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Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

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Fresh jam is one of life’s simple pleasures, and anyone with a sweet tooth can enjoy our delicious strawberry rhubarb jam. You only need five ingredients to make it, (plus a pinch of salt) and you don’t need to worry about purchasing pectin for this recipe. Eliminating the pectin allows you to use less sugar than our strawberry jam, which is always a good thing.

A spoon scooping up some jam from a jar.

As long as you have a stovetop, pot, and a whisk, you have all the tools you need to make this jam. Check out our strawberry fig jam recipe if you have more fresh strawberries you want to use. Even if you don’t have fresh strawberries on hand, you can use frozen ones to make our strawberry rhubarb jam.

Why This Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam Recipe Works

  • Reduced sugar helps the fruit flavor shine through and preserves the tartness of the rhubarb and natural sweetness of the strawberries. 
  • You can use fresh or frozen fruit to make this recipe, which means you can have rhubarb strawberry jam any time of the year. 
  • Since this jam recipe does not use pectin, it takes a bit longer on the stovetop to thicken. 
  • Sweet strawberries paired with tart rhubarb make this jam a refreshing addition to homemade pancakes, toast, or our einkorn English muffins
  • You could even use this jam as a topping for ice cream or cheesecake.

Ingredients For The Jam

Here is a list of the ingredients you will need for this easy strawberry rhubarb jam. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for all the details. 

  • Strawberries. Fresh or frozen.
  • Rhubarb. Fresh or frozen.
  • Sugar. Plain ole white, granulated sugar.
  • Lemon juice. Preferably fresh lemon juice, however, the bottled stuff works.
  • Fresh ginger. A bit of ginger adds a peppery flavor that plays well with the fruit.
  • Salt. A little salt helps enhance all the flavors.

That’s all you need to make an incredible jam with rhubarb and strawberries. We have some variations below if you want to get creative with the jam.

Freshly sliced strawberries and rhubarb.

How to Strawberry Rhubarb Jam Without Pectin

Here is a brief overview to get an idea of what to expect with this jam recipe. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for all the details.

Adding sugar, salt, and lemon juice to the fruit.

Add all the ingredients to a large, wide pot. Cook, stirring occasionally over medium heat until the sugar dissolves.

Foam forming on the top of jam as it simmers.

Increase the heat and bring the jam to a boil. It is normal to see foam on the surface of the jam.

Tip: The jam can take anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes to thicken. Patience is a virtue.

A pot of strawberry rhubarb jam after it boils and reduces.

Continue cooking and stirring until the jam thickens. It will start to get a glossy appearance as it gets thicker.

Testing the thickness of rhubarb strawberry jam.

Test the jam for thickness. Put some on a spoon and run your finger through it. If it doesn’t run back together it is set. You can also use a thermometer and take it off the stove when it reaches 220°F.

Tip: The jam will sputter and splatter as it gets thicker. You can put a mesh screen over the top of the pot or partially cover the pot with a lid. Don’t cover the pot completely though or condensation will build up and make the jam thin.

Four jars of jam.

More Condiment Recipes

Tips for Jam with Strawberries and Rhubarb

  • Use the largest, widest pot you have to increase the surface area for the jam. The wider the surface, the quicker it will take for your jam to thicken.
  • If you use frozen strawberries and rhubarb, you should plan for a longer cooking time.
  • If you reduce the amount of sugar in this recipe, your strawberry rhubarb jam will not get quite as thick.
  • You can store this jam for up to three months in the refrigerator or six months in a freezer.

Recipe Variations

You can change up the flavor by adding any of the following ingredients while the jam cooks.

Spiced Strawberry and Rhubarb Jam

Adding spices to the jam will give it some warmth and depth. Here are a few that compliment the strawberry rhubarb flavor.

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom 
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Balsamic Strawberry Rhubarb Variation

Try adding these ingredients after you remove the jam from the heat.

  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. 

Strawberry Rhubarb Citrus Jam

  • Add the zest of an orange or grapefruit to the jam as it cooks.
Strawberry rhubarb jam on an English muffin.

Frequently asked questions 

How can I thicken jam without pectin?

The key to making pectin-free homemade jam is to cook it for an extended time which concentrates the mixture and evaporates the moisture.

Does lemon juice set jam?

Lemon juice helps the natural pectin strands in fruit come together. There isn’t a lot of pectin in strawberries or rhubarb, so we need all the help we can get to thicken the jam.

Do I have to peel rhubarb before using it in a jam?

Nope. Even if your rhubarb stalks seem fibrous, they will break down during the cooking process.

Can you overcook jam?

Yes, it is possible to boil your jam too much and burn the sugar, giving it a bitter flavor.

You can make this strawberry rhubarb jam any time of the year with fresh or frozen fruit. No pectin and less sugar makes this jam recipe easy, and you can make it with standard pantry ingredients.

Helpful Tools

Here are some jam making tools. Some of the following are affiliate links. We may receive a small commission if you click on these links and purchase something. You don’t pay any extra, but it will help us keep the lights on. 

More Recipes You Will Love

If you have extra strawberries and rhubarb, try our strawberry rhubarb pie recipe and top it with a scoop of vanilla lavender ice cream.

Our fig jam recipe uses dried figs so you can make this all year long. It has a delicious figgy flavor and tastes fantastic on whole grain barley biscuits.

Our strawberry cheesecake topping is fast and easy. Not only is it terrific on cheesecake, it makes a great ice cream topping.

More Strawberry Recipes

A spoon in a jar of jam.

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

Yield: 2 pints
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Our strawberry rhubarb jam has no pectin and reduced sugar. You can make this recipe with fresh or frozen fruit any time of the year. Spread it on toast or biscuits or use it as a topping for ice cream. You can't go wrong.

Check out the notes for recipe variations.

Ingredients

  • 5 cups sliced strawberries
  • 5 cups diced rhubarb
  • 3-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Add the sliced strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, lemon juice and salt to a large heavy duty pot. Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently. The fruit will start to release juices and the sugar will dissolve. 
  2. When the sugar dissolves, increase the heat to medium high and bring the mixture to a boil then reduce the heat to medium low or until the mixture has a gentle simmer.
  3. Let the jam simmer for 30 minutes to 1-1/2 hours stirring occasionally. Initially, It will start to foam up then it will start to get thick and glossy. As it gets thicker, it will start to sputter and splatter. You can place the lid partially over the pot to prevent splatters from getting on the counter. Don’t cover the pot completely or steam will build up inside and make the jam watery. 
  4. The amount of time it takes for the jam to thicken will depend on the size of your pot. A large wide pot with plenty of surface area will cook the jam faster. 
  5. To test doneness, coat the back of a spatula with the jam and swipe your finger through the middle. If the jam doesn’t fill back in, it is set. You can also check with an instant-read thermometer. Jam sets when it reaches a temperature of 220°F. 
  6. Transfer the jam to jars and let it cool for 1 hour at room temperature, then place it in the fridge.
  7. You can keep the jam refrigerated for 3 months or in the freezer for 6 months. If you want to store the jam on the shelf, you will need to process the jam in a hot water bath.

Notes

  • Use a large, wide pot with plenty of surface area for the jam to simmer. If you use a narrow pot, the jam mixture will be deep and take longer to boil down.
  • You can use fresh or frozen fruit for this recipe. If you use frozen fruit, you will need to simmer the jam a little longer than fresh fruit. 
  • Stir the jam occasionally until it starts to thicken then stir it more frequently to prevent it from burning on the bottom. 
  • Some people like to check the setting point of jam by chilling a plate in the freezer and placing a dollop of jam on the chilled plate. When the dollop of jam cools down, push it with your finger. If the surface wrinkles, it is set.
  • This is a fairly low sugar jam. If you want to use less sugar than stated in the recipe, it won’t  get as thick. 
  • Use on toast, muffins, pancakes, ice cream, yogurt, or cheesecake.

For recipe variations

Try adding one or two of the following while the jam cooks.

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom 
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Add the following when the jam is finished boiling:

  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. 

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 64 Serving Size: 1 tablespoon
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 31Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 17mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 0gSugar: 7gProtein: 0g

Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third-party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

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Dahn Boquist

Dahn is a retired nurse, recipe creator, home cook, baker, and self-proclaimed foodie. She loves creating in the kitchen and cooking for family and friends. She lives in Washington State with her husband and dog. When she isn't cooking or baking, you can usually find her spending time with her grandson or exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

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Amy

Saturday 30th of July 2022

Wait a minute!! I can’t let this set on a shelf after processing?!!!??

Dahn Boquist

Saturday 30th of July 2022

Oh, sure. You can store it on the shelf if you want to do a hot process water bath.

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