Recipe: Cheater’s Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

I don’t know, whenever I have a recipe that includes the phrase “add a 3oz package of jello” I just feel like a cheater.  I mean really-what “from scratch” cook can hold their head up proudly while using jello to fake strawberries?

But the fact is-strawberries are NOT in season locally at the same time as rhubarb.  And using an inexpensive box of Strawberry Jello really does make a tasty, quick and easy jam.

Photo by Laurie Nadeau

Never made jam before~that’s ok, this is a super simple one to start with!  Don’t do canning, don’t worry!  You can just freeze it instead.  So-what are you waiting for?

Cheater’s Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

(freezer jam or boiling water bath canned)

Ingredients:
7-8 C of rhubarb cut into 1 inch chunks
3 cups of sugar to taste
1- 3 oz pkg strawberry Jell-O

Directions:

1.  Wash and cut up rhubarb stalks into half inch pieces and place in a large bowl.

Tangy tart rhubarb mixed with sugar.

2.  Mix sugar in with the rhubarb chunks.   Cover & let sit for at least an hour until the juices come out of the rhubarb.

Look at all that liquid that just steeped out of the rhubarb.

3.  Stir in the jello into the rhubarb juice mixture.

3.  Cook rhubarb/jello mixture over medium high heat, stirring and mashing a bit until it is soft and the pieces of rhubarb have mostly disintegrated.

This is what it looks like when you start.

And this is what it looks like when it is done.

(note: if you want you can cook the rhubarb to mush first THEN add the jello and heat it through.  Your choice.)

5.  At this point you can pour into freezer containers for freezer jam OR can in a hot water bath (1/2 inch of headspace, 10 minutes)

Yields about 3 pints

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Comments

  1. says

    I just made rhubarb strawberry jam today, and the cost wasn’t too bad using real strawberries-I got a pound of organic ones on sale for $2.50 at Meijer this week :) This is the first time we’ve eaten rhubarb, and the jam was a huge hit with my kids! I’m going to get more rhubarb at the farmers market next week, so I can make a few batches to freeze for later.

    • Jenn @ Frugal Upstate says

      I just love the tangy zing of rhubarb! It is one of those sort of “love it or hate it” things-but my family loves it!

  2. says

    Excellent! I have strawberry gelatine – they don’t do ‘Jello’ in England – I’ve been wondering how to use up. A friend has been giving me rhubarb from her huge garden and now I know what to do with it! Thanks!

  3. says

    I think I will give this a try this weekend. I love strawberries and I love rhubarb. I think the two were made to go together!!

  4. says

    Wow – that looks so easy and I love Strawberry Rhubarb jam on my toast! I may need to give it a try! Thanks for sharing! (I found you thru a few linky parties, my post is right after yours.)
    Jess

  5. says

    Okay, this looks easy enough to do and I have to be honest…I am so glad you have related links because I had no idea what a rhubarb looked like until today!! My husband would be so impressed if I were to make him rhubarb jam!! Thanks for the inspiration A couple questions because cooking is not my strong area. How many stalks make up 7-8 cups? Also, since strawberries are in season here how would I mix in fresh strawberries??? Just wondering.

    Thanks so much for linking up to Strictly Homemade Tuesday. I love your blog. I am a follower now!!

    • Jenn @ Frugal Upstate says

      Glad you enjoyed the recipe, and I”ll be back for Terrific Under Ten soon I’m sure :()

  6. says

    YUM!!! What a great recipe… so much easier than the way my Granny taught me, haha! Thanks so much for linking up at The Little Birdie, I’m featuring this post today on my blog! :)

    P.S. I’m also your newest follower, can’t wait to see what else you share! :)

  7. says

    Made this today, worried I was ‘cheating” by using strawberry jello. I’m usually a prude when it comes to quality ingredients. One post said, “if you want the artificial taste of strawberry jello” so I was concerned. I reduced the amount of sugar and it is yummy. The tart flavor of the rhubarb so often covered up is very apparent. I must admit, not only is this EASY…it’s a keeper!

  8. Crystal says

    I used orange jello as that’s what my grandma’s recipe said…only she didn’t have instructions. hoping it turns out well. next time i’ll try strawberry jello too.

  9. Marie says

    Would this recipe work for other fruits? I’ve never let the fruit macerate before, but that would be so convenient for me right now- I have fresh rhubarb, mountain huckleberries and zucchini I want to make 3 different jam recipes with but can’t get around to it for a day or two. I read somewhere you can let the fruit and sugar mixture sit for a day or two with no problems.

    • says

      It is possible to mix fruit and sugar together and then REFRIGERATE–the sugar helps to preserve it, but I’d only go a day or two. Depending on the recipe you are using–it maybe possible to put together the sugar and fruit, then cook it–but before you would add any pectin etc to refrigerate it. The cooking will kill off any yeasts, bacteria, mold etc that would normally be on your fruit so it can be stored. DO NOT however add the pectin if you are going to do that-you would most likely mess up your gel. If you are making jam and jelly to begin with, maybe your best bet is just to clean and measure your fruit into recipe sized portions and then freeze them until you have time.

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