- 7 cups fresh rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 7 cups fresh or frozen strawberries, stems removed and cut in half
- 4 cups granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract (more to taste)
- 1 tsp almond extract (more to taste)
- Put the pieces of rhubarb and strawberries in a large heavy bottom saucepan. Add the sugar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
- Once the jam begins to boil, partially cover the pan, adjusting the lid so that it covers about 80% of the pan. Adjust the heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer rather than a violent boil.
- Put a small dish in the freezer. Cook the jam for at least one hour, and up to two hours, stirring frequently, especially towards the end of cooking. (Be cautious as you stir; as the jam begins to thicken, it will splatter.) After an hour of cooking, remove the frozen dish from the freezer and spoon a teaspoon or two of jam onto it. Let the jam sit on the frozen dish for a minute or so to cool, then run your finger through it to test the consistency. If it’s still quite runny, put the dish back in the freezer and keep cooking, re-testing it every 15 minutes or so.
- When the jam has thickened up enough, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla and almond extracts.
To freeze the jam:
- Ladle the jam into jars, leaving about 1-inch of room at the top of the jar, and let sit out on the counter, uncovered for an hour or two, until cooled to room temperature. Screw the lids onto the jars and place in the freezer. The jam will keep in the freezer for 6-12 months.
To process in a hot water bath:
- Pour the jam into sterilized, dry glass jars leaving about 1/4 inch of room at the top. Using a damp cloth or paper towel, wipe the tops of the jar to ensure a clean seal. Cap and screw on lids, leaving them a bit loose.
- Bring a large pot of water, or water-bath canner, to a rolling boil and gently lower the jars into the boiling water using tongs. The water should cover the jars by at least 1/2 inch. Let process for 10 minutes. Remove the jars from the water bath and place upside down on a dry towel laid out on a flat surface. Allow to cool completely.
- Once the jars are cool, check the seal by gently pressing down on the center of the lid. if it pops up and down (often making a popping sound), it is not sealed. if that should happen to a jar or two, just store the preserves in the refrigerator and use it within 3 weeks. (Or freeze for 6-12 months) Properly sealed jars can be stored in a cool dark place for up to 2 years.
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