Making jam is one of my favourite cooking process. The process is quite easy and you can customise the fruit combination to your liking. One of the best parts is that you know the ingredients that you put in there. Homemade jam does not contain any stabilisers, preservatives or all those fancy chemical names. It stays well for a month, and if you sterilise the jam jar, the jam can keep for one year unopened.
Berries, oranges and lemon contain pectin, which is a natural substance that thickens when heated with sugar. So you do not need pectin, corn starch, gelatine or any thickening agents. The amount of sugar is important to make sure that the pectin in the ingredients functions properly.
For strawberry rhubarb jam, of which both key ingredients are in season right now! I used
- 6 rhubarb stalks, cut in chunks of 4cm each
- 600 grams strawberry, quartered
- one lemon
- 5 cups of sugar
This recipe makes around 1.2 kg of jam, which fits approximately 4 jars.
- Put the rhubarb, strawberries and sugar in a pot. Let it rest for 2 hours. This helps the sugar to dissolve with the water in the ingredients.
- Squeeze the juice of one lemon into the pot.
- Cook on low heat until the sugar dissolves completely.
- Bring the heat up to medium high for 30-40 minutes, until the jam thickens. I like to check the consistency with the back of a spoon. Put a drop of jam on a cooled spoon. Let the jam cool in the fridge. Run your finger through the middle of the jam, the jam should wrinkle and not flood back in to fill the gap.
- Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes.
To sterilise jars, you need 4 canning jars.
- Boil the jars and the lids separately in boiling water for 10 minutes.
- Dry the jars and the lids. Be careful! Everything is hot.
- Put in the hot jam, leave some room until the rim of the jar.
- Close the lid and let it cool down in room temperature. The seal of the lids should pop inwards. Heat expands and cold contracts, the sterilising process creates a vacuum in the jars.
- Do not move the jars while cooling down. This helps the jam set.
You can enjoy the jam with yogurt, oatmeal, toasts and so on. Here is a brie toast I made with the jam.