Come June in my childhood, we’d stomp out to the garden bed and grab a few stalks of rhubarb. Then, in total happiness, we’d sit on the front porch with a little bowl of sugar and dip and eat the sour stalks. It was nature’s version of Lick-a-Stix. Thus, my love affair with rhubarb began. I ADORE the stuff. It has to trace back to the front porch, I just know it.
I posted on one of my favorite desserts of all time last year when the rhubarb came into season: Strawberry-Rhubarb Parfaits. Did you forget about them? If so, REVISIT. Seriously worth the calories. Here is another perennial rhubarb fav.: Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam with a hint of orange.
Because both strawberries and rhubarb are low in pectin, the oranges and lemon juice boost both the flavor and the pectin, which sets the jam. It goes well with toast, scones, biscuits, in desserts, as a topping, or spooned directly out of the jar (okay, maybe not this one, but it is so good I often find people doing this).
- 2 oranges
- 2 lbs. rhubarb
- 3 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 4 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- Cut off the ends of each orange. Cut oranges crosswise and leave the skin on. Remove seeds from the middle. Place in a food processor or blender and puree. (Note: If you don't like the taste of orange zest, you may want to peel the oranges, but note that the pectin level will be lower). Place the orange puree, the rhubarb,and the strawberries in a bowl with the sugar and toss together. Let sit at least 8 hours.
- Transfer the mixture to a non-reactive saucepan and boil over medium heat for 10 minutes. Use 1 tsp. jam and a chilled plate to test to see if the jam is ready. Boiling brings out the natural pectin in the fruit, but over boiling will destroy it, so be careful.
- Ladle into jars and freeze or preserve.