Rhubarb, Lemon and Vanilla Jam is deliciously fresh and fruity with a zing of lemon and a subtle hint of vanilla! A great breakfast or tea time treat.

Rhubarb, Lemon and Vanilla Jam spread on a muffin with rhubarb stalks, lemon half & vanilla pod in background.

I’ve come a long way on my jam making journey and love all my jams. However, when I looked at the ingredients and method of my Rhubarb, Lemon & Vanilla Jam from six years ago I realised it could be a lot simpler. Hence I’ve revised the recipe and updated the photography.

I only soaked my rhubarb for a few hours (not overnight) and also used a mixture of fresh and frozen rhubarb so the jam is mushier than usual. So if you follow my instructions to the letter you’ll have a chunkier result! 

Rhubarb, Lemon and Vanilla Jam with rhubarb stalks, lemon, a vanilla pod & a teaspoon.Why do you need to soak fruit overnight to make jam?

I was recently asked this in an e-mail about another one of my jams. Well the answer is that it helps maintain the structure of the fruit and also helps any additional flavours mature. So, you don’t have to soak overnight but if you like chunky jam with lots of flavour it’s a good idea but not essential!

Rhubarb, Lemon and Vanilla Jam spread on a muffin with rhubarb stalks, lemon half & vanilla pod in background.When is Rhubarb season in the UK?

Forced (pink) rhubarb is in season from late December to March and field grown rhubarb from April to September. If you know someone with a rhubarb patch you could ask if you could have some crown and grow your own! I recently acquired some and look forward to harvesting my own rhubarb next year!

Rhubarb, Lemon and Vanilla Jam with rhubarb stalks, lemon, a vanilla pod & a teaspoon.Can you use frozen rhubarb to make Rhubarb, Lemon & Vanilla Jam?

Yes you can but the jam will be mushier as the freezing process breaks down the cell walls of the rhubarb. I would just skip the soaking overnight step and jump to step 3 of the recipe. Don’t thaw the rhubarb, just pop it straight in the pan as it will thaw as you dissolve the sugar over a low heat.

Rhubarb, Lemon and Vanilla Jam spread on a muffin with rhubarb stalks, lemon half & vanilla pod in background.Vanilla pods are expensive, can you use vanilla paste instead?

You could use vanilla bean paste, although I haven’t tried this. One scrapped pod is equivalent of about 1 tbsp of good quality vanilla bean paste. I would probably add a little more as you’ll be missing out on the flavour of the pod being cooked into the jam if using paste.

Rhubarb, Lemon and Vanilla Jam with rhubarb stalks & a teaspoon.What other jam recipes can you make with Rhubarb?

Rhubarb, Lemon and Vanilla Jam with rhubarb stalks, lemon, a vanilla pod & a teaspoon.What else can you make with rhubarb?

Jar of Rhubarb, Lemon and Vanilla Jam with teaspoon and lid.

I do hope you try my rhubarb jam as I’m sure you’ll love it as much as my family and I do! If you share it on social media do tag me using @fabfood4all I love seeing my recipes come to life!

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Rhubarb, Lemon and Vanilla Jam spread on a muffin with rhubarb stalks, lemon half & vanilla pod in background. Pin image.

Rhubarb, Lemon & Vanilla Jam

A deliciously fresh and fruity jam where the rhubarb is given a zing of lemon and a subtle hint of vanilla!

Keyword no pectin, preserve, rhubarb

Ingredients

  • 600 g rhubarb chopped into 2cm pieces (prepared weight)
  • 3 tbsp juice & zest of a large unwaxed lemon
  • 600 g granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod, split & seeds removed

Instructions

  • Place the rhubarb in a glass bowl along with the vanilla seeds, vanilla pod, lemon zest, sugar and lemon juice, cover and leave overnight.

  • The next day place 2 saucers into the freezer.

  • Then place rhubarb mixture into a preserving pan or large heavy based pan.

  • Heat gently to dissolve all the sugar crystals, stirring with a wooden spoon (do not simmer).

  • Then bring the pan to a rolling boil (stirring with a wooden spoon continuously) and time for 7 minutes.

  • Put a few drops of jam on a chilled saucer and place in fridge for about 30 seconds.

  • Test for set by pushing your finger through the jam, if it’s ready it will wrinkle and be gel like.

  • If the jam is not ready keep boiling for another 2 minutes at a time and doing the plate test until it is.

  • Finally, remove the vanilla pod and use a jam funnel and or fruit ladle to fill your hot sterilised jars and seal with lids immediately.

  • Allow to cool before serving.

  • Store jars in a cool, dark place (can keep for years) and once open store in fridge and eat within 3 months.

  • This recipe makes about 740 ml of jam, ie just under 4 x 190 ml jars.

Notes

Before you start: Sterilise  jars by washing in hot soapy water (or take straight from dishwasher), fill with boiling water, empty and then place in oven for 20 minutes at 140°C where you leave them until the jam is ready. Washed lids should be sterilised with boiling water and then left to drain (if they don’t dry in time I pop them in the oven once the jars are ready and just run the fan to dry them off for a few minutes).
If you’re pushed for time you can jump to step 3, soaking overnight helps retain fruit structure as well as letting the flavours develop.

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