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Rhubarb Jam with Cayenne & Strawberry Jam

I have two recipes on this post. Rhubarb Jam and Strawberry Jam. You can find the Strawberry Jam recipe after the Rhubarb Jam.  The key to both recipes is to use a candy thermometer to measure the temperature of the Jam. Once it reaches 210 -218 degrees F the sugar will break down and cause the Jam to set and become thickened enough to be considered Jam. 

It’s a soft set Jam. Not a Jello like thick Jam you purchase at the grocery store. This soft set works as a topping over ice cream and cakes too!

Rhubarb comes in many varieties. My neighbor Ruth Clark has “strawberry rhubarb” plants which have more red color towards the interior of the stalks of rhubarb. Plus the strawberry variety retains its red color. Isn’t it pretty?


Here I spread my rhubarb jam on buttered toast and sprinkled it with flaked sea salt. I served it with a fried egg. The egg yolk was broken and melted with cheddar cheese. Then I sprinkled it with smoked paprika and flaked sea salt.


I’ve made many different jam recipes. Now I always use a candy thermometer! I cooked the jam to 210 degrees F. It turns out perfect every time! It took about 30 minutes of cooking.


4 pounds trimmed rhubarb, cut in small pieces

4 cups sugar

1 lemon, cut in half, and juiced and include the seeds which have lots of pectin to thicken the jam!

1 and 1/2 cups water

1/8 teaspoon or so cayenne pepper is optional. Combine it with the water for easy mixing if you want.

  • In a large bowl combine the rhubarb, sugar, lemon halves, juice and seeds, and water. Let sit 1 hour at room temperature 

  • Pour this colorful mix into a large cooking pot and bring it to a boil over medium high heat. Stir almost constantly to prevent sticking. Add the cayenne if you like a little kick!
  • After 15 minutes lower to a slower boil at medium heat. Boil another 15 minutes and use a candy thermometer to measure the temperature. Stir frequently! When it reaches 210 F, remove from the heat. Check my video to see what a slower boil looks like.

Here is the rhubarb jam simmering:


Here is the strawberry jam simmering:


My method of canning is to use boiling hot jars, boiling hot utensils and then process the filled jars for 5 minutes. Here’s how I do it.

  • In a large pot of boiling water place your 8 – 8 ounce canning jars for at least 5 minutes. Keep them in the hot water until you are ready to fill them.
  • In a small pan of hot, but not boiling water place your 8 canning lids.
  • Use utensils that have been boiled at least 5 minutes
  •  Use a funnel to fill the jars
  • Wipe off any spilled jam from jars with a clean paper towel
  • Cover with hot lids
  • In a large pot of boiling water place a kitchen towel to cover the bottom and help keep jars stable
  • Place 6-8 jars in the pot, making sure water covers lids by 2 inches
  • Boil 5-10 minutes
  • Remove from boiling water and cool on your counters.

  • Voila! This takes a day to set and it won’t be as thick as your store bought jam. 😉
  • I adapted this recipe from Leitesculinaria.com.
  • I follow this same procedure for strawberry jam. Except I don’t add water or let the mix sit at room temp an hour before cooking. The quantities needed are:  

8-10 cups or 4 quarts strawberries, washed, dried, stemmed and crushed to measure 6 cups

6 cups sugar

1 lemon, halved, juiced, seeded with seeds included

Optional is to add about 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper or 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper for a kick!

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