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Low Sugar Strawberry Rhubarb Jam Recipe

Low Sugar Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam

(Updated April 7, 2022)

Our friends at Pomona’s Universal Pectin wanted to share this Low Sugar Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam recipe with us. The Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam recipe is for a low-sugar or low-honey cooked jam made with Pomona’s Pectin. It is an early summer classic – nice combination of tart and sweet. Feel free to use other sweeteners that measure like sugar or honey in this recipe. For example, you can use a stevia product that measures like sugar. You can also use a different liquid sweetener, like agave or maple syrup. We enjoyed the jam with some garlic chevre on flat bread. Yum!Strawberry Rhubarb Jam in Action

We cut back on the sugar by ½ a cup of sugar (only used 1 ½ cups sugar) and it was sweet enough for us. We wanted to get more of the real fruit taste, and less sweetness. We’ve made a note to try and cut the sugar back even more next time we make this recipe, since it was still sufficiently sweet, even with our first-round modification.

We also cut back on the pectin too, we only used ½ a teaspoon of pectin, we wanted a softer jam that was more of a spreadable preserve, so it was perfect for us. However, we opened up a jar to test the set several days later, and I’d recommend using the full amount of pectin suggested in this recipe – especially if you want a notable set.  We are happy with our soft jam, but we know others like a firmer set.

Strawberry-Rhubarb JamRhubarb Stalks & Strawberries

Yield: about 5 cups

Before You Begin:
Prepare calcium water. To do this, combine ½ teaspoon calcium powder (in the small packet in your box of Pomona’s pectin) with ½ cup water in a small, clear jar with a lid. Shake well.  Extra calcium water may be stored in the refrigerator for future use.

Wondering what calcium water is? Calcium water is a solution of the monocalcium phosphate powder (food-grade rock mineral source) that comes in its own packet with every purchase of Pomona’s Pectin. The Pomona’s Pectin directions tell you how to make calcium water with the calcium powder. Pomona’s Pectin recipes call for calcium water because the pectin is activated by calcium, not by sugar. You can read more about calcium water here.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam
Yield: about 5 cups
  • 2 cups mashed strawberries about 4 cups whole strawberries
  • 2 cups cooked rhubarb chop rhubarb, add a little water, cook until soft, drain liquid off, measure
  • 2 teaspoons calcium water
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ cup up to 1 cup honey or ¾ cup up to 2 cups sugar
  • teaspoons Pomona’s pectin powder
  1. Wash jars, lids, and bands. Place jars in canner, fill canner 2/3 full with water, and bring to a boil. Turn off heat, cover, and keep jars in hot canner water until ready to use. Place lids in water in a small saucepan; cover and heat to a simmer. Turn off heat and keep lids in hot water until ready to use.

  2. Wash, remove hulls, and mash strawberries.
    Rhubarb Stalks & Strawberries
  3. Prepare rhubarb (cook until soft with a little water).
    Prepare rhubarb. Measure fruit into sauce pan.
  4. Measure fruit and add it into a saucepan with cooked rhubarb.
  5. Add calcium water and lemon juice and mix well.
  6. Measure sugar or room temperature honey into a bowl. Thoroughly mix pectin powder into sweetener. Set aside.
    Pomona's Pectin Powder and Sugar
  7. Bring the fruit mixture to a full boil. Add pectin-sweetener mixture, stirring vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes to dissolve the pectin while the jam comes back up to a boil. Once the jam returns to a full boil, remove it from the heat.

    Fruit Cooking
  8. Fill hot jars to ¼” of the top. Wipe rims clean. Screw on 2-piece lids. Put filled jars in boiling water bath canner and cover. Boil 10 minutes (add 1 minute more for every 1,000 ft. above sea level). Remove from water. Let jars cool. Check seals; lids should be sucked down. Consume within 1 year. It lasts 3 weeks once opened and refrigerated.

Note: If you’re not sure if your jam is sweet enough, taste it after the pectin is dissolved and the jam has come back up to a boil. Not sweet enough? Add more sweetener and stir for 1 minute at full boil.

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Recipe Rating

  1. Marge Mathis Posted May 20, 2019 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    what is the purpose of the calcium water?

    • Fillmore Container Posted May 28, 2019 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      Hi Marge,

      Pomona’s Pectin recipes call for calcium water because the pectin is activated by calcium, not by sugar. Pomona’s Pectin comes with a packet of ingredients to make Calcium Water. Here’s a good description of Calcium Water and its role with Pomona’s Pectin.

  2. john hagen Posted May 21, 2019 at 4:28 am | Permalink

    What is .and what purpose is Calcium water.

    • Fillmore Container Posted May 28, 2019 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      Hi John,

      Pomona’s Pectin comes with a packet of ingredients to make Calcium Water. Here’s a good description of Calcium Water and its role with Pomona’s Pectin.

  3. T. Cat Posted April 24, 2020 at 3:03 am | Permalink

    Could I use other sweeteners such as date sugar, coconut sugar, a little stevia mixed with other sweeteners, agave, or others?

    • Fillmore Container Posted April 30, 2020 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

      Hello, This recipe doesn’t require pectin, but you may have some issues with the set. If you’d choose to use Pomona’s Pectin (which doesn’t require sugar for the set), you could. I’d suggest checking with Linda, the author of this recipe.

  4. Suzy Posted May 19, 2020 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Is it necessary to precook the rhubarb? Seems like it would cook when boiling everything all together…

    • Fillmore Container Posted May 19, 2020 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

      Good questions, Suzy! You can do it in the same pot you intend to make the jam in. The one drawback with relying on it to soften enough along with everything else, is that you really don’t want to cook your fruit longer than necessary, as it tends to break down more, and you may lose more color. On thing we didn’t mention in the directions is that the liquid should be drained from the rhubarb.

  5. Suzy Posted May 20, 2020 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the info! I definitely want to keep as much color as possible. Oh, can this recipe be doubled or tripled? (BTW , I couldn’t get the “Reply” link to work to reply directly to your comment.

    • Fillmore Container Posted May 20, 2020 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      Hi Suzy, The beauty of using Pomona’s pectin is that you are able to multiply your batches more easily because it doesn’t depend on the sugar for your set. Thanks for the heads up on the “comment” button, we’ll look into it.

  6. Suzy Posted May 22, 2020 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    I made the jam last night, and it turned out great! Watch the cooking rhubarb as it gets soft quickly! I tripled the recipe and added the exact measurements of everything. Perfect!

    • Fillmore Container Posted May 26, 2020 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

      So glad to hear! Thanks for sharing!

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