Years ago my friend’s mother gave me a recipe I have kept but never used. Every Spring I would take it out and shake my head. In the directions was the word “canning”. I remember my mother canning many things and it just looked dreadful. All I could think of, if done wrong, the canned food could kill you. I was intimated by the process. This Spring, I searched the internet and discovered I did not have to can this delicious jam. I could freeze some in containers. I’m not sure why I never thought of this, but I didn’t. I was so worried about doing it wrong and serving tainted food. So, if you grew up eating rhubarb, or want to try it, read Mary Furlong’s recipe. It’s easy and doesn’t make so much jam that you will have to eat it forever. It’s jam that tastes like actual fruit because it is fruit…..and Jello. Jello is the secret ingredient. Rhubarb has a very short Spring season. This is the season. I like to buy it and freeze it in one inch cut pieces. Stewed rhubarb is also delicious. I like to peel some of the stringy skin off. I leave some on for color. The leaves are poisonous, so dispose of them properly. I grew up eating rhubarb out of the garden so rhubarb is another one of those good food memories.
Mary Furlong’s Rhubarb Strawberry Jam
2 lbs. of rhubarb (peeled and cut about 5 cups)
1 3 oz. package of strawberry Jell-O
8 oz. can of crushed pineapple (with liquid)
4 cups of sugar
Rinse off the rhubarb stalks and peel away some of the skin of the stalks. Cut rhubarb into one-inch pieces. Mix the rhubarb with the pineapple and sugar. Let the mixture stand for 30 minutes. Bring to a boil for about 20 minutes. You want the rhubarb to break down a lot. Stir constantly. When the rhubarb has broken down, remove the pan from the heat and add Jell-O, stirring until it’s dissolved.
I put some in a Ball jar and some in plastic containers and froze those. The good glass Ball jars are also freezer safe. The recipe should make enough for three 16 oz. containers, or about 54 ounces. I let the jam cool for a while and then put it in the freezer.
If you don’t think you have the time to make it now, buy the rhubarb, cut it up and freeze it. This works perfectly with frozen rhubarb. Enjoy this seasonal jam!