Monday, 24 June 2013

Recipe: Strawberry, rhubarb and cranberry jam: cheaper than chips . . .

. . . this time it was anyway.

I had strawberries from last week when my son found loads of punnets reduced from £2.00 to 30p, bought them and handed some round to family.  I had two punnets - that's all I asked for, silly me!  I had rhubarb freshly pulled from Beth's garden (with her permission, I hasten to add).  I had cranberries in the freezer.  Lovely fat, red ones.

The original recipe didn't call for cranberries.  However, I was short on rhubarb and didn't feel like a drive over to Beth's for one more stick.  So I improvised and what a lucky improvisation it was, to be sure!  Everyone knows (I hope) that rhubarb and strawberries go together wonderfully well - now you can add cranberries to the ambrosial mix!

I had absolutely no problems with setting, even though strawberries and rhubarb are both low in pectin.  The cranberries probably helped here, as did the orange and lemon.
Here's the adapted recipe.

600g strawberries
450g rhubarb 

150g cranberries (I used frozen)
900g sugar (I had about 500g preserving sugar in the cupboard so I used that and made it up to 900g with granulated sugar)
1 large lemon: finely grated zest and juice (I actually used two smaller ones as that's what I had)
1 juicy orange: finely grated zest and juice

Rinse and hull the strawberries. Slice the rhubarb in 1cm chunks. Place both plus the cranberries (no need to thaw them first) in a large, heavy-bottomed pan with the juice and zest.  Simmer gently, cooking until the juices cover the rhubarb, carefully stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat even lower and cook until the rhubarb is tender.
Take the pan off the heat.  Tip the sugar into the fruit, stir gently and leave until the sugar has completely dissolved into the juicy fruity mix.  No need to stir constantly as it's off the heat but the occasional stir helps.

Put the pan back on the heat, turn the heat as high as possible and bring to a rolling boil, allowing the frothy jam to boil high in the pan. Stir regularly, watching out for splashes and paying particular attention to the bottom and sides of the pan, stirring round, across and in a figure of eight, continuing for 10 min before dropping a teaspoonful of jam on a saucer. Allow to go cold, then push with the side of a finger to assess the crinkle factor, which is likely to be nil. Boil, stirring, for a further 5 min or so until the frothy bubbling submerges slightly. Test again — it will be less runny. 
Turn off the heat. Leave for 15 min, which ensures that the fruit settles evenly through the jam. Scrape any white foam to the side and out of the pan (there wasn't any after a few stirs, it all dispersed back into the jam without residue). 
Pour jam through a funnel into sterilised jars, filling right to the top. Cover immediately with waxed circles and lids. Cool, wipe away jam dribbles, label and store away from direct light. 
I got seven pots-worth plus a little bit that went straight onto some bread and butter.  One has to test it, you see!

Dead easy!  And I still love my maslin pan!


  1. I feel envious of your jam making but I have no outlet for jam so it is all rather pointless. I have jars in the cupboard which I think I could send to Sothebies for a quote!!!!!!

  2. LOL - they make wonderful presents, Diane. Beth and I often make up Christmas hampers . . .
    J x

  3. Oh dear oh dear, one entire pot is now a distant memory...