), cover, and store in the refrigerator.
Note: This jam isn’t “canned” or processed for long-term storage, and should be consumed within a few months and kept refrigerated.If you wish to process them, check out Practical Canning Tips.
Prep Time:15 minutes
Cook Time:1 hour