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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Rhubarb and Strawberry Jam

It's a classic for a lot of people but not for me.  I haven't met rhubarb until few years ago.  It was one of those strange vegetables ( yeah that's what I thought) in a new country.  Then it all started with a rhubarb tart, that I found delicious.  It was the smell of rhubarb that was appealing to me.  I didn't know what else I could do with this newly found taste other than the tarts.  Couple of years ago, when I was going through a "I want to make everything at home" stage, where I decided to make some jam.  This phase didn't last very long at the time. You can guess why.  But this year, the spring came early and I've been buying way too many strawberries.  Then I have received a cooking magazine for the spring season and there it was. Rhubarb and strawberry jam.  I thought why not. How hard could it be? I didn't realize that it would take an hour preparation and several hours of stirring and cooking, etc.  In the end was it worth it? I would say yes, but I don't think I would be doing it again any time soon. 
So here are some nice pictures and the recipe. Enjoy!

Rhubarb and Strawberry Jam
(Makes about 2 Lt)
about 700g Rhubarb - Peeled and chopped in 1 cm pieces (see picture)
about 900g Strawberries - Peeled and diced (see picture)
about 1000g sugar
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1/2 pack of vanilla sugar
400 ml water

Mix all your ingredients except the water in a large bowl. Put them in a large pan and add the water.
Bring it to boil while stirring frequently.  Reduce the heat and leave it to boil until it gets to the jam stage.  Stir it and check frequently.  Now here is what I learned, in order to check the jam stage, you can either take a spoon full of jam and put it on a cold plate, put it in the fridge for few minutes to see if there is gelling.  Until that occurs you need to keep it on the heat, but don't forget to stir.
When it's ready pour it into jars and seal immediately (something new that I learned - I would have left them open to cool down).  It seems that if you store them in a cool and dark place they may last for about a year.  I will test that and get back to you.