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.
January- Citrus My blood orange port marmalade
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
- Place a small plate in the freezer.
- Combine rhubarb and sugar in the pot you plan to cook it in and allow to sit for two hours.
- Add the strawberries and lemon juice, bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to help dissolve the sugar.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
*If you don’t know how to properly can food, please check out this post before attempting this recipe: http://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.