Rhubarb is plentiful and in season right now and there are many ways to use it. This quick and easy rhubarb freezer jam recipe is made without pectin, requires little time and effort and tastes great! It’s tasty and not too sweet, perfect for toast and pancakes. It’s a great beginner’s project (handed down from my great-grandmother) for those who don’t want to tackle canning just yet.
Rhubarb is technically a vegetable, similar in appearance to celery with large leaves. It can be red or green in color. The leaves are poisonous and should be safely disposed of after the rhubarb is picked. Rhubarb plants can be found in greenhouses and is sold fresh and frozen in a number of grocery stores. Ask your friends and neighbors—they may have a rhubarb patch you can pick from or transplant into your own yard. It grows from the ground once the climate warms (the typical growing season is between late April and early July) and will quickly grow again after it is cut.
- Six pounds of rhubarb
- Ten cups of white superfine sugar
Wash and dice the rhubarb. When rhubarb is cut, even by a well-sharpened knife, strings can usually be detached from the stalk and thrown away. Mix the cut rhubarb in a large bowl with the sugar. Let the mixture stand in the fridge overnight. This allows the rhubarb to become juicy, enhancing the tart-sweet flavor.
The next morning, cook the rhubarb and sugar mixture in a large pot on the stove. Bring it to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook the jam until it is thick in texture. Test the texture by dipping a spoon in the jam and tipping it to the side. Once the jam slides slowly off the spoon, it is done. The texture will be similar to store-bought jam.
If you prefer to use it as syrup, reduce the cooking time. Depending on the original texture of the rhubarb, the cooking times vary. Often it takes between one to three hours to cook to the desired consistency.
Allow the jam to cool completely. Pack into jars or plastic freezer containers and seal tightly. Rhubarb jam can be stored in the fridge for up to three weeks or in the freezer for up to one year.
Variations on the Original Recipe
This recipe makes eight pints. One pound of rhubarb is equal to four cups. If you want to reduce the recipe, simply reduce the amounts of rhubarb and sugar by the same ratio. For example, you could use eight cups (two pou
nds) of rhubarb to three and a half cups of sugar. You can always taste the jam before it is done cooking and increase the sugar to your liking, one-quarter cup at a time.
Additionally, you can stir in a three ounce package of strawberry jello powder after the cooking process is complete. In my opinion, this makes it too sweet, although it does add a red color to the jam.
Rhubarb jam tastes amazing on toast, pancakes and biscuits. It’s a great treat that can remind you of spring and summer all year long!