September 14, 2010

Daring Cooks’ Challenge: Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

Is it odd that the above photo makes my little heart swell with pride? That Strawberry Rhubarb Jam is just so shiny and pretty. It tasted so sweet with just a little tangy bite. Spread on top of homemade Pan de Mallorca, and you’ve got something truly lovely.
You also have an outdoor photo shoot that occurred at record speed, seeing as it was 97 degrees outside and that powdered sugar was melting faster by the minute.
The September 2010 Daring Cooks’ challenge was hosted by John of Eat4Fun. John chose to challenge The Daring Cooks to learn about food preservation, mainly in the form of canning and freezing. He challenged everyone to make a recipe and preserve it. John’s source for food preservation information was from The National Center for Home Food Preservation.
For my exercise in food preservation, I chose Strawberry Rhubarb Jam mainly because I find rhubarb so delightfully and bafflingly intriguing. Is it a fruit? Is a vegetable? Is it just some reed that someone in ye olde days plucked out of the ground, bit into on a hunch and said, “Forsooth, this is a heavenly plant! Get thee hence and maketh some jam!”
Perhaps we’ll never know.
Perhaps I should’ve done some more research.
However, rhubarb’s origins are beside the point. All that matters is that it is delicious, especially when paired with the sweetness of strawberries and the fluffy deliciousness of Pan de Mallorca.
To begin my Daring Cooks’ challenge, I set about making Pan de Mallorca, which is sort of like a Puerto Rican sweet roll. It’s incredibly light, slightly sweet, and ridiculously yummy. First, I combined milk and water…

…with some yeast…

…and flour…

…then whisked it all together and left it to rise for a bit.

The result of which smelled very yeasty and very amazing.

After it had risen, I added a few egg yolks…

…as well as some flour…

…and copious amounts of butter.

After that was all mixed together, I covered it with a towel to let it rise for an hour…which turned into three hours after I remembered that I had to get to class. Having returned to find that a mysterious dough monster has taken over my kitchen, I punched it down to a reasonable level.

Then I turned it out onto my kitchen island to form the rolls, enlisting my little sister to take photos, seeing as I didn’t want to get flour and general yuckiness all over her camera.
Yes, I don’t even have my own camera. I steal my sister’s on a daily basis.

I attempted to divide the dough into twelve equal portions, but because I’m terrible at math I ended up with eleven.

There are two things that I must point out in the above photo. One, check out my blue, eighties countertops. They’re older than I am. Two, please note my Ugly Betty t-shirt. It says Viva la Betty and it’s freaking awesome.
That is all.
From there, I rolled each piece out…

…brushed on some butter…

…rolled it up…

…and formed a cute little Mallorca roll!

Those little poofs of dough waiting to be rolled out are seriously the softest, fluffiest things you’ve ever felt. The entire time while I was making these I kept reenacting that scene from Despicable Me when that little girl says “It’s so FLUFFY!”
After letting them rise a bit more in their proper shapes, I popped ‘em in the oven for about 15 minutes, dusted them with powdered sugar, and ended up with this vision of deliciosity.

Now that I’ve gotten my worshipful Mallorca-rant out of the way, here’s how I made the actual Daring Cooks’ challenge.
I chopped up some rhubarb…

…coated it with some sugar and let that sit in the fridge for about an hour.

Then I grabbed some strawberries…

…and took out some frustration, mashing them up with a potato masher…

…then added some more sugar…

…as well as the rhubarb.

Once I finished letting that simmer for about ten minutes….

…I poured it into some cute jelly jars…

…and sealed them and boiled them again to get everything set.

I seriously love the color of this jam! Honestly, who doesn’t love pink food?!
Click here for the Pan de Mallorca and here for the Strawberry Rhubarb Jam. Note that for the jam, I made less than half of a full recipe.
And there you have it! Prettily pink Strawberry Rhubarb Jam with homemade Pan de Mallorca.

And me.


  1. The jam looks absolutely delicious as do the sweets rolls. I just joined the daring bakers but have to wait until next month to do a challenge. It's nice to see a post from a daring cook! :)

  2. Hi Koci,

    I agree - who doesn't love pink food! Strawberry and Rhubarb are a match made in heaven. That Pan de Mallorca looks amazing. It's something I've never eaten. Will be trying your recipe.

  3. That Pan de Mallorca looks so amazingly delicious, I may just have to try it!! And your jam - YUM. I love the combination of strawberry and rhubarb. It is past both seasons locally, but I will DEFINITELY be trying my hand at that beautiful jam next year. Great job.

  4. Gorgeous bread and a delightful jam!

  5. The jam looks wonderful, the pictures are beautiful but most of all..that pan de mallorca....that is fantastic. I'm trying it soon!

  6. I've never heard of these rolls before but they look incredible! The jam is gorgeous as well, love the color, love the texture. You just really did a rock-star job with this challenge :o)

  7. Lovely rolls and jam! Your photos are beautiful!

  8. Wow, pan de mallorca looks delicious! It reminds me of our ensaymada here in the Philippines. Your rhubarb-strawberry jam looks so drool worthy, great job!

  9. Love it! The bread and jam both sound amazing—and it certainly doesn't hurt that you present them with such fantastic spirit. Also, I covet your wellies.

  10. Beeeeoooooooo-tiful photos! Great job on the challenge!


  11. Hermanita de KociSeptember 14, 2010

    I. Love. This. Post. Seriously! The food looks delicious (surprise, surprise, surprise), I love your wellies and greenery, and Your history of rhubarb made me laught heartily (forsooth!).
    PS. I <3 Despicable Me!

  12. Your photos are beautiful! I love the abundant greenery, the gorgeously soft-looking and perfectly-shaped Pan de Mallorca, and the jam sparkling in the sun. It sounds so tasty too. Strawberry and rhubarb - what a combination. That would be the most amazing breakfast in the world.

    So, in answer to your first question: not odd at all. :D

    p.s. I love your t-shirt!

  13. What a wonderful bread! Looks so soft and delicious, I love that jam, beautiful color, great combo and your photos are amazing...

  14. Hahhaa love your writing style! And I noticed that Ugly Betty t-shirt before you even pointed it out - it kicks ass. :-)

    Those mallorca rolls look dang tasty (even though I've never heard of them before) and isn't rhubarb just the tastiest thing out there? Love the sweet & sour vibe of it & I really want to taste that jam!

  15. Strawberry Rhubarb Jam is the best. My grandma grew both, and would make this jam every year!!!! Yours looks wonderful!

  16. This is gorgeous, Koci! I must say, I think you kicked this challenges ass! Strawberry rhubarb is a combo worth preserving for sure.

    By the way, the grass in your yard is perfect lol AND love those wellies!

  17. Your jam looks perfect--I love rhubarb in any form, even Olde English! I was worried that your Mallorca bun would be like the ensaimadas I had there. They were made of lard, dusted with icing sugar, and tasted...piggy. Yours are the same shape, but sound fabulous!

  18. Even though I really like to respond to each of your comments personally, I let them get away from me a bit this time. So, I'll just say thanks for all of your wonderful comments--I love reading 'em!! :D

  19. First, I love that the jam in your last photo looks like it contains diamonds, the way it's sparkling. Yes, pink food is fantastic.
    Second, that clip is awesome!

  20. Looks great! I love making bread and jam. I will be joining you next month as a Daring Baker!

  21. Oh my gosh, I have seriously watched that Despicable Me clip 50 times, I can't wait for the DVD to come out!

    These Pan de Mallorca look delicious and I can't wait to try them, thanks so much!

  22. You did a really great job with this challenge! I love the rolls that you made to accompany your tasty looking jam. Another thing added to my list of things I want to make this weekend. I think we need to extend the weekend a few days so I can get all of this done!

  23. lots of hard work reaping great results and love the wellies!


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