Rhubarb & vanilla jam

Rhubarb & vanilla jam

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(56 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 25 mins - 30 mins Plus cooling time


Makes 3 x 1lb jars

Homemade jam doesn't have to be just a summer treat with this sweet-sharp seasonal recipe

Nutrition and extra info


  • kcal44
  • fat0g
  • saturates0g
  • carbs12g
  • sugars12g
  • fibre0g
  • protein0g
  • salt0g
Save to My Good Food
Please sign in or register to save recipes.


  • 1kg rhubarb, weighed after trimming, cut into 3cm chunks



    Botanically, rhubarb is a vegetable (it's related to sorrel and dock) but its thick, fleshy…

  • 1kg jam sugar (or 1kg caster sugar plus 1 x 8g sachet pectin - we used Tate & Lyle)



    Honey and syrups made from concentrated fruit juice were the earliest known sweeteners. Today,…

  • 2 vanilla pods, halved lengthways
  • juice 1 lemon



    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…


  1. Put a small plate in the freezer. Put the rhubarb into a preserving pan or your largest saucepan with the sugar and halved vanilla pods. Heat gently, stirring, until all the sugar has dissolved, then squeeze in the lemon juice and increase the heat.

  2. Boil for about 10 mins, skimming off the scum as you go (the fruit should be soft). Test for setting point by spooning a little onto your chilled plate. After 1-2 mins, push your finger through the jam – if the surface wrinkles it is ready, if not, keep cooking for 2-min intervals, testing in between. (Or if you have a sugar thermometer it should reach 105C)

  3. Once the jam is ready, let it cool for about 15 mins before ladling into warm sterilised jars and sealing. Will keep for 6 months in a cool, dark place.

You may also like

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
Stuart Lanigan's picture
Stuart Lanigan
2nd May, 2018
i was a jam virgin... not any more! easy and excellent..
4th Sep, 2017
Absolutely delicious!
21st Apr, 2017
Easy, quick, tasty! Would probably add either less sugar or more lemon juice next time though as it was still a little bit too sweet for me. Had no problem getting the sugar to dissolve though, just make sure you have a large pot and the heat on low. I also halved some of the broader pieces of rhubarb so the juices could come out easier.Will make again!
27th Nov, 2016
BEST JAM EVER! I just made this recipe two times over to give as Christmas gifts. It's a good job it made 9 (irregular sized) jars as I NEED to keep one! It has an exquisite sweet/tart flavour. The recipe is perfect - you don't need to add any water. I took Delia's advice and did not scoop scum off the top and just added a small knob of butter at the end to dissolve the foam and that worked perfectly. The set looks to be good too. This is a keeper for me.
17th Jul, 2016
Really really nice jam! Not too sweet or sharp. I didn't remove any scum and was perfectly fine.
3rd Jul, 2016
Absolutely amazing jam! Will make it again. I followed the recipe exactly. Didn't add water, just started it on a low heat. It turned watery on its own. I did remove scum but was sad to see some of the vanilla seeds go too. Doesn't effect the taste though.
11th May, 2016
This is so amazing! Where has this been all my life?! It was so easy and quick to make. Having read all the comments about sugar not dissolving I checked other recipes and found this near-identical one which says to stir the rhubarb sugar and lemon together and leave for a couple of hours to let the juices seep out and dissolve the sugar. It worked perfectly and glad I did it that way as I think water might have made it quite runny. Only downside is it only makes 3 jars! http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1091639/rhubarb-and-ginger-jam
29th May, 2015
Agree with past reviewers who said the recipe was easy, kitchen smells wonderful etc but was a bit concerned there was no liquid listed in the ingredients so I couldn't see how the sugar would dissolve or the rhubarb would cook. So after about 15 minutes of stirring on the heat and no sign of disolving sugar or softening rhubarb I took the decision to add some tap water, about half a cup or so. The rhubarb cooked & the sugar dissolved quickly. I didn't bother skimming during the boiling just at the end to remove the black vanilla pods as the flavour was already in the jam by then. Other than this I followed the recipe exactly! ;-) The amount of sugar (I used Tate & Lyle jam sugar which has pectin in it) and vanilla pods both from my local Co-op. The vanilla pods were expensive (£4.30 for just two) but were fair trade so... I will be making this again with my alterations as I'm lucky enough to have several rhubarb plants on my allotment and can only eat so much crumble!!
7th Feb, 2015
My kitchen smells gorgeous! This is the first time making this jam and it is perfect. Fantastic colour, having used Yorkshire forced pink rhubarb and 2 tbs of vanilla paste. Produced 900g of jam. Delicious!!
21st Sep, 2014
Smells nice but I have had a little hicup. Like another review everythingbegan to weld to the bottom of the pan. Guess I must have had heat too high and possibly wrong sort of pan. Anyway, decided to try and save it by turning heat low & adding top of water. Seems to have improved but not sure end result will be jam as I know it but will be a tasty sauce to use with pudding. Other than operator error receive easy to follow. Will try again.


30th Oct, 2017
I am confused, does this recipe need water? If so, how much? You can't boil without liquid of some kind can you?
goodfoodteam's picture
8th Nov, 2017
Thanks for your question. During the gentle heating at the beginning, the rhubarb will start to break down and become pulpy. Some lemon juice is also added. This is sufficient liquid for the recipe. Hope that helps!
12th Jul, 2016
Just made this jam, and it's still runny even after 25 minutes of boiling? Will it set as its cools? Also it is VERY sweet? I have a sweet tooth so it's fine but maybe next time I'd only add the one vanilla pod?
goodfoodteam's picture
9th Aug, 2016
Thanks for your question. You can test to see if the jam will set using the chilled plate test mentioned in point 2 above. If it doesn't set, then you will need to continue bubbling away. Changing the quantity of vanilla pods won't have much effect on sweetness. If you used a small lemon, try using a bigger one as this will counteract some of the sweetness. Hope that helps!
Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe...Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.
Want to receive regular food and recipe web notifications from us?