Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Strawberry loves Rhubarb, and vice versa

rhubarb strawberry vanilla bean jam - spoon on jar

I'm new to rhubarb. And jam making, for that matter. Both of which I'd never experienced until recently. I have to say, I rather like both. Rhubarb probably isn't quite as in season now as it was a month or two ago, but I just saw some at the market, so apparently it's still available, if you're so inclined to try this recipe out.

rhubarb strawberry vanilla bean jam - rhubarb
I love the pink and green colors of rhubarb

I didn't quite understand rhubarb and still wasn't quite sure I understood it even after trying some. In it's raw form, it's quite tart. I find rhubarb itself to be quite intriguing; it resembles celery in a lot of ways. It's also a vegetable, not a fruit. It is not, however, related to celery in any way whatsoever.

rhubarb strawberry vanilla bean jam - heart berries
strawberries, why you gotta be so cute?

It pairs remarkably well with strawberry, sort of like a sweet 'n sour soiree if you will. I didn't grow up eating the coupling, so trying to describe what the flavor tastes like is new for me and I can't quite put words to it. This jam in perticular is on the tart-ish side, but still sweet and delicious. I added a vanilla bean as I can't quite seem to refrain from adding it to anything and everything I possibly can. I'm not sure if the flavor comes through, or if it just blended so seemlessly with the other ingredients that as a whole it just adds to the yumminess of the jam.

rhubarb strawberry vanilla bean jam - sliced berries
the jam begins with letting the cut strawberries and rhubarb mingle for a couple of hours

rhubarb strawberry vanilla bean jam - macerated berries
the macerated fruit 2 hours later

This perticular recipe does not call for added pectin, and the end result isn't quite as thick as regular jam. I'm okay with that, but I might've added more lemon juice than is called for, as citrus juice and zest adds a lot of it's own natural pectin.

rhubarb strawberry vanilla bean jam - bite

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
adapted from Bon Appetit via bellaeats

24 ounces fresh strawberries, rinsed and sliced
1 1/2 pounds rhubarb, sliced into 1/2 inch chunks
2 cups of sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 vanilla bean, split and seeded
1. Place sliced strawberries and rhubarb in a large bowl with sugar and lemon juice. Mix to coat and let sit for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

2. Place two saucers in the freezer

3. Transfer fruit mixture to large saucepan, add the vanilla bean (and pod) and bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Use a hand-held mixer or immersion blender to puree the fruit as best you can (note: I didn't need to do this, as everything broke down pretty well just from boiling the mixture alone). Reduce heat to medium and boil gently until mixture begins to thicken, stirring often, about 18 minutes.

4. Remove saucepan from heat to test jam for gelling point. Drop 1 teaspoonful jam on chilled saucer and return to freezer 1 minute. Remove saucer and push edge of jam with fingertip. If jam has properly gelled, surface will gently wrinkle. If not, return saucepan to heat and cook jam a few minutes longer; repeat test. (note: this jam does not get very firm, so keep that in mind while testing it).

5. Remove vanilla bean pod and ladle hot jam into jars and process using a proper canning method or alternately, you can skip the canning step and keep the jam in your refrigerator for up to two weeks.

rhubarb strawberry vanilla bean jam

While I was at it, I had extra of both so I also made some pate de fruit. Same ingredients, only this time with some liquid pectin added to really firm things up. As you might be able to guess, pate de fruit is a lot like gummy candy. It's not quite as chewy (think softer, melt in your mouth) but just as good.

strawberry rhubarb pate de fruit - shapes

Strawberry Rhubarb Pate De Fruit
adapted from Tartelette

6 1/2 ounces strawberries, cleaned and hulled
6 1/2 ounces rhubarb, cut into chunks
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 cups sugar, divided into 1/2 cup and 1 1/2 cups
2 1/2 tablespoons liquid pectin
1 vanilla bean, split and seeded

1. Line an 8 x 8 pan with parchment

2. Roughly chop the strawberries and rhubard and puree them really well in a food processor.

3. Strain the fruits over a heavy saucepan and add the lemon juice and vanilla bean seeds and pod. Stir in 1/2 cup saugar and bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat and cook until its temperature register 113F, stirring constantly.

4. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar and the pectin to the pot and slowly bring the mixture to 200F, still over medium high heat while stirring constantly.

5. Turn the heat down a bit and keep the mixture at 200F for 2 to 3 minutes.

6. Turn the heat back up and slowly bring the mixture to 223F. Keep it there for an additional 2-3 minutes (turn the heat down if necessary to do so).

7. Remove from the heat, remove the vanilla bean pod and immediately pour the mixture into your pan lined with parchment paper. Let set for a couple of hours.

8. Cut shapes with a sharp knife or using small cookie cutters and roll the pieces of pate de fruit in sugar. Refrigerate if not eating all of them at once.

strawberry rhubarb pate de fruit - squares

strawberry rhubarb pate de fruit - vanilla bean flecks


  1. I have to make those:)I have wanted to!! You are so creative! Beautiful beautiful post!!!Delectable!

  2. Beautiful photos! And the jam looks amazing!

  3. These look so adorable! Lovely, lovely!!!

  4. wooooow this looks amazing!
    got rhubarb and strawberries at home and I just saved your page