July 24, 2013

Small Batch Strawberry-Rhubarb Skillet Jam

Skillet Jam

Each summer I usually set aside a few days to preserve as much of my favorite produce as possible. It can be tough to undertake such projects with the little ones underfoot. But I find I can usually accomplish what I set out to do over the course of a few naptimes and with my mother to help with a little babysitting. However, there are times when I simply don’t have the luxury of my parent’s big kitchen and my father’s helping hands. So, instead of tackling several pints of pickles or a day of apple pie filling, I take the simple route and make a small batch of jam in the skillet.

I’ll admit, when I first committed to attempting this jam-making method I was very skeptical. Would a small batch really jell in the skillet as well as it does when I stir my massive cauldron-full after strawberry-picking? (Note: my daughter calls it the cauldron, I call it the preserving pot.) Would a small batch affect the flavor? Thankfully, to my surprise, making jam in the skillet worked just as well as any large batch I’ve ever tried. In fact, it was so easy that I did it while I was getting dinner ready for the kids. It didn’t require any unusual amount of attention and I followed the basic tenants of jam-making like I do when I am working with large quantities.

Once the jam was cooled I had just the right quantity for us to use for a week or so. It wasn’t so much that I needed to process the jars and seal them for the pantry. I simply stored it in the fridge and used it within two weeks. The texture was silky smooth and the tart sweet rhubarb flavor was perfectly balanced. My daughter also rightly noted that this small batch was great because it enabled us to use it up and move on to the next flavor within a couple of weeks. What is up next? Blueberry, we think. We’ll be sure to let you know!

Recipe

Strawberry-Rhubarb Skillet Jam

makes about 1 ½ cups

Ingredients

3 cups fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
1 cup rhubarb, cut into ½-inch pieces
½ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional, but I like it)

Instructions

1. Place a porcelain plate in the freezer.

2. In a large bowl mash up the strawberries with a potato masher or pastry cutter. Then, stir in the chopped rhubarb.

3. Place a skillet (cast iron is great if you have one) on the stovetop over medium heat and add the strawberry-rhubarb mixture, the sugar,  and lemon juice. Stir the mixture gently over medium heat for about 10 to 12 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to break up any large berry chunks and let everything nice and soft. At the 10 minute mark dab a little bit of the jam on the porcelain plate from the freezer and tip the plate vertically. If the jam runs slowly it is done, if it races to the bottom of the plate and drips off it might need another 5 minutes to process.

4. When the jam is finished stir in the vanilla and scoop the warm mixture into clean glass jars. Serve immediately.

Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

This awesome recipe is so simple and perfect for making small batches of jam. Try it with nearly any kind of fruit and you’ll have fresh jam in an instant.

Naptime Stopwatch

10 minutes prep time, 10 minutes cook time

Naptime Reviews

This awesome jam was perfect for our morning toast. It also made just the right amount so we didn’t have tons and tons to use before making another batch of a different flavor.

 

More Naptime Recipes

  • Nancy L

    Definitely have to try the strawberry-rhubarb jam…it sounds yummy! I’ve missed preserving produce like I used to and this would at least let me enjoy the fruits of summer a little while!

    • KelseyTheNaptimeChef

      Exactly! It is so nice to do when it isn’t a big batch!

  • Laura

    Mmmmm love strawberry and rhubarb. I might also try blueberry and peach :-)

    • KelseyTheNaptimeChef

      It probably would. Great idea!