Rhubarb Strawberry Jam with Cointreau combines this classic fruit combo with a hint of orange. Easy to make, it is the perfect way to preserve seasonal fruit.
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Rhubarb Strawberry Jam – Making the most of seasonal fruit
Rhubarb Strawberry Jam is a fantastic way to preserve these two wonderful British seasonal fruits. The British strawberry season is usually in full flow around June-July and the garden rhubarb is still in over-drive. It’s the perfect time to get hold of fruit cheaply and from local suppliers. And once jarred, those summer flavours are captured for the months ahead when local seasonal fruit is less freely available.
Of course, there are many ways to use rhubarb and strawberries and at Gluten Free Alchemist, we have some wonderful recipes to help you. Just search Rhubarb or Strawberry to find recipes that we offer containing the individual fruits.
The Rhubarb-Strawberry Combo
There is however, something special about the rhubarb-strawberry flavour combo. If you have never tried it, I would definitely recommend giving it a go. The tangy, tart rhubarb pairs to perfection with the fruity sweetness of ripe strawberries.
It is of course a classic flavour pairing. But in my search for why it works so well, I came across an interesting article in the Los Angeles Times that offered a little ‘geekiness’ too. Apparently, the pigment (Anthocyanin) which makes strawberries red is not heat stable. The consequence of this is that cooking can make strawberries turn browny-purple and unappetising. Bring in rhubarb however and the acidity helps to stabilise the pigment, allowing that beautiful redness to shine. Way more visually delicious!
If you’re home-schooling, maybe you could test out in a kitchen-chemistry lesson. But be sure to let me know the results…
Either way… We love the Rhubarb-Strawberry marriage at Gluten Free Alchemist and have a bunch of recipes that showcase its yumminess. From delicious tea-time bakes like Rhubarb Upside Down Cake with a Strawberry-Almond Sponge and Rhubarb-Strawberry Crumble Slices. To an absolutely show-stopping dinner party-worthy Rhubarb-Strawberry Meringue Pie.
Rhubarb Strawberry Jam… WITH Cointreau
And then of course there is jam. Specifically, Rhubarb Strawberry Jam with Cointreau. Not only incredibly fruity and delicious, but perfectly textured too. Thick and set, but still spreadable and ‘almost but not quite’ fluid… With deliciously chewy fruity bits running through it.
I had never really considered adding liqueur to jam before, but was inspired by Camilla over at Fab Food For All (who is clearly an expert in all things ‘jam’). And when I saw her recipe for Simple Rhubarb & Gin Jam, I seized the pan by the handle. In a flash, the rhubarb and strawberries were chopped, boiled and stirred into jammy oblivion, adding a little hit of Cointreau orange liqueur and a drop of orange extract into the mix.
Although devoid of all alcohol content as a result of the heating process, the Cointreau combined with a little pure orange extract, definitely adds an extra dimension… A slight wave of ‘tangy marmalade meets jam’ on the palate. Divine!
Rhubarb that shines
I have previously made Strawberry, Rhubarb and Pomegranate Jam, which was gorgeous. However the weighting in that recipe was very much towards strawberry as the dominant ingredient. For this Rhubarb Strawberry Jam recipe, the star flavour is absolutely the rhubarb… Its tartness offsetting the sweetness of the sugar, but mingling harmoniously alongside the distinct fruitiness of the strawberries. And I just love the rich, almost rust colour that it gives the jam as well. Guess that chemistry really does work…
How to know when Jam is ready
In the past, I have always used a sugar thermometer to test the readiness-temperature of jam. I particularly love my Thermapen Digital Mk 4 Thermometer, because it has an automatic backlight which comes on when the light is poor, turns its screen for ‘easy read’ whichever way you turn it and is fast and accurate. If you fancy getting yourself one, you can find them over at Amazon.
Never being one to become skill-complacent however, for this particular jam I tried the ‘wrinkle’ technique. This simply involves chilling a couple of saucers in the freezer ahead of time, before dropping a little ‘think it’s ready’ jam onto the surface. Allow the jam to set for a minute in the fridge, before poking the side of the jam dollop with a finger. If it has formed a gel and ‘wrinkles’, it’s ready. Makes sense, I guess… After all, jam has been around for far longer than thermometers!
Made Rhubarb Strawberry Jam with Cointreau?
I’d love to hear from you if you make my Rhubarb Strawberry Jam with Cointreau. Leave a comment, contact me direct, or tag me on social media. You’ll find my social media links up at the top of the blog. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #glutenfreealchemist.
And why not check out our beautiful photographic Recipe Book index. It’s full of gluten free inspiration for planning what to make next…
Easy Rhubarb Strawberry Jam with Cointreau
- sharp vegetable knife
- large bowl
- jam jars (approx 4)
- 2 saucers + freezer (optional)
- candy thermometer (optional)
- large heavy-based saucepan
- wooden spoon
- 700 g rhubarb trimmed, washed & cut into pieces 1-2 cm
- 200 g strawberries trimmed, washed & cut in half/quarters
- 900 g granulated sugar
- 120 ml lemon juice
- 60 ml Cointreau Orange Liqueur
- 1 tsp orange extract
Infusion Time (before making jam)
- Place your washed, trimmed and cut fruit into a large bowl with the sugar, lemon juice, Cointreau and orange extract. Stir thoroughly and leave for two to three hours or overnight.
- When you are ready to make your jam, sterilise your jars – Wash the jars in hot, soapy water, rinse with very hot water and then place on baking trays into a cold oven.
- Turn the oven on to 140 C/275 F/Gas 1 and bring the oven to temperature. Once at temperature, leave the jars in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, before turning off.
- Leave the jars in the oven as it cools until you are ready to fill them.
- Wash the lids in hot, soapy water, rinse thoroughly and then sterilise using boiling water, before leaving to drain.
Prepare to Test Jam (if not using a jam thermometer)
- Ahead of time, place 2 saucers in the freezer to chill (ready to test when the jam is done).
Make the Jam
- Tip the fruit mixture into a very large, heavy-bottomed saucepan and gently heat, stirring continually until the sugar has dissolved completely.
- Now bring the mixture to the boil, stirring intermittently as the fruit softens, crushing against the sides of the pan to release some of the juice.
- Once boiling, turn up the heat to bring to a rolling boil and allow to boil for about 8 minutes. Keep an eye on it, to make sure it doesn’t boil over.
- If using a jam thermometer, you want the mixture to reach jam 'set point' (105 C/220 F). If not using a thermometer, remove the pan from the heat after about 8 minutes boiling and place a few drops of the jam on one of the cold saucers from the freezer. Place in the fridge for one minute, then push the sides of the jam blob with your finger. If it has formed a gel and wrinkles, the jam is ready.
- If the jam is still liquid, place back on the heat and boil for a further 2 minutes, before re-testing. Continue this process until the jam is ready, each time using a cold saucer.
- When the jam is ready, pour into the sterilised jars, and seal with the lids immediately, before allowing to cool.
© 2019-2023 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved – Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist