Quick & Easy

Rhubarb and strawberry jam

Spreads tastes so much sweeter when you've made them yourself with less preservatives and more of the good stuff like quality rhubarb and strawberries.



1.The day before you cook the jam, hull and halve the strawberries, chop the rhubarb into smallish pieces and layer them into a bowl with the sugar. Add the lemon juice, cover and leave overnight on the bench.
2.The next day, heat the oven to 120°C. Wash and rinse enough jars to hold 4 cups of jam and put them and their lids in the oven to dry and sterilise. Put a couple of small saucers into the freezer for testing the jam.
3.Pour the fruit and sugar into a large saucepan or jam pan – not too deep since you need fast evaporation for a fresh, bright flavour and colour. Heat the mixture gently, stirring, until the sugar dissolves, then boil fast. Stir often as the jam boils to make sure that it doesn’t catch and burn on the base of the pan.
4.After about 5 minutes, lower the heat and put a small spoonful of the jam onto one of your chilled saucers. Leave it for about 30 seconds, then push your finger through the jam. If the surface wrinkles slightly in front of your finger, the jam is ready. If it doesn’t wrinkle, turn up the heat and keep boiling and stirring for a few more minutes then test again with another saucer.
5.When the jam is ready, turn off the heat and take the warm, dry jars out of the oven. Fill the jars almost to the top and put the lids on immediately. You want as little air as possible between the jam and the lid.
6.Set aside to cool and then label and store them in a dark, cool place (I always keep back one jar for immediate consumption – a family treat).

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