June 11, 2011

Strawberry-Rhubarb Mint Ginger Jam

7 cups finely diced strawberries (about 3 quarts)
3 cups diced rhubarb
1/3 cup minced crystallized ginger*
1 bunch fresh mint
4 1/2-5 cups sugar (depends on how sweet your berries are)
1 box liquid pectin (6 oz., 2 little packets)


Prep jars/lids for canning. Lightly bruise the mint and stuff as much as you can into a tea ball. Set aside. Add the sugar, tea ball, strawberries, ginger bits and rhubarb to a large pot. Bring the mixture to a boil. Smash any large chunks. For a smoother jam, remove the tea ball and pulse with a immersion blender. Cook until the jam looks thick, about 20 minutes. Add the pectin (both packets!). Continue cooking at a low (rolling) boil for 5 minutes. Remove the tea ball if you haven't already. Fill the jars. Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.

Yield: I ended up with 8 8-oz jars and 1 4-oz jar

*I actually used The Ginger People's Crystallized Ginger Chips, which are tiny bits of "baby" ginger rolled in cane sugar.

Note: A great source for canning information is the Blue Book guide to preserving. I highly recommend it for learning how to can. Here is a bunch of other canning books and equipment I find useful.

My thoughts:
Strawberry and rhubarb are an almost cliche combination. Possibly because rhubarb's tartness tempers strawberry's sweetness but it could just be that they are available for the same short season. Honestly, I try to avoid pairing the two because I like rhubarb just on its own but when faced with some strawberries that even though just bought today from the farmers market had to be eaten today or we would be the proud owners of a bowl of moldy strawberry slime instead of berries. It is pretty late in the season for them and they were on the small and tarter side but still very tasty. We also picked up what I fear may be the last of the rhubarb* so I thought why not hook the two up. I didn't want it to be boring though so I tossed in some mint from our garden and some of the ginger chips my husband found for me. The result? Anything but ordinary! It is sweet, tart, spicy and herbly minty all at the same time. I might have to horde these jars for myself.

*I did freeze about 2 1/2 lbs of it this year. Planning ahead!