Cherry Rhubarb Jam (Low-Sugar)

June 13, 2012

School has been out for two weeks now, the sun is blazing, and the canning pot has reasserted its dominance on my stove top.  Hello summer!  Canning is usually a solitary sport for me, squeezed in the early hours of the morning or late at night when the kids have finally succumbed to sleep.  While the bubbling caldron of jam is still a bit much for my youngsters, they are quite capable of helping me to process the fruit.  My son found the cherry pitter to be quite a lot of fun and was thrilled when I handed him the knife to cut the cherries.  Who needs summer camp when you can enlist your kids in practical life skills at home?  (Of course, give me a few weeks and I may be screaming for them to go to any sort of camp that will take them!)

Cherry Rhubarb Jam is a delightful balance of sweet and tart with a rich background note of vanilla.  The color is absolutely divine.   This is my second attempt at this type of jam and it is an absolute hit.  There is a relatively small amount of sugar added.  Cherries are so naturally sweet that it is very easy to over-sweeten them. The fruit macerates for an extended time before cooking.  This reduces the overall cooking time, since the fruit has already given up its juice.  Shorter cooking times mean fresher tasting jam and more vibrant colors.  This jam is sure to a new June tradition in our house. Absolutely delicious!

Cherry Rhubarb Jam (Low-Sugar )

makes 7 half-pints

adapted from Vanilla and Garlic

2 1/2 lbs cherries, stems and pits removed (about 8 cups)

1 1/2 pounds rhubarb, sliced into 1/4 inch discs (about 5 1/2 cups)

3 cups sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped

1/2 teaspoon butter

Sterilize jars and lids.

Cut cherries in half.  In a large bowl, mix cut rhubarb, cherries, and sugar.  Cover and let sit on counter for a couple of hours or until the mixture is syrupy.  If you want to let it sit overnight, store in the refrigerator.

Pour the fruit and sugar mixture into a large pot.  Add the lemon juice, vanilla seeds and pod, and butter.  Bring to a boil.  Press the fruit with  a potato masher to help it break down.  Cook, stirring frequently until the mixture begins to thicken, 5-10 minutes.  Skim off any foam that develops. Discard vanilla pod.

Use a ladle to pour hot jam into sterile jars 1/2 pint jars leaving a 1/2 inch headspace.  Wipe rims clean and top with a new lid and ring.  Process in a boiling water for 10 minutes.

For more details on how to can at home, see Home Canning Basics.

Print this recipe: Cherry Rhubarb Jam

Cherry Rhubarb Jam (Low-Sugar on Punk Domestics

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10 Responses to “Cherry Rhubarb Jam (Low-Sugar)”

  1. TasteFood Says:

    I’ve never tried cherries with rhubarb. It sounds great.

  2. Amy Zimmer Says:

    Hope I get home in time to still get cherries and rhubarb! Looks great! Amy lost in Costa Brava!

  3. Hannah Says:

    I just love your jams – this is a terrific combination that I would love to try. School gets out here next week…hopefully the sun returns by then so it feels like summer!

  4. Sally Atterbury Says:

    Hi Karen..what variety of cherries did you use? Am going to try this jam as soon as I hear back from you.
    Sally

  5. Amy Zimmer Says:

    So the results are in: Jonathan and I doubled the recipe since we were making it together. We substituted the doubling of cherries for 1 part cherries and 1 part strawberries. Ended up too syrupy so we added 3-4 tablespoons of organic apple pectin. Delicious, however, next time, use 5 cups sugar because strawberries were sweeter than cherries. The vanilla was lovely! we made 9 half pints, 4 pints, and 1/4 pint (very cute). I will take picture and leave it on your facebook page (?). Thank you for the inspiration!


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