Rhubarb and Orange Jam Recipe: Tangy, Sweet, Delicious

Got rhubarb? I love to find new ways to use this versatile, hardy perennial. If you’re looking for a jam that is tangy, sweet, and delicious, you’re in the right place. This rhubarb and orange jam recipe is easy, requires no pectin, and may be used in a variety of ways. Instead of putting orange marmalade on toast, how about this rhubarb orange jam? My favorite smoked orange-glazed pork chops could become my favorite smoked rhubarb orange-glazed pork chops. Just as with my favorite rhubarb pineapple jam, this jam would also make a unique gift. Read on to learn how to make easy rhubarb and orange jam!

Rhubarb and Orange Jam Backstory


Planted years ago by my husband, rhubarb is one of the most faithful returning plants in my garden. It resides between the strawberries and raspberries in the row of permanent plants in the vegetable garden. Our rhubarb plant is quite vigorous and large. If you are interested in growing rhubarb, check out this list of rhubarb’s best companion plants. You might find that a rhubarb plant would make a great addition to your garden.

rhubarb plant
Look at that huge rhubarb plant!

Some people have informed me they could not grow rhubarb. That is always surprising to me. We literally have to do nothing to our rhubarb plant. If you want to feel like a successful gardener, try rhubarb. Ours seems to thrive on neglect. If you have some rhubarb you need to make good use of, this easy rhubarb orange jam recipe is for you!

Uses for Rhubarb

If you have never tasted rhubarb, it’s quite sour. I compare the flavor to sour citrus, but there is something distinctly unique. It is often combined with blueberries, strawberries, or some other sweet fruit in crisp or coffee cake recipes. Do rhubarb and orange go together? This rhubarb recipe calls for sweet oranges to tame the rhubarb’s tang. How do you thicken rhubarb orange jam? The sugar thickens it, as well as boiling the mixture. I’m writing this during rhubarb season, so I used fresh rhubarb. You could also make this rhubarb orange jam recipe any time of the year with frozen, chopped rhubarb, if you have it.

Equipment and Supplies for Rhubarb Orange Jam

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This easy rhubarb jam recipe is ideal for canning. Each recipe variation makes about 6 half-pints, so here is the equipment you need to assemble beforehand. You will need:

6 half-pint canning jars, lids and bands

 

A large boiling water bath canner

A small metal saucepan with lid (for heating the jar lids)

A large stockpot

A large ladle like this one (for putting the jam into jars)

1 set of canning tools (optional, but these sure have made canning easier) 

 

A food processor for chopping the oranges with less mess. I’ve used a little one like this for years. It’s perfect for small chopping jobs.

 

If you have to, you may chop the oranges by hand.

Preparation

Set six canning bands (some call them rings) aside, near where you will be filling the jars.

Place the six glass jars in the water bath canner. The water should cover the jars by at least an inch. Turn the heat to medium-high. Why do we have to boil the jars before we put our jam in? This sterilizes the jars for optimum food safety.

Place six jar lids in the small saucepan with enough water to cover the lids. Cover the pan and heat the water on low. I’ve always been told not to let the water come to a boil. Now it’s time to learn how to can orange and rhubarb jam!

how to make easy orange rhubarb jam ingredients

Ingredients

5 cups fresh or frozen rhubarb, chopped into bite-size pieces

2 oranges, zested and chopped

5 cups sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (optional)

Directions

Chop the rhubarb into bite-sized pieces. Zest the oranges, peel, discard the peels, and chop up the fruit in a blender or food processor. *Quick tip: If you use a fresh lemon, lime or orange in a recipe but don’t need the zest, you can freeze the zest for use in other recipes. I always zest fresh lemons, limes, and oranges if I just need the juice and don’t need the zest right away.

Put the chopped rhubarb, the orange zest, chopped oranges and sugar in the large pot and cook over low heat. Slowly bring the mixture to a boil. If you want a spicy jam, add the cinnamon and cloves. Cook the mixture for about 35 minutes until it thickens.

Remove the boiling mixture from the heat. I like to place mine by the sink on a wooden bread board. Using tongs, if you have them, lift hot jars out of hot water and place the jars in the sink next to the pot of hot jam mixture. Ladle hot jam into jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Once all jars are filled, wipe jar rims. Place lids and bands on jars. Adjust until they are fingertip tight.

Place jars (using a jar-lifter, if you have one) in the hot water bath in the canner. Water should cover the jars by at least one inch. Bring the water to a boil and process the jars for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. When processing is done, remove the jars (again using a jar-lifter, if you have one) and place on a towel to absorb the drips and to cool.

If all has gone as it should, you should hear the jars seal as they cool. When they are cool, press the center of each lid. They should not flex. Label and store the jars in a cool, dry place. The quality is best if used within 12 months. Refrigerate any jars once opened. Scrumptious!

rhubarb orange jam featured image jam jars in a row

Rhubarb and Orange Jam Recipe

This rhubarb and orange jam recipe is easy, requires no pectin, and may be used in a variety of ways.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Processing Time 10 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 6 half-pints
Calories 50 kcal

Equipment

  • 6 Half-pint canning jars, lids and bands
  • 1 Large boiling water bath canner
  • 1 Small metal saucepan with lid
  • 1 Large ladle
  • 1 Set of canning tools optional
  • 1 food processor

Ingredients
  

  • 5 cups fresh or frozen rhubarb chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 2 oranges peeled
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon optional
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves optional

Instructions
 

  • Set six canning bands (some call them rings) aside, near where you will be filling the jars.
  • Place the six glass jars in the water bath canner. The water should cover the jars by at least an inch. Turn the heat to medium-high.
  • Place six jar lids in the small saucepan with enough water to cover the lids. Cover the pan and heat the water on low. I’ve always been told not to let the water come to a boil.
  • Chop the rhubarb into bite-sized pieces.
  • Zest the oranges, peel, discard the peels, and chop up the fruit in a blender or food processor.
  • Put the chopped rhubarb, the orange zest, chopped oranges and sugar in the large pot and cook over low heat. Slowly bring the mixture to a boil. If you want a spicy jam, add the cinnamon and cloves. Cook the mixture for about 35 minutes until it thickens.
  • Remove the boiling mixture from the heat. I like to place mine by the sink on a wooden bread board. Using tongs, if you have them, lift hot jars out of hot water and place the jars in the sink next to the pot of hot jam mixture.
  • Ladle hot jam into jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Once all jars are filled, wipe jar rims. Place lids and bands on jars. Adjust until they are fingertip tight.
  • Place jars (using a jar-lifter, if you have one) in the hot water bath in the canner. Water should cover the jars by at least one inch. Bring the water to a boil and process the jars for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude.
  • When processing is done, remove the jars (again using a jar-lifter, if you have one) and place on a towel to absorb the drips and to cool.
  • If all has gone as it should, you should hear the jars seal as they cool. When they are cool, press the center of each lid. They should not flex.
  • Label and store the jars in a cool, dry place. The quality is best if used within 12 months. Refrigerate any jars once opened. Scrumptious!

Notes

Calories given are per 1 tablespoon of jam.
Keyword canning, jam, orange, rhubarb

Rhubarb Orange Syrup Variation

To make rhubarb orange jam into rhubarb orange syrup, just use an immersion blender (one of my favorite kitchen tools) to smooth out the mixture. You can fill and process the jars as you would for the jam. Rhubarb orange syrup would also make a fabulous gift. It would be great served over pancakes or waffles.

Other Rhubarb and Orange Jam Variations

You could try making this rhubarb and orange jam with blood oranges for rhubarb and blood orange jam. Other rhubarb jam combinations (other than the ones noted near the beginning of the post) could be rhubarb blueberry jam, rhubarb peach jam, or rhubarb apricot jam. Those would be interesting to try. There is an easy rhubarb jam idea for many different kinds of fruit.

What Goes Well With Rhubarb and Orange Jam

This rhubarb orange jam would be delicious served with warm scones at an afternoon tea party. English muffins and toast would get a lift from the tangy flavor. Make chocolate chip zucchini bread even more special with this rhubarb orange jam spread on top of a slice. As noted in the first paragraph, this jam could also be used to make a glaze for smoked meat. Have fun experimenting with the numerous options!

how to make easy orange rhubarb jam Pinterest image jam jar

Common Rhubarb Questions

Does rhubarb have natural pectin? Yes, and that is why there is no pectin needed for this recipe. Any jam made with rhubarb and sugar will naturally gel. If you want a thicker rhubarb jam, you can always add pectin, if you like. What happens if you don’t use pectin in jam? In the case of any rhubarb jam, the jam will not be quite as thick as some jams with added pectin. What can I use instead of pectin for jam? How can I thicken jam without pectin? Sugar is required to help thicken jam made with fruit that has natural pectin.

Do you peel rhubarb for jam? There is no need to peel rhubarb for jam. Just chop the rhubarb and use as needed.

How long does homemade rhubarb jam last? According to the USDA website, canned jam may be stored for 12 months on a pantry shelf. Once opened, it should be refrigerated and used within 6 months.

8 thoughts on “Rhubarb and Orange Jam Recipe: Tangy, Sweet, Delicious”

  1. Rhubarb and Orange jam sounds really good and simple to make. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  2. 5 stars
    This orange and rhubarb jam really sounds delicious. I think it would go great with ham or pork chops (I like adding a touch of sweetness to my pork). I’ll try to find rhubarb somewhere and make it. You’re so lucky to have it in your garden!

    Reply
  3. 5 stars
    I made this rhubarb and orange jam and it was fabulous. It was a lot like orange marmalade with the added pleasing tang of rhubarb. Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
    • Oh, I’m so glad you liked the jam. I’m going to make another batch today!

      Reply

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