I am literally eating jam straight out of the jar with a spoon. I don't think I've ever done this before in my life but I just can't stop myself. I guess you could say my first attempt at jam was a sweet success.
Actually I'm not a fan of overly sugary jams and this one tastes pretty darn close to my personal version of jam heaven. I really think the salt and lemon juice are crucial and really enhance the flavour of the fruit.
If you've never tried making jam, what are you waiting for? It's surprisingly easy and quicker than I had imagined. Check out my favourite preserving book, "The Beginners Guide to Preserving Food at Home" by Janet Chadwick and start canning!
Inspired by David Lebovitz and Janet Chadwick
Yield: approx 10 cups of jam
2 pounds chopped rhubarb
4 cups chopped strawberries
juice of 1 lemon
1 pkg powdered pectin
4 cups sugar (it was actually just a bit shy of 4 cups, maybe 3 3/4)
couple pinches of salt
Sterilize glass jars in a dishwasher.
Bring a large stock pot* of water to a boil (if you don't have a dishwasher to sterilize jars you can boil the jars in the pot). While water is coming to a boil combine chopped fruit, lemon juice and pectin in another large pot. Bring to boil stirring frequently. Once fruit is boiling so rapidly that stirring doesn't stop it, add sugar and stir well. Boil for 1 more minute then remove from heat and skim off any foam that has formed on the surface.
Pour fruit mixture into sterilized jars leaving 1/4"headspace. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean damp cloth. Place on lids and screw bands (don't screw too tightly). Place the filled jars into the pot of boiling water. Make sure the water covers the jars by at least 2 inches. Once the water is fully boiling process for 10 minutes. When processing is finished remove jars carefully with a jar lifter.
Cool the jars for 24 hours. Check the seals and refrigerate any jars that didn't seal properly (they'll have to be used up in a few weeks).
Label and date your jam and store in a cool dark place.
*You'll need some sort of rack on the bottom of the pot on which to place the jars. I use a few spare metal screw bands and the bottom of a tart pan, but you can purchase a rack designed for this use.