This irresistible rhubarb jam is so simple to make with only four ingredients. Spread on toast, swirl in ice cream, or just eat with a spoon!
Why you'll love it
Rhubarb jam is a delicious balance between sweet and tart. It has a luscious texture that lends itself well to contrasting so many things from crunchy granola to swirls of ice cream.
This jam is more of a preserve as it contains the stalks and no pectin added. It only has four ingredients and takes almost no time to make.
You can easily double or triple the recipe to can and save for later use.
Only four ingredients are needed to make this jam. You likely have them already in your kitchen!
- Rhubarb - Rhubarb comes in varying colors. Most commonly, you may see them with deep red or pinkish stalks. Many varieties of rhubarb are also green. There is no real difference in flavor, so whatever you can find will work.
- Lemon - Lemon brightens the rhubarb and adds more dimension to the jam. It also helps the jam come together without the need for pectin.
- Sugar - To sweeten the jam, use granulated sugar. You cannot substitute it with any other sweeteners.
- Salt - A small amount of salt helps to amplify and enhance the flavors of the rhubarb. You can skip it, if you'd like.
A lot of people ask if you need to peel the rhubarb before making jam. You can, but it is not necessary. The skin still packs some great nutrients, so I like to leave mine on. Just give the stalks a good scrub in water, and they should be ready to go.
I do recommend slicing the stalks into about ½-inch slices. This helps speed up the process of cooking down the rhubarb.
Some people like to macerate the rhubarb - which means they coat the chopped stalks in the sugar to help release the juices. I have not found that to be necessary.
Fresh vs. frozen
The reason I prefer to use fresh rhubarb is that I own a rhubarb plant, so it is a way for me to preserve some of my rhubarb for later. That doesn't mean you can't make a delicious jam using frozen stalks.
In fact, frozen rhubarb means you can make delicious jam any time of year which is great because it is only available during certain months of the year in most grocery stores. The process of making the jam isn't different either. All it means is a slightly longer cooking time.
How to make
This rhubarb jam is incredibly easy and quick to make. You also do not need any special equipment to make it.
- Slice your rhubarb and add the ingredients to the saucepan.
- Turn on the heat to medium-high and stir slowly.
- Continue to stir occasionally while the rhubarb cooks down.
- Allow the fruit to cook and gently mash. Continue to cook for about 15 minutes or until the mixture is visibly thickened.
- Ladle into your jars.
How to use
Basically, there isn't anything you can't do with a simple rhubarb jam like this. The recipe double and quadruples or more perfectly if you are like me and have plenty of rhubarb.
I love making recipes with rhubarb whenever I can. Each year I make a batch of strawberry rhubarb ice cream and sometimes I will just use the jam I have and swirl it in. If you want to add strawberries to your jam to make it easier, then go for it! Just toss them in alongside the rhubarb.
I replaced the fig in this fig margarita with my rhubarb jam and it is amazing.
You can also use it on toast, scones, cupcakes, cakes, and just about everything you can imagine. My favorite? Lemon rhubarb macarons.
If you are canning your jars properly, your jam should last months. Once opened, the jam should last about two weeks in the refrigerator.
You can freeze your jam, but I don't recommend freezing them in jars. Instead, I would freeze them in a non-glass airtight container. The jam will last several months in the freezer. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using it.
Yes! You can turn this into strawberry rhubarb jam by adding two cups of hulled strawberries to the recipe. No need to change anything else to the recipe, but be prepared for there to be more jam.
Absolutely! You can can the recipe as you normally would for freezer jam then keep and use it as you would any other freezer jam.
If you do decide to make several jars for yourself and/or for gifts, here are labels you can print out for your jars! Just click here to download the PDF! I use sticker paper to print out my labels.
I absolutely loved making this jam and creating the jar labels for you. Please let me know if you would like more fun jam recipes and/or add-ons for recipes I make! Your feedback means the world to me!
Recipes you may enjoy
If this was totally your jam, you'll need to try my peach jam, rhubarb simple syrup, and homemade applesauce. You may also want to try my pear rhubarb crisp, grapefruit rhubarb lemonade, berry rhubarb galette, rhubarb crumble ice cream, and strawberry rhubarb ice cream.
- 1 cup Granulated Sugar
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- 1 Lemon juiced
- 3 ½ cups Rhubarb roughly chopped, 4 large stalks
- Prepare your jam jar by washing and sterilizing the jar and lid. Keep in hot, but not boiling water until ready to use.
- Add all the ingredients to a large saucepan and stir to combine.
- Heat the saucepan on medium-high and allow the mixture to cook, stirring occasionally.
- Continue to cook, stirring and mashing the rhubarb as you go, until the mixture thickens significantly to a jam-like consistency. Approximately 15 – 20 minutes.
- Remove the jar and lid and thoroughly dry. Ladle the jam into the jar and screw the lid on well. Place in a pot of boiling water for about 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely to room temperature before refrigerating.
This recipe first appeared on Food Fanatic where I am a contributor.
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