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Rhubarb, Lemon and Vanilla Jam spread on a muffin with rhubarb stalks, lemon half & vanilla pod in background.
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4.80 from 10 votes

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!
Course Snack, teatime
Cuisine British
Keyword no pectin, preserve, rhubarb
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 3 jars
Author Camilla Hawkins


  • 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


  • 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.


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.