There is nothing like a sweet and simple rhubarb jam to bring a smile to anyone’s face. Spread it on toast or dollop over ice cream and oatmeal for a special treat.
Rhubarb is one of my favorite vegetables to grow. Did you know that rhubarb is a vegetable? I didn’t realize until I went looking for it at a grocery store and didn’t find it until I walked past the vegetable aisle.
It’s one of those mind-boggling facts like how tomatoes are fruit and bananas are technically an herb. Anyway, it is one of my favorites to grow. Mostly because it is the one plant I haven’t accidentally killed and it’s been coming back year after year producing tons of rhubarb stalks for me to use.
I tend to make a few standard recipes such as strawberry rhubarb ice cream and a simple berry rhubarb galette. Without fail though, I always make some rhubarb jam to use for my breakfasts and snacks throughout the summer.
Making the rhubarb jam is just as much of a tradition in my house as is making a cake for someone’s birthday. It just feels wrong not to do it and we always look forward to the first jar.
A lot of rhubarb jam you will find usually has a lot of added flavors, especially ginger, strawberry, and orange. I prefer to celebrate the natural flavor of the rhubarb.
The lemon doesn’t add flavor, but instead enhances the flavor of the rhubarb. If you do want to play with the flavors, you can use the ones mentioned above (adding grated ginger, a cup of chopped strawberries, or replacing the lemon with orange), or you can experiment with extracts such as almond or vanilla.
You can also try adding plum, mint, cardamom, or replacing some of the sugar with honey. If you want to try using honey, I don’t recommend replacing all the sugar with honey as the flavor of the honey can become overwhelming instead of complementary.
At first, we would only use the rhubarb jam on toast, but I’ve loved spreading my horizons and use it on nearly anything that needs a sweet pop of summer joy. I love adding it to overnight oats or adding it to cheeseboards.
When I don’t feel like making a batch of ice cream, I will instead add a few dollops to whatever ice cream we have around. I’ve also added it to marinades and salad dressing. You can really take it as far as your imagination will allow.
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