Delicious, naturally sweetened honey rhubarb ginger jam is made with just five ingredients and takes less than 40 minutes start to finish.
This sweet-tart jam is perfect for gifting as well as eating on everything from toast to ice cream. Directions are included for canning with a regular stockpot or choose to freeze the jam.
I didn't grow up with rhubarb, but once I started gardening and discovered how easy this perennial fruit was to grow I planted it and now I am hooked on this tart fruit (that's actually a vegetable, but it's mostly used as a fruit).
However I'm not a huge fan of large chunks of rhubarb cooked into pies or crisps. It's a texture issue (or stringy issue - whatever you want to call it).
So I either dice it up really small, or cook it down because then what's left is just that great rhubarb flavor.
Which is exactly what you'll get with this recipe for honey rhubarb ginger jam - lot of tart rhubarb flavor sweetened with honey and just a touch of ginger to add some zing.
Lower Sugar Rhubarb Jam
I used to think (like many others, I'm guessing) that because rhubarb was tart, you needed to use a lot of sugar in anything you made with it. Like a LOT - many recipes call for more sugar than fruit.
But the more I work to decrease the amount of sugar we eat in our homemade foods, the more we find we don't need all that sugar.
And using only a natural sugar allows the nice, complex flavor of rhubarb to not be completely covered up with heaps of sugar.
And this jam is so easy, making just a small batch of 3 half-pint jars, it's a great way to try out not only cooking rhubarb with less sugar, but also trying your hand at canning if you haven't before.
Honey Rhubarb Ginger Jam
Five simple ingredients are all you need:
- rhubarb (fresh or frozen), about 1-1/2 pounds
- lemon juice (required for acidity for canning, do not omit)
How do you clean and prepare rhubarb?
If harvesting from a garden patch, cut off the poisonous leaves before bringing inside. Once inside, cut off the bottom root end and use a vegetable brush to gently clean each stalk under running water.
Then chop into the slices or dices needed for your recipe.
You do not need to peel tender early season stalks, but may want to if using tougher later season stalks.
These are the kind of recipes we love:
1. Throw all the ingredients into a saucepan and cook until thick and syrupy (which is only about 20 minutes).
2. Ladle into three half-pint jars and seal with canning lids and rings.
3. Lower jars into a pan of boiling water, covered, for 10 minutes. (Alternately, you can freeze the jars.)
TIP: You can use a regular stock pot for canning small batches - and if you don't have a rack that fits, use canning jar rings, like shown in the photo above, to keep the jars elevated from the bottom of the pot.
In less than 45 minutes you can have home-canned, honey-sweetened jam!
Canned, this jam will store for up to 18 months on the shelf. If you choose to freeze it, it should be good for a year before losing quality.
Wondering what to use this jam on?
It's wonderful on toast, of course, and also makes a delicious and different peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Warmed a bit, it's a refreshing topping for vanilla ice cream.
I'm sure there's more - what would you use this jam for?
Honey Rhubarb Ginger Jam FAQ
Yes! This works just the same with fresh or frozen chopped rhubarb.
No, you don't need added pectin. The rhubarb mixed with the lemon juice and honey will thicken on it's own even though it's considered a low-pectin fruit/vegetable.
If you are using spring rhubarb, the stalks are generally tender enough to be used in jams, pies, and other baked goods without peeling. I never have peeled fruit for this jam.
However, if you are using later season rhubarb the strings of the stalks may be tougher and you may want to peel first.
No, you can freeze the jam in jars or freezer containers. Be sure to leave at least 1-inch space between the jam and the rim of the jar for expansion in the freezer.
"Just finished making this rhubarb jam. My kids were licking the pan clean! Wonderful use for my huge rhubarb patch and LOVE the use of honey instead of unhealthy sugar. Thank you." -Karin
Easy Small Batch Honey Rhubarb Ginger Jam
- Large saucepan
- Canner or large stockpot with rack
- Half-pint jars
- Ladle and wooden spoon
- 4 cups sliced rhubarb, fresh or frozen (about 1-1/2 pounds)
- 1 ½ cups honey
- 1 tablespoons lemon juice (do not omit)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger*
- Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over med-high heat, lower heat and simmer until thickened and smooth, stirring often - about 15 minutes.
- Prepare 3 half pint jars and lids for canning** and start water to boil in a canner (or large stockpot with a rack on the bottom).
- Skim any foam, if needed (I usually don't need to) and ladle into one hot jar at a time leaving 1/4-inch headspace, wiping the rims and attaching lids.
- Process in the boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Turn off burner, remove lid and let jars sit in canner 5 minutes.
- Transfer jars to a towel-lined tray and let cool 12 to 24 hours. Check seals, label and store for up to 18 months.