Rhubarb & vanilla jam

Rhubarb & vanilla jam

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(64 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
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  • 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…


  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.

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Comments, questions and tips

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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.
1st Sep, 2014
This is absolutely gorgeous jam! I will definitely be making it again. Invest in good quality vanilla, it really does add to the flavour.
31st May, 2014
I have made this jam now for a few years and I can't make enough of it! I'm lucky to have an abundance of rhubarb in my own garden so its a great way of saving this fab fruit. I find using one vanilla pod rather than two is just right to keep that sweet and sour flavour equally balanced and a way of making double quantities on a budget!
17th Apr, 2014
This jam was my 1st attempt at jam making and it was amazing, it tasted just like rhubarb and custard sweets. This will be a regular jam in our house. Thank you for sharing this recipe x
6th Oct, 2013
My first attempt at jam making. Did it exactly as the recipe and turned out fab. Will make again and again.
5th Sep, 2013
I have made this twice - it's simply brilliant!
19th Aug, 2013
Have never made jam before - I LOVE IT!!! Easy quick and simple. I used 1 pod and vanilla essence. Thanks


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