Every year I get so excited about rhubarb season, and then often don’t actually get the chance to make anything with it. I have a rhubarb plant in my garden but I’ve moved it ever single year since I got it three years ago (I keep planting it in less-than-ideal places), so it’s never really had a chance to get itself established, and I’ve never gotten a rhubarb harvest from it. But this year I was determined to do something with rhubarb – so I made jam.
This particular jam is a mash-up of two rhubarb jams from Food In Jars, which is a blog I can’t read without immediately getting the urge to make ALL THE JAM. It is a gorgeous candy pink thanks to the ruby-red rhubarb stalks I used, flecked with vanilla seeds and flavoured gently with Earl Grey tea. It’s tart and just sweet enough, and is equally good on toast or stirred into yogurt, plus I have plans to use it in other ways too (stay tuned). This recipe makes a small batch – just one and a half pints of jam – so it’s perfect for those of us without a ton of pantry space, who, due to certain jam-making urges, tend to end up with more jam than they can eat… 😉
Rhubarb Jam with Vanilla and Earl Grey
Adapted from this recipe and this recipe from Food In Jars. Makes 1 – 1 1/2 pints of jam. If you are new to boiling water bath canning, read this post on the process and also be sure to check out the USDA’s home canning guide to make sure you’re doing it safely!
Chop 1 1/4 pounds rhubarb into 1 cm pieces and place in a non-reactive, low-sided wide saucepan.
In a bowl, whisk together:
1 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 of a 57g package of powdered pectin
the seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
Stir the sugar mixture into the rhubarb, then mix in:
the juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/4 cup brewed Earl grey tea
the scraped vanilla bean pod
Place the saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring, until the rhubarb softens and breaks down and the mixture starts to thicken and look jammy (it will be bubbling vigorously and your spoon will leave a trail on the bottom of the saucepan).
Remove the vanilla bean pod. Ladle the jam into 2- or 3 clean half-pint jars, apply the lids and rings, and process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath (see the boiling water bath canning process here).
After 10 minutes at a full boil, turn off the heat and remove the jars from the water once it has stopped boiling. Place the jars on a tea towel and leave them undisturbed until they are completely cool and sealed. Remove the rings for storage and refrigerate any jars that don’t seal properly.