Rhubarb and Apple jam is a rich rosy rhubarb jam dotted with chunks of soft sweet apple. Delicious on hot crusty toast or on a warm scone.
I was recently kindly gifted some rhubarb by my neighbour. It’s now in season in the UK. Growing up near Ludlow my dad grew forests of the stuff and and we made it into everything possible. We had it stewed, brewed, crumbled, baked, caked and in every pie variation possible, until it finally fell out of season.
Don't even start me on how many gooseberries we got through.
In later years, when my boys were little, we came up with another, if rather unconventional, use for a stick of rhubarb. This involved brandishing a stick high in the air and charging around the garden in the newly and imaginatively contrived sport of Rhubarb Tag, which I think was invented by my dad. He was, and still is, the biggest kid of all. Whoever got tagged by the stick of doom would then pick it up and then chase the rest, you get the idea. It was good fun. Lots of squealing and laughter 🤣. Happy days.
For an easy Raspberry Jam check out my
Victoria Sponge, Raspberry Jam and Vanilla Buttercream recipe
Why make this Rhubarb and Apple jam?
A not-too-sweet jam full of delicious stewed rhubarb flavours ✔️
Texture is enhanced with chunks of Bramley apple ✔️
Makes at least 2 medium Kilner jars full of jam, one to eat and one to keep ✔️
Great to keep and consume through the autumn and winter months ✔️
Rhubarb: try to use the pinkest rhubarb you can find. Simply because your Rhubarb and Apple jam will come out a lovely rosy pink colour. Green rhubarb is however perfectly fine to use, your jam will just be a touch darker, but just as sweet and delicious.
Bramley apples (cooking apples): Twice as big and twice as sturdy as an eating apple, this mother of all apples holds her form and texture in our jam perfectly. I always use Bramley apples when baking, such as in my Biscoff Apple Crumble, simply because they don't turn to mush. The other reason we use Bramley apples is because they are high in pectin, so they help our Rhubarb and Apple jam to set.
Jam sugar: rhubarb falls a bit short when it comes to pectin. Pectin is required so that our jam sets. Fruits such as apples, lemons and oranges have pectin aplenty. To ensure that our jam sets properly we use jam sugar with comes with it's own supply of pectin added.
Cinnamon: ½ a teaspoon of ground cinnamon is added for a little extra flavouring.
Large, heavy based, wide saucepan
Sterilised jars (for instructions go to Sterilising Glass Jars)
See end of post RECIPE CARD for precise quantities and instructions
- Chop your rhubarb into 3 inch pieces, (don't worry about being too precise) and add to your large, wide based saucepan.
- Thoroughly mix in your jam sugar and water, and leave to infuse together for 10 minutes.
- Chop your cooking apples into chunks and stir into the rhubarb and sugar.
- Sprinkle over your ground cinnamon and mix in.
- Heat steadily on a medium heat, stirring throughout, until all of the sugar granules have dissolved.
- Turn up the heat and bring the mixture to a rolling boil, continually stirring.
- Turn the heat down to medium-high and simmer, continually stirring so that the Rhubarb and Apple jam doesn’t stick to the pan base.
- After 15 minutes reduce the heat to medium and keep at a constant simmer, stirring often to ensure the jam doesn’t stick to the pan base.
- After another 15 minutes or so you will notice that your jam starts to reduce and thicken. Once it reaches 105°C on a sugar thermometer, or forms a set blob with a skin on it when placed on your cold plate, it is ready.
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
- Ladle into sterilised jars.
Check the temperature of your Rhubarb and Apple Jam using a sugar thermometer. Jam is set when it reaches 105°C.
OR (and this is my preferred method)...
At the same time as you start to make your jam pop a plate into your freezer.
Once your bubbling pot of lava like jam has reduced a little and you see it start to become a little thicker, take your plate from the freezer, blob a little jam on it (be careful, this stuff is so hot it'll have your skin off) and set aside.
Whilst you wait to see if your blob is just a blob or a blob of proper jam, take your bubbling cauldron off the heat.
After about 1 minute give your blob a bit of a nudge and see if its top skin wrinkles a little. If so we have jam my friends! If not return your pan to the boil and test it again every couple of minutes.
- Use fresh rhubarb. Don't use rhubarb that has gone a bit soft. The inside structure of fresh rhubarb is tightly compacted. Rhubarb that has gone over becomes sad and floppy and the insides deteriorate so they leave little holes throughout the stem.
- Use crisp, fresh cooking apples.
- Don't be tempted to increase the quantities of ingredients to make more jam, instead make separate batches. Making more jam in one pot will mean it takes longer to reach setting point and this affects the quality of your Rhubarb and Apple Jam.
- Scum may rise to the surface when your jam is at setting point, skim this off or stir in a knob of butter to dissolve it.
- Don't worry too much if you are not 100% sure if your jam is ready. Err on the side of caution and remove it from the heat if you think it is ready. Better to have runny jam rather than stiff and overcooked jam. As long as it has become like thick syrup it will be fine. Believe me, I’ve overcooked jam before and we could have grouted the walls with it 🤣 so don’t risk it!
- If storing your jam for some time, cover it with a waxed disc to help prevent mould forming.
You can use normal white granulated sugar instead of jam sugar in this Rhubarb and Apple Jam. If you do though you need to add the juice of a lemon as this will assist with pectin forming/jam setting.
You can use eating apples rather than cooking apples. The flavours will still be lovely, but you might not have as many nuggets of apple nestling within the jam because eating apples will dissolve more easily.
Did you make this Rhubarb and Apple Jam? If so, please do leave a star ⭐rating at the end of this post.
Opened jars of Rhubarb and Apple jam can be stored in your refridgerator for 1 month.
Jam stored in sterilised and sealed jars will keep in a cool, dry and dark place for up to 12 months.
How long should jam simmer for?
Should my jam cool before I seal the jar?
Can you boil jam too long?
If you want to try a homemade raspberry jam try my Victoria Sponge, Raspberry Jam and Vanilla Buttercream
- Small plate or sugar thermometer
- Heavy based, very large, wide saucepan
- Wooden spoon
- Sterilised jars
- 1 kg rhubarb trimmed, washed and cut into 3 inch pieces
- 100 ml water
- 1 kg jam sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 250 g Bramley cooking apples chopped weight (about 2 medium apples)
- Place a small plate into your freezer to chill (if not using a sugar thermometer).
- Add your rhubarb, water and sugar to your large pan and mix thoroughly so that all of the sugar is soaked through.
- Set aside and leave to continue to soak through and infuse for 10 minutes.
- Peel, core and chop your apples into small cubes of about 2cm.
- Add your apple and cinnamon to your rhubarb and mix in.
- Heat on a medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar granules have all dissolved (this can take 20-30 minutes). Make sure you scrape the sugar in from the sides of the pan.
- When the sugar grains can no longer be seen (check the bottom of the pan to check that none are visible) turn up the heat to medium-high and bring to boiling point.
- Once your jam is at boiling turn back down to a medium-high heat and simmer, stirring constantly for 15 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to medium and leave to simmer, stirring frequently so that your jam doesn't burn on the base of the pan, for another 15 minutes OR until the jam starts to reduce and thicken.
- When you see your jam start to reduce and thicken test it with a sugar thermometer. Once it reaches 105°C remove it from the heat. Or take your plate from the freezer and pop a blob of jam on it (remove your pan of jam from the heat whilst you so this, so that it doesn't continue to cook). Leave it for 1 minute and then give it a nudge to see it has a jammy consistency and if the skin on the top wrinkles a little. If it does the jam is ready, If not then return the pan to the heat but keep testing every 2 minutes as it will easily caramelise if you leave it too long.
- Leave your jam to cool for about 15 minutes and then fill your hot sterilised jars to the top. Give the jar a tap on the counter top to release any air bubbles and wipe the rims with a clean cloth before sealing.