eeing as it’s already mid-August, I know there are many of you out there trying to squeeze in every last summer-related activity before school is back in session and fall hits. Here’s one more thing to add to your list: the tastiest, simplest jam EVER made from fresh, summer-y ingredients. Make a few batches and then you can have it all winter long!
My mom started making this jam a few years ago based off of her friend Lisa’s recipe (Lisa is a wizard in the kitchen – she also happened to make a bunch of the desserts that were served at our wedding). It is a hit regardless of whom you serve it to – seriously, everyone who comes in contact with this jam wants to inhale it. And I promise you that it is so simple to make. When I first made it last summer, I couldn’t believe that it had taken me so long – I should have been making this jam in college!
If you’ve never made jam before, this is the recipe to try. There is no fancy canning involved. Don’t be intimidated.
First, you’ll need some rhubarb. Six cups to be exact – which is about 12 medium stalks. It’s optional as to whether you want to take pictures with all the different settings on your phone…
You’ll also need some raspberries – either 2 cups of fresh raspberries or a 12 oz. package of frozen ones. I’ve tried both, and each way is equally delicious.
And a small, 0.3 ounce package of sugar-free raspberry jello. (If you tend to stick your noise up at jello, I get it. I steer clear from jello at all potlucks. I never make it. But I’m telling you, it works wonders in this recipe.)
Chop the rhubarb into approximately 1/4 inch slices. Admire how beautiful it is.
Put the chopped rhubarb in a large pot and mix in 2 cups sugar. Let it stand for 10-20 minutes and watch the magic happen. You know that phrase, “getting water from a stone”? This process reminds me of that because the mixture looks like this initially:
The first time I made this, I thought, “There is no way that’s getting soupy. Nope. Impossible.” And then it miraculously turned into this sweet mess, right under my nose. I’m sure there are so many metaphors for life wrapped up in this.
Water from a stone, right?!?
Place on the stove and bring this mixture to a boil, stirring often. You want to let it bubble for approximately ten minutes, uncovered, to really break down the rhubarb. You basically need to stir the whole time so it doesn’t burn.
Next, stir in the raspberries. Return to a boil for 5 to 6 minutes, until the raspberries are mushy and the mixture is a little thicker. Again, you’ll need to stir it a lot. It is going to bubble quite a bit and may spit some stickiness at you so be alert.
After this, remove the pot from heat and add the jello. Stir it up until it’s completely dissolved.
Allow it to cool completely – it will become more gelled. Then you’re ready to package it and put it either in the fridge or the freezer. Seeing as I’m a mason jar fanatic, I scoop the jam into those. There’s no need to mess with any traditional canning methods. Just fill up the jar, screw on the lid, and you’re good to go. You can also store it in zip lock bags to freeze – when you want to eat it, just thaw it out in some cool water.
I generally make at least two batches so that we have lots to gift to friends and family, consume ALL THE TIME on homemade bread, put on top of pancakes, and even sandwich in between layers of cakes. It’s that good.
*That’s whipped cream cheese under the jam – such a good combo.
Here’s the recipe in easy-to-read format!
Raspberry Rhubarb Jam
(Adapted from Lisa Kinyon’s recipe – thanks, Lisa!)
6 cups fresh or frozen rhubarb
2 cups sugar
2 cups fresh raspberries or one 12 oz package frozen raspberries
1 small package (3 oz.) sugar-free raspberry jello
Combine chopped rhubarb with sugar and let stand 10-20 minutes. (This brings out the moisture.) Bring to a boil, stirring often. Bubble for approximately ten minutes, uncovered, stirring often so it doesn’t burn.
Add raspberries. Return to a boil for 5 -6 minutes, until raspberries are mushy and it is a little thicker. Remove from heat and add jello.
Cool and then package in fridge or freezer.
Let me know if you have any favorite jam recipes – I’d love to try them.
Yes, Grace, this recipe is great and I’m so glad you’re enjoying it and spreading the word! Just make sure people know it can’t be stored as long in the fridge as in the freezer. (Sorry, I don’t know the length of times.) So eat up and enjoy. :)
Good point, thanks for pointing that out! (Ha, although Bobby and I have never really kept tabs on how long our jars have been in the fridge…so I don’t really know the lengths of times either. I feel like they last awhile without going bad but that’s obviously not the scientific answer…)
Just finished a batch of hot tomato jam:
5 ripe local (if possible) fresh tomatoes
1/2 cup sugar (or even more if you’re a sweet tooth)
hefty sprinkle of dried red pepper flakes (or more: spicy to your taste)
2 T salt
Bring all to boil and simmer until tomatoes are cooked well down. You want the consistency to be pretty thick, not watery.
Cool mixture then force through a fine strainer. Pack the jam into jar(s) and store in fridge. If you’re a canner, you can give them a hot water bath and they’ll keep forever on the shelf.
It is DELICIOUS on a cracker/toast with goat cheese or any cheese, really.
Oh goodness, this sounds amazing, Adrienne! Thank you so much for sharing – I am going to make a beeline for the Farmers’ Market this week and get some tomatoes! Love the goat cheese idea. Yummmmmmm can’t wait!