Easy Rhubarb Jam Recipe

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Preserve spring rhubarb in a sweet soft-set jam for spooning over desserts or yogurt. This rhubarb jam recipe needs just three ingredients and includes very simple instructions.


Spring rhubarb is the earliest homegrown treat but it only lasts a short while. After spring you’ll need to wait another year to taste it again so while the stems are red you should set about making red rhubarb jam. Especially sweet soft-set jam that can be spooned over pancakes, desserts, ice cream, and buttered bread. This recipe will make four small jars so if you’d like more, double (or triple!) the amounts.

There’s a lot to be said for early spring rhubarb. It’s more tender, redder, and has a more delicate flavor than summer rhubarb. This is, even more, the case if you grow or buy ‘Forced’ rhubarb. It can set you back up to £1 per stem but it’s very easy to grow yourself — it’s just rhubarb that’s been grown in the dark. If you have a rhubarb plant in your garden, place an upended pot or bin over the plant in winter. Leave it there until early spring and then harvest the sweet red stalks as early as February. Take the covering off completely in April and don’t force the same plant two years in a row.

Preserve spring rhubarb in a sweet soft-set jam for spooning over desserts or yogurt. Just three ingredients and very simple instructions #rhubarbrecipe #preserving #jamrecipe

Easy Rhubarb Jam Recipe

Use this recipe to make jars of sweet and tangy rhubarb jam. Once made, it has a shelf-life of one year and is a great way to preserve tender and pink spring rhubarb. You only need three ingredients for this recipe including jam sugar. If you are unable to find jam sugar — sugar with added pectin already in it — then you can use ordinary white sugar and add pectin. Each pectin brand is different so please follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how much to use and when to add it.

More Rhubarb Inspiration

Easy Rhubarb Jam Recipe

Lovely Greens
Preserve spring rhubarb in a sweet soft-set jam for spooning over desserts or yogurt. Just three ingredients and very simple instructions. Makes 3-4 120g jars (2-3 340g jars). I prefer using smaller jars so that the jam is used up more quickly
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Resting time 12 hours
Total Time 13 hours
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 3 Jars
Calories 260 kcal


  • Jam jars and lids
  • Easy-fill jam funnel
  • Deep bottomed pot


  • 1 Kg Red rhubarb stems (2.2 lbs)
  • 1 Kg Jam sugar (2.2 lbs / see note on using ordinary sugar below)
  • 4 tsp Lemon juice



  • Make sure to sterilize your jars, lids, and rings before you begin. You can run them through the dishwasher or wash them with hot soapy water. If choosing the latter, make sure to rinse them well and dry them with a clean tea towel.

Make Rhubarb Jam

  • Rinse the rhubarb stems in cool water and then trim the leaves and bottom of the stem. Slice the stems into 1/2" pieces and place them in a large saucepan. Pour the sugar over the rhubarb, stir to cover all the pieces, and then let sit overnight. You can leave the fruit on the counter but make sure to cover it with the pan lid.
  • Overnight the sugar will have drawn the juices out of the rhubarb and the pieces will look slightly shriveled. Pulling the juice out of the 'fruit' will help keep the pieces from falling apart completely in the jam-making process.
  • Now place the pan on your hob and bring to a boil. Add the lemon juice and stir carefully for about five minutes, trying not to break up the pieces.

Bottling the Rhubarb Jam

  • Spoon or funnel the jam into clean, sterilized jars and screw the lids on fully but not super tight. This is called finger tight.
  • Though most people don't water-bath jams and jellies in the UK, it's a far safer food preserving practice. Water bath canning both sterilizes and preserves high-acid food like jams, jellies, pickles, and chutneys. Doing this extra step will ensure that your preserves won't go off, grow mold, or otherwise become inedible.

Water Bathing the Jars

  • Lower the jars into a large pot of boiling water using a jar lifter. It's best to have a rack or folded up tea towel at the bottom of the pan so that the jars don't come into direct contact with the main heat source. Make sure the water covers the jars by about an inch and that there's at least half an inch of space between the jars and the pan and between the jars themselves.
  • Wait for the water to come back to a boil. After it has, set a timer for 10 minutes. Next, take the jars back out and set them on a towel on the kitchen counter. Leave them for at least 12 hours to cool down. With metal lids, you'll hear pops as the lids seal. Tattler lids don't make this sound so don't worry if you don't hear anything. When cooled, store in a cool cupboard but refrigerate after opening. This jam has a shelf-life of 12 months.


Jam sugar is white sugar that has had pectin already added. It’s a quick and easy sugar for making preserves with all types of fruit, especially those that are low in pectin. If you do not have access to jam sugar, you can substitute this ingredient for ordinary white sugar and pectin. Please refer to the pectin brand’s instructions since each can be a little different.


Calories: 260kcal
Keyword jam recipe, Rhubarb
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Recipe Rating


  1. Christine says:

    Wondering what you mean by “only lasts a short while”? Are you referring only to the spring rhubarb? That I get, but otherwise, I harvest for well over four months. I live in Minnesota where the rule is to harvest in any month that doesn’t contain an “r”. I don’t adhere strictly to that advice. I start pulling stalks in late ApRil as soon as they have reached an acceptable height, probably 8″ or so, then work at finding someone, anyone, to take the unending production of stalks at the outsides of the plant that have to either be harvested, or pulled and composted. By SeptembeR, the quality of the stalks is definitely not like the early harvest, but I have still used it to make rhubarb custard desserts as a last hurrah.

    Rhubarb is almost a weed the way it grows and spreads. One year I divided a root into clumps, but couldn’t find spots for the divisions. It snowed and froze before I could get them in the ground. Come spring, even the above ground roots were producing leaves and stalks. Those root clumps continued to grow in the compost bin. The rhubarb had such a will to live that I gave up on trying to dispose of it and stuffed it into spots at the edge of the lot line.

    1. I think you didn’t read past the first paragraph. Spring rhubarb is also called forced rhubarb and red right the way through the stem.

    2. I guess it only lasts a short while as it gets eaten so quickly!

  2. Ann H Myers says:

    After your first batch of rhubarb has been pulled, keep watering the plant and you will have more rhubarb coming up. I water and get 3 batches in the spring and summer. Rhubarb loves water. Ann I live in the USA (NY State)

  3. 5 stars
    In have a lot of rhubarb that I have frozen can I do this with it.

  4. Use the same quantity of ordinary sugar and add Pectin as instructed on the back of the box.

  5. Looks great. You should try Marionberry or Tayberry jam.