Strawberry Rhubarb Jalapeno Spread

This is one of those recipes that has been hard to keep out of my mind.  Just by the name alone, I knew I had to try it, and ever since I stumbled upon it, I have thought of little else every time I go out to check on the strawberry patch. Walking the fine line between sweet and savory, this one is right up my alley.

Fortunately, I haven't had to wait that long to have enough berries to get to it.  When I came home after being out of town for a few days last week, I had plenty of strawberries to work with.  I'm currently picking about two pounds every other day, which isn't too shabby for my small little patch. We eat the ripest ones fresh, almost immediately after they come in the house, and with the rest, I've been slowly working my way down my list of strawberry  recipes I want to try this year (of which, this one is right at the top, just in case you couldn't tell).
The original recipe I found a few months ago didn't have exact measurements for the rhubarb and strawberries, so my most educated guess based on the amounts specified was to start with two cups of each, which created a good flavor.  I did cut the amount of sugar significantly, not wanting this to be overly sweet.  I started with two cups, and added in the additional half cup after it had cooked down a bit and need just a little more sweetness.  Finally, since this was small batch recipe (and because I altered the recipe significantly), I opted to make it a freezer jam, rather than process it in a hot water bath.

The end result was fantastic!  A bright flavored strawberry jam with just a touch of heat. Here's just a few of the ways I'm looking forward to using this spread:
There will undoubtedly be a few more, as time goes on!

Strawberry Rhubarb Jalapeno Spread
2 generous cups quartered strawberries
2 generous cups diced rhubarb
2 1/2 cups sugar (more or less to taste)
1 jalapeno, minced (approximately 1/4 cup)
Juice from 1 lemon (approximately 1/4 cup) 

Combine strawberries, rhubarb, and jalapeno with sugar, and let it sit covered with a clean towel for at least 30 minutes. After maceration, cook the mixture on low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add lemon juice and continue to cook, maintaining a steady boil and stirring more frequently, for 30 additional minutes, or until the mixture gels. Pour into sterilized jars and allow to cool completely before storing in the refrigerator or freezer. 

Yield: 3 8 oz. jars of spread

Recipe adapted from Canarella

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