Leena Cooks (n Cans): Strawberry Rhubarb Rosemary Jam

By on Apr 19, 2010 in Canning, Condiments, Leena Cooks | 16 comments

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My entry for Tigress's April Can Jam: Herbs!

Click for tigress can jam food blog challenge

For the past four months, I’ve been participating in a good old fashioned can jam. If you’d like to learn more about it, please click on the  badge above this text for more info. This month, the challenge was herbs.

Past challenges:

January- Citrus My blood orange port marmalade

February- Carrot My gajar ki chutney with caramelized shallots

March- Alliums My onion apple ale jam

I was a bit disappointed this challenge didn’t come up in the middle of summer, because I’ve been dying to make a nice tomato herb jam. But then again, it wouldn’t be a challenge if it was easy to come up with a recipe, now would it? And this time of year, my tomatoes would come from Argentina, and who wants to can that? I responded this month with a kick-ass strawberry rhubarb rosemary jam. More food porn and the recipe after the jump.

Growing up, my mother used to can one thing once a year: strawberry rhubarb jam. I remember we would grow the rhubarb in our back yard, long, thick stalks of ruby red and forrest green. Before it closed, we’d go to the local fruit market to stock up on fresh strawberries. My mother would use strawberry gelatin to ensure a proper gel, and she had this big, old rusty canning pot that used to steam up the entire kitchen.

The rhubarb for the recipe.

It was my mother who originally taught me how to can, so when I was struggling with ideas for this month’s can jam, I thought of her. I also thought of my new home here in California. One of the aspects I love about living here is that everyone seems to have rosemary growing wild in their yard, or trimmed into cute little bushes. You don’t need to grow the herb yourself, because even on public property you can find two or three varieties of the herb growing.

The rhubarb had to sit in the sugar for two hours before cooking. Why it is ALWAYS good to read your recipe entirely before starting!

And from those two thoughts emerged the love child that is my strawberry rhubarb rosemary jam. It slightly sweet, slightly tangy, and just a hint of savory. It loves a nice piece of goat cheese or a decent pb&j sandwich, and that is what I love most about it–it is really a chameleon of the jam world. It can swing both ways!

The berries. Thanks to bad weather in Florida and California, the market has been flooded with cheap, local berries! I got four pints for $2!

Cooking the jam, before and after--I love to see the mixture melt into this jewel-toned mixture!

When it came to add the herb to the jam, I wanted to preserve it’s freshness, so I decided to put a bit of freshly torn rosemary in the bottom of the jars before filling them with the strawberry-rhubarb jam, and then I topped them with more rosemary.

Setting the freshly torn rosemary into the bottom of the jars.

Topping the jam with more rosemary before canning.

The finished product: my canned strawberry rhubarb rosemary jam!

Recipe: Strawberry Rhubarb Rosemary Jam

Summary: Inspired by the strawberry rhubarb jam in Well Preserved by Mary Anne Dragan, p. 33


  • 3 cups rhubarb, chopped into 1/2 inch dice 4 cups of sugar 3 cups sliced strawberries 1/4 cup lemon juice 4-5 sprigs of fresh rosemary 5 half pint canning jars, lids and rings


  1. Place a small plate in the freezer.
  2. Combine rhubarb and sugar in the pot you plan to cook it in and allow to sit for two hours.
  3. Add the strawberries and lemon juice, bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to help dissolve the sugar.
  4. Turn heat to medium high and boil rapidly for 20 minutes, stirring, until jam is slightly thickened. When you think it is near, take the jam off the heat. Remove the plate from the freezer and place a spoonful of jam on it, and put it back in the freezer for two minutes. If the jam comes out and is still runny, it needs to be cooked longer and tested again. If it looks thick and gelled like a jam, it is done.
  5. While the jam is cooking, take out the hot, sterilized canning jars out and set them up. Tear the leaves off a sprig of rosemary and place half of it in the bottom of the jar, saving the other part to go on top.
  6. Fill the jars up with hot jam with 1/2 inch headspace at the top. Sprinkle on remaining rosemary (you can use more or less to suit your own tastes). Place lids on jars and process for 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool. Jars will last in pantry for up to a year, and once open, two months in the fridge.

Quick Notes

*If you don’t know how to properly can food, please check out this post before attempting this recipe: https://www.leenaeats.com/blog/leena-cooks/leena-cooks-n-cans-how-to-can-guide/


*If you did not want to can, you could put the jam into clean jars and store in the fridge for several months.

Microformatting by hRecipe.

The finished strawberry rhubarb rosemary jam.

My current favorite way to eat this jam: on a cracker topped with goat cheese!


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  1. I had strawberry balsamic balck pepper jam with goat brie for breakfast this morning and felt like I'd died and gone to heaven. Your strawb/rhub/rosemary looks scrumptious.

  2. Linda415

    19 Apr ’10

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    I was the proud recipient of a sample of Leena's jam and I gotta say, it rocked. I'm thinking it would go well with ricotta pancakes and sausage.

  3. Julia

    20 Apr ’10

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    I would gladly have this topped on one of those crackers! Add in a little cocktail (a rhubarb spritzer, perhaps?) and I'd be in business. Nice.

  4. shaeirving

    20 Apr ’10

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    Leena, this all looks so good! I love your photographs and your combination is inspiring me all sorts of ways. And it's nice to find another Bay Area can jammer!

  5. ap269

    20 Apr ’10

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    You take some awesome pictures! Strawberry rhubarb is a perfect combination, and I bet the addition of rosemary is very interesting!

  6. innbrooklyn

    20 Apr ’10

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    The rosemary sounds like an inspired addition to an already tasty jam! nice. i am sick with jealousy over all the california produce – cheap strawberries, rosemary just everywhere… its not fair!!

  7. tigress

    24 Apr ’10

    Post a Reply

    this looks lovely leena!
    my mom was similar in that the only jam she made was either strawberry or raspberry. freezer jam actually, no canning. every year we would do u-pick for both and then some rhubarb too, for strawberry-rhubarb pies. a great tradition.

    i am envious of your new home! we just returned from a two week tour around cali. what a lovely state! good luck!

    your photos are great! 🙂


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