A simple and easy rhubarb jam to use up Spring’s abundant bounty. This delicious jam with chunks of rhubarb and citrus overtones is a delight to make. Spread thickly on toast, crumpets, croissant or your favourite breakfast bread or pastry. Use a generous dollop on scones with cream as an alternative to traditional strawberry jam, use as a tart, pancake and crepe filling or serve with ice-cream, cheesecake or waffles. A truly versatile jam that won’t last long in the pantry. Although most often eaten as a fruit, rhubarb is actually a vegetable. Oh, and is there a difference between red and green rhubarb? Apart from the colour difference, they taste the same. They are just a different variety. And where does it's tart flavour come from? It contains high is levels of naturally occurring oxalates.
Preparation time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 15 mins
Quantity: 4 x 250 ml jars
Prepare steps 1-4 in the Method section below the day prior to making the jam
Warm sterilised sealable glass jars and lids.
700g tender rhubarb- preferably red
615g white sugar
3 Orange – juice and grated rind
1 Lemon – juice and grated rind
- Trim rhubarb to remove leaves. Wash to remove any garden dirt or store debris and lightly dry with clean tea towel or paper towel.
- Cut into 1.5cm lengths. If you cut into too small pieces rhubarb will cook to a mush and produce a different jam texture.
- Place approximately a 1/3 of the rhubarb in a bowl, layer with 1/3 sugar. Repeat layering the fruit and sugar, ending with a sugar layer on top.
- Cover and leave to stand overnight in a cool place.
- The next day, place the rhubarb and syrupy sugar mixture into a preserving pan.
- Add the grated orange and lemon rind and juices.
- Stir over gentle heat until sugar completely dissolved.
- Increase the heat and bring the mixture quickly to the boil and cook for approximately 10 minutes or until the jam is thick and reaches setting point.
- Remove the jam from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
- Using a funnel, pour into warm dry sterilised screw cap sealable jars. Fill to approximately 2.5cm (1inch) from the top and seal using your preferred method.
- Label and store in a cool dark place in the kitchen or pantry.
- Allow the jam to mature for at least 2 weeks before eating
- Variations: Rhubarb and Vanilla Jam, Rhubarb and Ginger Jam, Rhubarb and Strawberry Jam
- Choose ripe clean fruit. Do not use overripe and never use mouldy fruit as this will produce a poor-quality jam.
- Standing the cut rhubarb in sugar overnight will draw moisture and some colour out of the rhubarb. This will allow the rhubarb to cook more quickly and add a rich colour to the jam.
- If you want a jam texture which has pieces of rhubarb pieces, do not cut rhubarb too small. It will cook too quickly and completely break down in the cooking process.
- Heat sugar gently and cook slowly until the sugar has completely dissolved before boiling otherwise the fruit skin will toughen and the sugar may crystallise.
- Once the sugar has dissolved and the fruit is soft, boil rapidly until the jam reaches setting point
- Stir occasionally to prevent the jam from sticking on the bottom of the pot. But not too often as this will lower the temperature and delays reaching the setting point.
- Rapid boiling until the setting point is reached, to preserve the fresh fruit flavour. Long slow simmering of the jam affects the colour and reduces the flavour of the jam.
- Do not eat or feed the leaves to animals. Due to the high concentrations of oxalic acid and oxalate, eating may result in reactions .Rhubarb is often cited as poisonous plant.