Strawberries and rhubarb are the long-awaited first sign of spring fruit. Because both are low in pectin, this recipe adds the peel and the flesh of oranges to give this bright-flavored, tangy jam the body it needs. Set it out with cream scones, biscuits or crusty bread.
- 2 oranges, preferably blood oranges
- 1 1/2 to 2 lb. rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch chunks (about 6 cups)
- 3 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 4 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
Cut the ends off each orange. Cut the oranges in half crosswise and remove the seeds. Place the orange halves in a food processor and process until roughly pureed. Transfer to a nonreactive bowl. Add the rhubarb, strawberries and sugar and toss gently to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to overnight.
Have ready 7 hot, sterilized half-pint jars and their lids. Place 2 or 3 small plates in the freezer.
Transfer the rhubarb mixture to a large nonreactive saucepan and add the lemon juice. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to medium and cook, uncovered, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. To test if the jam is ready, put 1 tsp. of the jam on a chilled plate and place in the freezer for 2 minutes. The jam is ready if it wrinkles when nudged gently with a finger. If it doesn’t, continue to cook for 1 to 2 minutes more, remove from the heat and test again on a clean chilled plate.
Ladle the hot jam into the jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Remove any air bubbles and adjust the headspace, if necessary. Wipe the rims clean and seal tightly with the lids.
Process the jars in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes. The sealed jars can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year. If a seal has failed, store the jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. Makes 7 half-pint jars.
Adapted from The Art of Preserving, by Lisa Atwood, Rebecca Courchesne & Rick Field (Weldon Owen, 2010).