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Strawberry Rhubarb Jam (No Pectin)

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A very aromatic and easy-to-make strawberry rhubarb jam without pectin, one of the best jam recipes you can make this summer.

Rhubarb Strawberry Jam without Pectin

This strawberry rhubarb jam recipe is straightforward. A classic, sweet and aromatic rhubarb and strawberry jam that will make everyone happy. No chia seeds, sugar substitutes, or anything fancy, just plain old jam with only fruit and sugar.

While I do like the new ways of making Sugar-Free Jam with Rhubarb (it does feel good when you know you’re eating healthier), I do like the real stuff as well. And my children definitely like the classic preserves better than the new varieties. It’s understandable; they don’t care about being brave and eating less sugar, on the contrary, I would say).

strawberry rhubarb jam in a jar

This rhubarb strawberry jam without pectin is for you out there who like the jam to taste like your grandma’s used to do. This one does taste very much like my grandma’s, although she never used rhubarb for anything, except for the Rhubarb Meringue Cake.

But she did make a killer strawberry jam. Very sweet, but so aromatic that you sometimes just had to eat a teaspoonful of it without bread at all, just for the taste of it. My version is not quite as sweet as my grandma’s, the addition of rhubarb and lemons gives it a wonderful tart note.

And learn What to Do with Rhubarb? (Bake, Cook, Preserve – a full article all about dealing with rhubarb.

glossy rhubarb strawberry jam in a jar


Can you make jam without pectin?

You always need pectin to thicken jam or jelly. Normally the naturally occurring pectin in fruit is enough to make the preserves jelly.

What you will not need to make this jam is added pectin. Although both rhubarb and strawberries are very low in natural pectin, you will need no powdered pectin. What you will use to help the preserves thicken are an apple and a lemon. They are both rich in pectin, and that will be enough to help with the jellying process. That and the longer cooking time.

How to make strawberry rhubarb jam?

  • Chop the strawberries and the rhubarb.
  • Wash the lemons, zest one of them, and juice both.
  • Grate the apple.
  • Place everything into a large pot together with the sugar.
  • Boil until it thickens, about 50-60 minutes, but start checking after 30 minutes already.
  • There will be quite a lot of foam forming during this time. Make sure you remove that properly during cooking and at the end. The preserves will not keep that long if you haven’t removed the foam before pouring them into the jars.

strawberry rhubarb jam on crisp bread

How to know how long to cook the jam?

The only problem that might arise when making jam is deciding when the jam has thickened enough. If you don’t boil it long enough, it will be too runny. But if you boil it for too long, it will harden in the jars. I once managed to cook a cherry jam so long that I could not get it out of the jars anymore… I had to throw everything away, jam and jars…

However, after making lots of jam during the last ten years or so, I learned to tell when it has cooked long enough.

The cooking time depends a lot on how much of it you are making, how big your pot is, and how much pectin the fruit contains.

strawberry rhubarb jam in a jar

In the case of this strawberry rhubarb jam, you should already start checking after 30 minutes. I normally have an eye for it; I scoop some juice on a spoon and check how the drops fall.

  • If that happens quickly, the preserves need more time.
  • If the drops take a moment to form, kind of come together, fall slowly, and seem to be thick enough, stop the cooking process.

This method may not be appropriate for an inexperienced eye (it doesn’t always work for me either). For better results, you should try to:

Check using a frozen plate

  • Place a small plate in the freezer at the beginning of the cooking time.
  • Check the consistency by dropping a few drops of juice on the plate.
  • Put the plate back in the freezer and check again after 1 minute.
  • Run a finger through the middle of the puddle on the plate. If the trail remains, then the jam is ready, and you should stop the cooking process.

While the jam is cooking, prepare the jars. Sterilize both jars and their lids. Once the jam is ready, transfer it to the sterilized jars. Can the jars if you wish. You can do that in a canner or a hot water bath.

how to check if jam is cooked enough


homemade strawberry rhubarb jam
no pectin jam in a jar with a silver spoon in it and strawberries behind.

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam (No Pectin)

A very aromatic and easy-to-make strawberry rhubarb jam without pectin, one of the best jam recipes you can make this summer.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Preserves and Canning Recipes
Cuisine: American, German
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 5 -6 small jars
Calories: 1053kcal
Author: Adina


  • 500 g/ 1.1 lbs strawberries weighed after cleaning
  • 1 kg/ 2.2 lbs rhubarb weighed after cleaning and peeling
  • 2 organic lemons
  • 1 apple
  • 1,5 kg/ about 3.3 lbs/ 7 ½ cups granulated sugar


  • Wash and hull the strawberries, halve them. Clean and peel the rhubarb, cut it into small pieces.
  • Grate the zest of one lemon and juice both of them. Grate the apple as well.
  • Place a small plate in the freezer at the beginning of the cooking time.
  • Place all the ingredients in a large pan, bring to a boil while stirring often and let cook for about 50-60 minutes until the jam starts to thicken.
  • There will be quite a lot of foam forming during this time, remove it with a slotted spoon.
  • Start checking the jam after 30 minutes. Read the blog post for more information on how long to boil the jam.
  • Check the consistency of the jam by dropping a few drops of juice on the plate from the freezer. Put the plate back in the freezer and check again after 1 minute. The jam drops should wrinkle when pushed with the finger. If they don't wrinkle, keep cooking and checking until you get them to wrinkle.
  • While the jam is cooking sterilize the jars and the lids.
  • Pour the jam into the hot prepared jars and seal tightly.
  • If desired, can in a canner or in a hot water bath.


Serving: 1jar | Calories: 1053kcal | Carbohydrates: 271g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 11mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 259g
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Recipe Rating


Tuesday 22nd of May 2018

My favorite jam! Yours is gorgeous. My recipe is very similar but I don't add the apple. I know that it's high in pectin, but it really make that much of a difference? Now I'm really curious. Thanks for the idea and recipe!


Thursday 11th of June 2015

It is really worth a try, Chris. I think you will like it so much, you'll make it again next year. :)

Chris Scheuer

Wednesday 10th of June 2015

One of my favorite combination though I've never had it in jam. It sounds delightful!


Tuesday 9th of June 2015

Thank you, Rachel. Although I try to eat healthier and do enjoy the chia seed jam version as well, I do admit that when it comes to jam nothing beats the real stuff... :) Normally I try to use a ratio of 3:1 (3 parts fruit and 1 part sugar), that is sweet enough for me and you can taste the fruit even more. In this case I did 1:1 because I was a bit worried that the rhubarb would be too sour. And I reallly like the way it turned out.

Rachel @ Simple Seasonal

Tuesday 9th of June 2015

What a gorgeous batch of jam! When it comes to jams and jellies I just can't get onto the chia seed and maple syrup bandwagon myself. I eat it infrequently enough that when I spoon into a sticky jar I want the real stuff with it's bright flavor and perfect consistency!