Urban Preserving: Small Batch Vanilla Rhubarb Jam

chopped rhubarb

I’ve been keeping this blog long enough that I’m starting to repeat myself. This rhubarb jam, for instances, is nothing more than a simplified, scaled down version of the one I posted in the first year I was writing here (there’s also a very similar recipe in my first cookbook).

sugared rhubarb

The honest truth of it is that I can as much for myself as I do to create content for this site, and I very much love this easy little preserve. And so I make it every year or two, each time tweaked slightly. I thought you’d like to see how I do it when I’m only making a little bit.

vanilla rhubarb jam

You could also use this recipe as a starting place for a strawberry rhubarb jam. Either swap in berries for half the rhubarb, or double it (I know that I typically discourage people from doubling small batch recipes, but because this one has a touch of pectin, it scales up nicely).

Small Batch Vanilla Rhubarb Jam

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 pounds rhubarb, diced
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon powdered fruit pectin (I use Ball's Flex Pectin)
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • juice of 1/2 lemon

Instructions

  1. Prepare a small boiling water bath canner and 2 half pint jars.
  2. Place the chopped rhubarb in a low, wide non-reactive pan. Whisk the pectin and vanilla bean seeds into the sugar and add it to the fruit. Drop the split vanilla bean into the pan and add the lemon juice.
  3. Stir well and let it sit until the sugar looks damp.
  4. Set the pan on the stove over high heat and bring to a boil. If the sugar begins to caramelize, reduce the heat.
  5. Cook, stirring regularly, until the rhubarb breaks down and the liquid looks thick and jammy.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat and divide the jam between the two prepared jars (depending on how much water the rhubarb contained, you may have a couple tablespoons leftover. I recommend stirring the leftover into some plain yogurt).
  7. Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.
  8. When the time is up, remove the jars from canner and set them on a folded kitchen towel to cool and seal.
http://foodinjars.com/2015/05/urban-preserving-small-batch-vanilla-rhubarb-jam/

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18 Responses to Urban Preserving: Small Batch Vanilla Rhubarb Jam

  1. 1
    heather says:

    Have you ever tried to use frozen rhubarb? Just curious….I made jam with frozen blueberries and strawberries and it has turned out well.

    • 1.1
      Julie says:

      I’ve done it. Mine set up fine. I don’t bother with pectin for rhubarb jams, just boil it down a bit thicker than usual. (Of course, Marisa wrote the book on this recipe, so you should follow her advice!) The frozen tends to be the less perfect stalks and may not be as red.

  2. 2
    Gail says:

    If I use frozen rhubarb in this recipe, how do I know how much to use? Do I weigh the thawed rhubarb, and do I drain it first or just include the juices and cook them off?

  3. 3
    ColleenB. says:

    Oh, how I am drooling over the looks of that fresh rhubarb. How I so wish it would grow here in Texas but gets too hot in the summer months and not cold enough in the winter months. :{

  4. 4
    Cavs says:

    When I hovered my cursor over the second picture. just wished it’d come through my screen and land on my desk. Wonderful recipe.

  5. 5
    Lynne says:

    I created a rhubarb-orange jam that was just delicious the other day. We had a bit of rhubarb left over after doing a rhubarb crumble for dessert, so we stewed the rhubarb with a chopped up navel orange (peel and all), and then added a bit of sugar and cooked it down considerably. SO GOOD.

  6. 6
    Marivene says:

    This afternoon I made a batch of “rhubarb/strawberry” jam. I used 1 cup of frozen red currant juice from last year’s crop, 3 cups of sliced fresh rhubarb & part of a cup of frozen sliced strawberries from the past year’s harvest, with water added to make a full cup, Macerated the fruit with 1 cup of sugar for several hours, then heated & stirred until the rhubarb was soft, about 5 minutes. Added 4 more cups of sugar, brought it up to the boil & boiled for 4 minutes, then put it in the jars. It made 5 half pints, plus a little. I didn’t bother to process because it is going to friends & will be eaten by the end of the holiday weekend.

    The red currant juice provided both pectin & a deep red color. The strawberries provided the dominant flavor (the entire house smells like strawberry jam!), with undertones of rhubarb that are just enouigh to make you notice. It is SO GOOD! I do love playing in the rhubarb!

  7. 7
    Lisa Noble says:

    thanks so much for this… and after last week’s webinar, I can totally visualize how this works. Will hopefully make a little next weekend! (with our cool spring, the rhubarb is lasting longer than usual)

  8. 8
    April C says:

    Just got my hands on a copy of preserving by the pint – looks like I’m going to have a LOT more fun doing this; no more hours and hours of work:)

    I noticed that most of your small batches are put up in half pint jars and would like to know how many ounces that is. I’ve gotten myself confused; I have a bunch of 4oz jars that I was planning on filling up for Christmas gifts. But that would be a quarter pint, right? So would the water bath processing time be the same?

    • 8.1
      Marisa says:

      Half pint jars hold 8 ounces. However, the 4 ounce jars work equally well for the recipes in Preserving by the Pint. The processing times are the same.

  9. 9
    April C says:

    thank you!

  10. 10
    Alice says:

    A good one…. I created a rhubarb-orange jam that was just delicious the other day. We had a bit of rhubarb left over after doing a rhubarb crumble for dessert, so we stewed the rhubarb with a chopped up navel orange (peel and all), and then added a bit of sugar and cooked it down considerably. SO GOOD.

  11. 11
    Alice says:

    thanks…If I use frozen rhubarb in this recipe, how do I know how much to use? Do I weigh the thawed rhubarb, and do I drain it first or just include the juices and cook them off?

  12. 12
    Diane says:

    I love rhubarb, but the color of it alone isn’t appealing to me. I saw a suggestion above of red currant juice for color. Are there any other juices that would compliment the flavor and brighten the color? Would a couple drops of red food coloring work?

    • 12.1
      Marisa says:

      Red currant or a bit of beet juice might help with the color. I wouldn’t put food coloring in the preserves, simply because I don’t like the idea of adding chemicals to my preserves. But no judgment if that’s how you choose to go.

  13. 13
    Denise says:

    I’m not too thrilled about the colour of processed rhubarb as the plants I grow are mostly green stemmed. When I’m concentrating on colour as in a rhubarb jelly I scout around I my patch to find young pink stalks. That being said, I have tried using beet root powder to change the green to something more appealing and this works if you add the powder at the end of the cooking time AND you don’t process the jars in a water bath canner which heats the product up again. It is the heat which seems to fade the beet root intense colour.

  14. 14

    […] also saw local rhubarb in Wegmans the other day that reminded me that I have wanted to make this vanilla rhubarb jam for a while. In fact, I was able to use the the market credit that I won to pick up some […]

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  1. Farmers Market Finds for June 2016 – From Anna's Kitchen - June 11, 2016

    […] also saw local rhubarb in Wegmans the other day that reminded me that I have wanted to make this vanilla rhubarb jam for a while. In fact, I was able to use the the market credit that I won to pick up some […]

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