Rhubarb Lavender Jam

June 23, 2009 at 10:55 am 19 comments

Rhubarb Lavender Jam

This is it, folks.  This is the last recipe in the official Rhubarb Fest here on SFTF.  Won’t you miss that glaring shade of pink font?  There may be a few stragglers to come, but both my kitchen and my garden have moved on from the ephemeral spring beauty of rhubarb to the boisterous abundance of early summer.   Now that my harvest basket is brimming daily with sugar snap peas, kohlrabi, beets, lettuces, radishes, broccoli and more, it’s tough to stay focused on one exclusive ingredient.  Can you blame me? 

Rhubarb bunch in blue

But celebrating rhubarb has been fun, hasn’t it?  I discovered several new and delicious recipes, all of which astonishingly excluded strawberries, rhubarb’s bestest buddy ever!   Of course I saved the best for last.   This batch of Rhubarb Lavender Jam combines so many of my favorite flavors: sassy rhubarb, floral lavender, and wildflower honey, all of which came out of my garden in one way or another.    I also love that this jam does not require any pectin.  It’s not that I mind pectin in my jam.  I just mind the inevitable realization that I used up the last of my stash and never remembered to replace it (pectin’s tough to find in bulk here in the city so I buy mine at the little local store by my parents’ farm when I’m visiting). 

Honey and lavender

If you’re not a master jam maker – and I certainly don’t consider myself to be one like Tigress in a Jam, the creator of this recipe – this is an easy beginners batch.  The ingredients take minimal processing and you can’t really mess it up as you can keep cooking it if you aren’t sure that its ready to set up.  Rhubarb takes a licking and keeps on ticking like that.   And this jam does indeed set up beautifully.

Rhubarb mascerating with lavender florets

If you’re not a big fan of lavender but you like the sound of rhubarb jam, I’m certain you could make this without the herbal addition.  Or, better yet, try an herb you do like, maybe rosemary, mint, or even chamomile.    And, yes, strawberries could make an appearance too if you don’t want plain ol’ boring rhubarb.   Oh dear, have I given you the impression that I don’t like strawberries?  Oh, but I do!  In fact, I have two large patches of alpine strawberry plants – one in my garden and one in large containers on my deck – that I just can’t wait to start picking from, likely beginning next week as the first berries are just taking on color.  But I really do like showcasing rhubarb as a  luscious “fruit” not to be upstaged by that perky juicy red berry. 

Jam in jars

Oh, would you like to know my goal for next year?  To make this same recipe using only ingredients I’ve grown myself.  My lemon tree, which is currently sitting in a large clay pot in my garden and growing like mad, should be bearing plenty of lemons next spring.  And instead of sugar, I’m going to try using ground stevia, a sweet herb I currently grow to sweeten my homemade herbal tea blends.  I’m growing enough of it this year that I should have cups of it dried and ground for storing over the winter.   Fun, huh? 

Jam on toast


Rhubarb Lavender Jam
Adapted from Tigress in a Jam

6 C. rhubarb, finely chopped
2 ½ C. granulated sugar
2 lemons
5-8 fresh lavender sprigs
7 oz. wildflower honey

Wash the rhubarb thoroughly and cut any thick stalks in half lengthwise.  Finely chop rhubarb and measure out six cups into a large ceramic bowl.  Add sugar, juice of one lemon, and the florets only of the lavender.  Stir gently to make sure all the rhubarb is coated and the sugar is not sitting at the bottom of the bowl.  Cover with a plate or foil and set in the fridge to macerate overnight.

The next morning, place one or two small plates in the freezer for later use. Gather five small jam jars and sterilize either in the dishwasher or by place a small amount of water in the bottom of each one an microwaving them for 3 minutes on high.  Empty out any remaining water and set aside.  Meanwhile, place the lids in a shallow pan, covered with water, and simmer on the stove until ready to use. 

Place the rhubarb mixture in a fine mesh strainer and collect juice in a non-reactive (stainless steel) pan. Add honey and bring the liquid to a boil. Skim any foam that collects on top and continue boiling until it is very hot and steaming, about 4-5 minutes.

Add the rhubarb mixture to the liquid in the pan and return it to a boil, carefully skimming any foam that gathers on top.  Add juice of the other lemon and continue cooking at a boil for 5-6 minutes, stirring and skimming as needed.

Take jam off heat and use a potato masher to break up any remaining solid pieces of rhubarb. Check the set of the jam by taking a plate from the freezer and dropping a small spoonful of jam on it and let it sit for a moment.  Pass a finger through the middle of the jam.  If it is set, there will be a clear line left behind.   If the jam runs back together, return the pot to the heat and boil for another minute or two and try the “set test” again with a fresh plate from the freezer.  Repeat as needed to get the jam to set.

Remove the simmering lids from the stove and drain off the water.  Put a sterilized jar in a small bowl (to catch any drips and to protect your hands from the heat) and ladle hot jam into it.  Wipe the rim and threaded mouth clean before screwing on the lid.  Turn upside down to cool and repeat until all jam is in jars. 

After an hour or two, turn jars up right and let cool completely.  Check to see if lids sealed by pressing on them.  If they give or pop, they are not sealed and must be stored in the fridge.  If they have sealed, store in a cupboard.  This makes a small batch so I did not bother to process them in a hot water bath.  If you wish to make larger batches or store for a long length of time, follow these instructions

(makes 4-5 half pint jars)

Entry filed under: Preserves, Recipes. Tags: , , , , , .

Cinnamon Rhubarb Muffins June Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

19 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Iva  |  June 23, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    Inspired by your rhubarb fest I tried my hands on some for the first time last weekend and made your rhubarb cinnamon muffins. They turned out great! By the way (I don’t know where you live) Whole Foods carries pectin.

    • 2. Jennie  |  June 23, 2009 at 8:20 pm

      So glad you tried the muffins! And thanks for the feedback…I love hearing how recipes turned out for others. Thanks for the tip on Whole Foods. I know most grocery stores do carry it…I just happen to like to buy it in bulk rather than paying so much for a little packet every time I want to make jam. I’m a greedy jam maker. 🙂

  • 3. Mangochild  |  June 24, 2009 at 5:41 am

    Thank you! I’ve been loving the rhubarb fest – now is the time for it 🙂 I will try the jam this weekend…. I made rhubarb/cranberry handpies, rhubarb muffins… rhubarb jam would be great. And even better that it doesn’t need pectin!

  • 4. Becky and the Beanstock  |  June 24, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    How poetic! Lavender elevates cooking to the level of art, and this is lovely and vibrant. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • 5. Pozycjonowanie  |  June 25, 2009 at 4:18 am

    Mmmm looks delicious. Although I think lavender is here solely for decorative purpouses. Also I tried adding some cinnamon to one of the jars and it turned out quite ok.

    • 6. Jennie  |  June 25, 2009 at 6:19 am

      Pozycjonawanie – Actually, the lavender flavor is quite pronounced in my batch and not at all decorative in the final jam. Did you use florets or leaves? The cinnamon is a good idea!

  • 7. Louise  |  June 27, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    Why am I thinking crumpets? Rhubarb Lavender Jam and Crumpets.

    It sure has been fun discovering your Rhubarb recipes Jennie…An ambitious task of using home grown ingredients, next year. I just know you can do it!!!

    Look see what we had at the Picnic!

    • 8. Jennie  |  June 29, 2009 at 5:29 pm

      LOVE the picnic, Louise! Glad you enjoyed the rhubarb posts. And, yes!, crumpets are a wonderful thought for this jam! 🙂

  • 9. Morta Di Fame  |  June 30, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    Gorgeous photos and jam 🙂

  • 10. à la ganache  |  July 1, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    This jam looks delicious!

  • 11. Mid-week holiday « Diggin’ the Dirt  |  July 1, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    […] particularly impressed with the Rhubarb Lavender Jam, a recipe I originally got from Straight from the Farm but adapted using the powdered pectin and I […]

  • 12. Flowers  |  July 9, 2009 at 6:35 am

    Definitely intrigued me!! Sounds like the time paid off. I had to come read the recipe after reading what it’s called.

  • 13. tigress  |  July 15, 2009 at 6:28 am

    hi jennie,

    your site is great and your photos are lovely. I just had a reader come over to mine and tell me about your rhubarb lavender jam post. how great that you made it!

    love all your gardening going on in your plot of the world!

    …we’re practically neighbors! 😉

    i’ve added you to my feed and look forward to what you have in store his summer.

  • 14. Maija Haavisto  |  January 7, 2011 at 5:09 am

    Sounds yummy. I think the chamomile version would be good too. It’s a shame that the rhubarb you get here isn’t very red. E.g. if you make a sorbet with it it’s going to be roughly lime green, since there’s very little red pigments.

    I’m not sure how well stevia would work. I find it has its own taste and for something as tart as rhubarb you’d need to add quite a lot. But it does work better with some flavours as others. And you could surely replace at least some of the sugar with it.

  • 15. Jw  |  May 17, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    hi my jam looks green is it because the rhubarb is too green? I never get red rhubarb jam why is this Help any one ??

  • 16. pistol targets paper  |  May 11, 2013 at 4:24 pm

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  • […] can download the cute labels on the jars here. I love them! And yesterday I started a Rhubarb Lavender Jam. It was supposed to sit overnight and then cook today. It was yum!! Jason is baking bread right […]

  • 18. Kristin McNeil  |  May 20, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    I have dried lavender buds. How much should I use? Thanks! This looks amazing!

  • 19. Rhubarb Roundup  |  June 24, 2017 at 5:20 pm

    […] Rhubarb Lavender Jam […]


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