Seasonal Recipes - Strawberry & Rhubarb

A glut of rhubarb – and I was fed up with the usual round of Rhubarb recipes – also truth to tell I was thinking about how one makes Jam. I had met a lady over the weekend who thought that it was rather a case of applied magic that turned fruit into jam. I tried to convince her that it was not alchemy but a case of simply putting fruits together and seeing what turns out! I can hear the multitudes saying “Oh no it isn’t” but my reply is “Oh yes it is”!  So I decided to experiment and see if it were possible to “do it in the microwave” after all that is how I make my curds so this is what I did ...

You will need

1 (or ½ kg) strawberries, (I even used frozen fruits!)

1 lb plus (or ½ kg) rhubarb.  (washed and dried with a kitchen towel)

1 kg bag of Jam sugar with pectin


If the strawberries are rather large chop them up into (roughly) dice sized pieces

Cut the rhubarb into finger width pieces

Put these into a plastic bowl in the microwave and zap on low for five minutes at a time until the fruit is boiling and the rhubarb has started to break down. Stir with a wooden spoon in-between each heating as this will help to homogenise the finished jam. Depending on the temperature of the fruit this may take five “sessions”

Add about three-quarters of the sugar; stir well and return to the “sessions” in the microwave, two or three times until the “jam” is thoroughly boiling through: if you add all the sugar you are in danger of the jam boiling over and it makes an awful mess to clean up!

Add the remaining sugar, bring the jam back to boiling point (a couple of minutes at a time on low).

When it is boiling through test a small puddle of the “juice” on a cold saucer and leave for five minutes or so when it should wrinkle when pushed with your finger; if it does bring the jam back up to temperature (on low for another minute or so)

Pour the jam carefully into clean dry jars and seal immediately.

This quantity makes about 3½ lb of a beautiful deep red jam.

It is so easy to make I would advise that you do not double up the quantities, but make more when you need it, keep spare fruit in bags in the freezer and pull it our when needed.

Keep-ability ... at present I do not know but if  kept cold and dark I guess it will keep for about four months, possibly longer, but my advice is to use ½ lb (or 8 oz jars) with screw or clip on tops, as all jam keeps better unopened!

That comment rather beggars my response to folk when I am asked “how long will it last” my initial response is always “it depends on how long it takes you to eat it!”

I hope that it tastes as good as it looks and that you enjoy trying something different!


Christine Gledhill has produced two books with FLAG Publishing Ltd:

Mrs G’s Jams Today & Jam Tommorrow

Mrs G’s Figgy Pudding & Fine Foods

Both Books are currently available Priced at £10 plus P&P

Seasonal Recipes - Gooseberry & Elderflower

This is the season for elderflowers so gather them while you may and then when the gooseberries are available you can make Gooseberry & Elderflower, a beautiful jam. Collect the flowers by cutting the heads and dropping into a bag, try not to shake them or this dislodges the pollen. 15 heads will make about a quart of  stock. Put the heads into a sauce pan. Cover with water and quickly drain it off, re-cover the heads with water and leave in a closed pan for 24 hours or so. Pour the fluid through a fine strainer into a large container and leave to settle. Decant this fluid and use it to make your jam. If you can make more than you need the surplus can be frozen in plastic bottles.

You will need:

4½ lb of gooseberries which have been top and tailed

1¾ pint of the decanted elderflower juice

4½ lb of sugar.

The Method:

Cook the gooseberries in the elderflower juice for about 15 minutes, in an aluminium pan.

Add the sugar and bring to the boil.

Initially boil gently to allow the deep pink colour to develop, towards the end raise the temperature and boil until you get a good set.

Pour into clean dry jars and seal. This will make about 8lb of jam which if kept cool and dark will keep for well over a year. It does tend to get rather rubbery after a year but the taste is still there.


Over 50 Recipes to enjoy


email me at:

call me on:  01684 592709