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Recipe: Rhubarb Jam

April 5, 2009

I’ve really been enjoying reading your comments in response to my little giveaway. It seems there are so many reasons to love spring – the flowers, the little lambs in the fields, the smells, the freshness, the sunshine, the longer days, the feeling of newness, the colours…. it’s all so wonderful! I also have a culinary reason to add to the list too as, for me, spring marks the start of the jam-making season and that’s definitely a cause for celebration! 


I’d been keeping an eager eye out for the arrival of English rhubarb at my greengrocer’s for a while now – I’d hoped to get hold of some of the early forced stuff but my grocer told me that the supermarkets pretty much have a monopoly on it and it’s very hard for independent sellers to get hold of any… so I waited…. then imported rhubarb began to fill the shelves and, although tempted, I waited….. then, finally, this week, my patience paid off and I was able to bring home a rather large bag of the stuff – I would have bought more (crumbles were beckoning) but it would have pretty much blown my food budget out the window, so I contented myself with enough for a batch of jam. I will definitely be going back for more though….

Rhubarb makes a wonderful jam – light and fruity and incredibly moorish. Some people regard it as a tricky jam to make, probably due to the fact that rhubarb is very low in pectin. However, if you’re worried about achieving a good set, you can always use jam sugar (the stuff with added pectin) and you shouldn’t have any difficulties. 

Here’s my recipe – you need to start this the night before you intend to make the jam:

Rhubarb Jam

Makes 6 x 225g jars

  • 1kg rhubarb (trimmed weight), cut into chunks.
  • 1 kg sugar (granulated or jam sugar)
  • Juice of 1 large juicy orange 

In a large non-metallic basin, layer up the sugar then rhubarb, ending with a layer of sugar. Pour over the orange juice and leave overnight. 

When you are ready to make the jam, transfer the ingredients to a preserving pan or large saucepan and bring gently to the boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Boil rapidly and test the set after about 5 minutes. When ready, leave to stand for a few minutes then pour into warm sterilized jars and seal.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. April 5, 2009 7:19 pm

    just one more little comment before I hit the workbench…

    Lovely to see a soul that appreciates Rhubarb.. I love this tangy stalk.. It grows on almost all of the old homesteads round the country side… the houses are tumble down, the barns long gone, but the hardy rhurbarb continues growing like a little trooper… My rhurbarb patch that was started from a root from my grandfathers plants long ago.. has not poked its head up yet.. I’m wistful for it… your jars look delicious..

    what a lucky daughter you have, to have such a salt of the earth mother.. she will learn so many important things from you…

  2. April 5, 2009 7:25 pm

    This is fab! In our new rented house we have inherited a giant, monster rhubarb in a giant, monster pot. Rhubarb jam it’s going to end up as for sure!

    I’ll be back for tips!

  3. April 5, 2009 9:45 pm

    Ooh! I’ve found a new favorite blog. Love your homespun/ fiber /authentic homemaking adventures. I used to work at a full costumed museum that reinacted the 1800’s. Haven’t had a spinning wheel since then, so I’ll live vicariously through you.

  4. dowhatyoulove permalink
    April 6, 2009 2:48 am

    Oh I love rhubarb! I love the tang it has, and adds great flavor to all kinds of things. One of my favorites is strawberry rhubarb jam. Yum! I have used the leafs to make cement leaf decorations for the garden, including bird baths. I love this craft!

  5. April 6, 2009 10:30 am

    Gwen – thank you! I was really touched by your words.

    Hen – lucky you! I’d love to have rhubarb growing in the garden but as we hope to move in the next couple of years, I’m not sure we’d benefit from it if we planted one….. one day though! If you have a real glut, it makes great chutney too and nigella has a recipe for rhubarb vodka that I’m keen to try!

    Shayla – thanks very much. It must have been fascinating to work at the museum.

    Stacey – strawberry and rhubarb jam sounds rather yummy – I’ve had strawberries and rhubarb together as a pie filling, but never as jam. Another one to add to my ‘to make’ list! Sounds like you’ve found a really interesting use for the leaves too – I’ve been experimenting with natural dyeing this weekend and read that rhubarb leaves also make a good dye. It really is a very useful plant!

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