As I began my research, I wondered what exactly made strawberry rhubarb jam Amish? I was delighted to discover that the Amish method is not only delicious, it's also creative, ingenious, and much healthier than the traditional version.
Most jams require equal amounts of fruit and sugar to attain the thick, jewel-like consistency jam is known for. This is delectable, no doubt about it, but I don't think anyone would classify it as healthy.
The Amish version cleverly adds one large red beet to the fruit mix in lieu of much of the sugar. Not only does the beet add sweetness, but it also gives the jam a gorgeous deep red color and adds fiber, folate, manganese, potassium, iron, and vitamin C. Not bad for jam!
Another great thing about this recipe is that it doesn't take long at all, especially if your beet is pre-cooked. I peel the beet, wrap it in aluminum foil, and roast it for one hour. The foil keeps the beet from drying out and ensures it emerges tender and juicy, just the way we want it. Once the beet cools, it's easy to cut into bite-size pieces and proceed with the jam-making.
How to Make Amish Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
A food processor will make this jam so quick and easy. Simply place the cooled and cut beetroot, trimmed strawberries, sliced rhubarb, and the juice of one lemon to the bowl of your food processor and pulse until it is thick and smooth. I prefer my jam smooth, so I blitz it until it looks like a smoothie. If you prefer a chunkier jam, stop pureeing when it reaches your desired consistency.
The jam is ready for cooking now but take a few minutes first to sterilize your glass jam jars and lids so they're ready to go as soon as the jam is finished. You can sterilize your jars in the oven or by simmering them in gently boiling water for a few minutes. Then set them on a clean dish towel to dry completely while you cook your jam.
Set a deep, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat and add the fruit and beet mixture. Bring to a simmer and cook for about five minutes, stirring constantly so the mixture doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.
When the fruit and beet are cooked, add the sugar, water, and pectin and stir well to mix thoroughly. Bring to a boil and boil hard for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. I keep a lid handy and set it askew on the pot so the steam can escape but the bubbling jam doesn't splatter me and my entire kitchen. That beet in the jam is tasty and beautiful but boy, does it stain easy.
This jam is wonderful because it sets easily and there's no need to fuss about frozen plates and testing. Once it is thick and has been boiled thoroughly for 10-12 minutes, it's ready.
Remove the pot from the burner and, using a wide mouth funnel, pour it into your prepared jam jars leaving a half-inch of headspace. Seal immediately and set on the same dish towel to cool.
Once the jam is cool, store it in a dark place until you're ready to use it.
Serve with toast or scones and a cup of tea like Strawberry Immunity or Strawberry Earl Grey.
Amish Strawberry Rhubarb Jam Recipe
- 1 large beet
- 2 cups strawberries
- 1 cup rhubarb
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 packet sugar-free pectin
Preheat oven to 400F. Peel and trim beet.
Wrap in foil and bake for 1 hour.
Remove from foil and let cool until able to handle. Dice and place in a bowl of a food processor.
Add strawberries, rhubarb, and lemon juice, and puree until smooth. (Leave it rough if you like your jam chunky.)
Pour into a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, for about five minutes.
Add sugar, water, and pectin, and bring to boil. Boil hard for 10 minutes, stirring regularly to prevent sticking.
Remove from heat, pour into sterilized jars, and seal. Store in a dark place until ready to serve.