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Rhubarb-Orange Jam

Rhubarb-Orange Jam | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

It may come as a surprise to you that I have never made jam before. I have been in the presence of many friends and colleagues who have made jam, but I hid behind my camera. I’ve had the Blue Ribbon Queen of Preserves, Barb Schaller, take me by the hand and show me the ropes, but I was slow to follow, and that is how, all these years later, I’d never gotten around to making my own.

So, when the Ball jar company wrote to me and asked if I’d participate in their CAN-IT-FORWARD event, I said YES. I knew if I didn’t do it now, it may never happen. They were willing to send me everything I’d need, and more, to make jam. No more excuses.

I am happy to tell you that it was WAY easier than I could have ever imagined. I feel even more ridiculous for putting this off for so long. I simply followed the instructions in the Ball Blue Book for rhubarb-orange jam. Next time I will go my own way, but for my virgin run I wanted to do it exactly as they suggested and I wasn’t disappointed. Ok, maybe I added a bit more zest than they said, because I adore it, but that was my only modification. I’m hooked.

Fresh Rhubarb | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

When I moved last year, I left behind my rhubarb plants. My mistake didn’t occur to me until the following spring, when I craved rhubarb and there was none. I toyed with the idea of stealing my old plants in the middle of the night, knowing the new owners would never miss it, but my husband convinced me this was not a good plan. So, I planted another one in my new home, but little good it did me this year. Thank goodness for the farmers at the Minneapolis Farmer’s Market, who have a bumper crop. I decided to make rhubarb jam for my first batch of jam, because in January, when life in Minnesota feels bleak and colorless, I will have something from the summer to make me happy.

Rhubarb With Orange Zest | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Rhubarb-Orange Jam

See me make the recipe step by step here and find the full recipe at the bottom of this post!

Boiling Rhubarb for Jam | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

In a large pot (I finally got to use my gorgeous copper jam pot from Mauviel) cook the juice, rhubarb and zest until the rhubarb is tender. Add the pectin and let it come to a boil for 1 minute.

Making Rhubarb-Orange Jam | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Add the sugar and bring back to a boil for another minute.

Canning Rhubarb-Orange Jam | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Prepare the jars and lids as the packaging suggests. I highly recommend that you read the Ball Blue Book and find out how to safely handle all the equipment. Maybe it was all of the food safety classes I had to take in culinary school, but I find it all rather interesting and essential to understand.

HINT: You will want to get yourself some of those handy jar lifters, to get the boiling hot jars out of the water. I did it with regular tongs and wish I hadn’t.

Fill the jars, clean the rim and put the lids on.

HINT: having a funnel would have made this way easier and cleaner, but my ladle did a pretty good job.

Canning Rhubarb-Orange Jam | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Lower the jars into the canning pot. Cover and bring to a boil for 10 minutes. Remove the lid, turn off the heat and let the jars sit for 5 minutes in the water before removing.

Rhubarb-Orange Jam Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Let the jars sit at room temperature until cool, don’t test the tops, they will make a popping sound as they cool.

Rhubarb-Orange Jam Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Label your rhubarb-orange jam so that you will remember what you’ve created after a few months in the pantry.

Rhubarb-Orange Jam Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

If you like this recipe, you must try the most gorgeous canned blueberries on earth, by Suvir Saran!

Jars of Rhubarb-Orange Jam on a countertop

Rhubarb-Orange Jam

This rhubarb-orange jam is the perfect way to enjoy tart rhubarb flavor throughout the year. The sweetness of the orange compliments the tart rhubarb for a jam that can be used on all kinds of pastries or breads.
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Author: The Ball Blue Book


  • 2 1/2 lbs rhubarb sliced into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 2 oranges, juiced (should be 1 cup – add water if needed) Then remove the peel of just one of the oranges. Cut away the bitter pith and slice it into small ribbons. I used twice as much orange zest as the recipe called for.
  • 6 tbsp Ball pectin
  • 6 cups sugar


  • In a large pot (I used a copper jam pot from Mauviel) cook the juice, rhubarb and zest until the rhubarb is tender. Add the pectin and let it come to a boil for 1 minute. Add the sugar and bring back to a boil for another minute.
  • Prepare the jars and lids as the packaging suggests. I highly recommend that you read the Ball Blue Book and find out how to safely handle all the equipment. Maybe it was all of the food safety classes I had to take in culinary school, but I find it all rather interesting and essential to understand. You will want to get yourself some handy jar lifters, to get the boiling hot jars out of the water. I did it with regular tongs and wish I hadn't. 
  • Fill the jars, clean the rim and put the lids on. Having a funnel would have made this way easier and cleaner, but my ladle did a pretty good job.
  • Lower the jars into the canning pot. Cover and bring to a boil for 10 minutes. Remove the lid, turn off the heat and let the jars sit for 5 minutes in the water before removing.
  • Let the jars sit at room temperature until cool, don't test the tops, they will make a popping sound as they cool. Label your rhubarb-orange jam so that you will remember what you've created after a few months in the pantry.
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133 thoughts to “Rhubarb-Orange Jam”

  1. Your jam looks great! I have canned for many years. My favorite jam to make is a Strawberry Kiwi. I am also enthralled by Christine Ferber’s “Mes Confitures” book – I highly recommend it if you are looking for some beautiful jams!

  2. Congratulations on your first solo-canning jam! I’m looking forward to making tomato jam from this year’s crop. It may sound weird, but it’s oh so good.

  3. I remember my grandfather used to can, He had bee hives and a smoker. It was amazing what he created. He died in the 1970’s but I still remember our Culinary Adventures 😉

  4. Ball jars make me swoon! I have a great recipe for strawberry jam we make every year and give away to people at my daughter’s school. But since strawberry season is over, I’d love to try some pumpkin and apple butters this fall!

  5. My best canning story? My husband took our two children strawberry picking this year alone and came home with 26lbs of strawberries! Luckily my mom was there for me and we canned the whole next day!

  6. My parents used to make strawberry, strawberry-rhubarb, & raspberry jam. I would watch, and of course eat out, but like you have never tried canning myself. It would be nice to carry on the tradition that my parents and grandparents had of preserving and canning the best our seasons have to offer.

  7. As someone who has never canned anything. Where do you recommend I start? I have made freezer jam. I think that the jams and butters all sound delicious.

  8. Every fall my dad would bring me apple picking and after picking over 100 pounds of apples, we’d spend hours in the kitchen reminiscing about the day and previous years apple picking. i think his favorite stories involved me tripping in groundhog holes. We’d make so much Applesauce and Apple Butter to share with family and friends. Those were the best if times!

  9. I just made jam for the first time too! and with some inspiration from friends like Suvir Saran 🙂 I made strawberry jam, and while I look at it now it looks slightly runny, and I should have cooked it longer, it turned out wonderful! Strawberry, lemon and basil….delicious!

  10. The last time I made anything canned, was when I was a young child. My grandparents had one of the most incredible raspberry bushes at their house on Long Island. Every year when they got ripe I’d be all over that bush picking, eating and dodging bumble bees. I recall one time my grandma convinced me we should collect as many ripe berries as we could and create a delicious raspberry jam so we could enjoy them for longer than a day. And we definitely did! I didn’t partake in the canning process with her, probably because I was too busy playing wiffle ball with my siblings, but since that day I always associate the fragrant scent of raspberries to the memory of my grandma. If I were to win this kit, I’d make raspberry jam!

  11. My best canning story would probably be helping a friend can 98 jars of pickles last summer – we set up a make-shift outdoor stove for the water boiling and worked through a mini rain shower. Still fun!

  12. I grew up helping both my grandmother and mother to can. Back then we mostly canned the necessities, like tomatoes for the winter. I hadn’t canned in years until last summer and I’ve caught the canning bug! Unlike my mom and grandmother, I’ve been doing mostly small batch stuff. I’ve done lots of fun things like relishes, preserves, even tomato jam! I’d love to win this to feed my new obsession!

  13. Over the summer we went picking for strawberries, blueberries and just picked some blackberries. I flash froze them all right away and now I am ready to make a big batch of mixed berry jam that will keep us supplies with jam for the winter, I just need the supplies…thanks for the giveaway.

  14. My parents were prolific canners – I loved being in charge of the muddler and the china cap strainer. Hot summer tomatoes, squished bright red…maybe it’s time to start up an old tradition.

  15. My favorite thing to can is wild blueberry syrup. We pick the berries locally. Whenever we have guests, they request pancakes with the syrup for breakfast. It is SO easy to make and have on hand and I love that it is our signature breakfast!

  16. Haven’t canned in years. But I used to have a lot of fun making jam with my (ex) brother-in-law, singing “we’re jammin” over and over!

  17. So, I’ve been on a lifelong quest for the best bitter orange marmalade! Mom never made it, but bought one brand when I was very young sitting on the East Coast! None have measured up to my memory since then! Always wondered, could I make it myself, a good one? Sure would love to try some day!

  18. I always wanted to make fig preserves , but thought I might mess my beautiful figs up so have never tried:(!!

  19. I never intended to make jam until I found a recipe for it in the booklet that came with my bread machine. For real. It was strawberry season, so I rushed out to get some, put it in the bread maker with sugar and pectin, and a few hours later poured it into jars. Couldn’t have been any easier — or more surprising!

  20. I canned my first jam this summer- a simple blueberry jam from the blue book, with just blueberries and sugar.

    It came out PERFECT and now I’m so excited, because tomato season’s starting, and I LOVE salsa. LOVE.

  21. My first canning experience was last summer, I canned mint jelly. It’s my husband’s favorite and his 96 year old Grandma’s recipe. It was so fun!

  22. I think this post has finally inspired me to start canning! I’d love to preserve all the blueberries from my parents’ patch in the UP of Michigan. They’d be great on my lemon ricotta pancakes!

  23. We have only made freezer jam in the past but with extra tomato plant we are going to try making them into jam and canning them fir use in the fall and winter.

  24. Making jam has become a favorite hobby for me this year! I love sharing my bounty with friends. I’ve made vanilla bean rhubarb twice this year! I would love to win this package so I have more to share.

  25. I associate canning with the pungent aroma of vinegar and pickling spices filling the whole house in the summer, when my mom would can bread and butter pickles. The jars lined up on towels, upside-down, were art!

  26. I’d love to win this prize. I haven’t made jam or jelly in years and no longer have any supplies to do it. Great post and inspiration.

  27. I grew up eating fresh rhubarb out of the neighbor’s garden. Rhubarb strawberry or orange sounds amazing!

  28. I canned when I was in my 20’s I loved it. With a very hectic schedule working and going to school I gave it up. Recently I retired and have been anxious to start canning. Winning this giveaway would be great.

  29. Oh … it’s beautiful! I’ve always wanted to can … my Mom used to and whenever that LAST jar of whatever it contained was opened – it was a big deal – like Christmas! I would love to find a recipe for sour cherry jam, as I just purchased a flat of sour cherries at the St. Paul Farmer’s Market, or I’d also like to try to recreate my favorite jam – blueberry lime mint. 🙂

  30. Oh my gosh, I’ve never made jam either! Well, you can no longer say that, but I would make your rhubarb-orange jam. I might as well start at the beginning and follow your lead!

  31. Haven’t mad jam since I helped my mom when I was little. I’d make peach mango with my lucious Colorado peaches.

  32. The very best jam/jelly that I have ever made is called pear honey. Beautiful color, consistency and if you didn’t know, you would swear it was really honey. I make a new batch every year with organic pears…..yummy.

  33. Last summer we were told about a recipe from my husbands Aunt Leah. Her daughter noticed all our fig trees and told us her Mom used to make pickled figs. We didn’t remember having them, but knew it must be a recipe we should try as we always have way, way to many figs each year. They are cooked in a syrup of vinegar and sugar with whole cloves, allspice and cinnamon sticks. We were in heaven, this is now a must have recipe when the figs are producing. I can them in small jars and our family has learned that when a jar is opened we each only get one fig! The whole process takes 3 days of cooking and putting in the fridge overnight, then water bath canning. Not quite as labor intensive as the candied fig recipe some gave me from the 1930’s, but both are very good. Then there is fig jam….

  34. Planning on making strawberry rhubarb for the first time weekend as a gift for baby shower attendees. Wish me the best! (There’s no plan B if I mess up.)

  35. I will be making peach butter and apply butter for my daughter’s wedding favors. Welcome to the jam club. You will never want store bought jam again!

  36. My new experiment this year was an Elderflower-Blood Orange Jam/Confiture. The woods nearby was full of Elderflowers this year so I tried lots of new things. Here in Germany, after putting the lids on the jars, we just set them upside down for 5 min and no post boiling is needed. The high sugar content prevents any spoilage and sitting the jars on their heads for 5 min and then turning them back upright creates enough heat in the lid and vacuum to seal the jars. I’ve never had one go bad and it certainly is easier! Try it!

  37. The first time I ever tried making jam I went a little bonkers. I made everything from peach jam with Habanero peppers to pineapple jam. I had so much jam that needless to say that was in everyone’s Christmas basket that year and I still had a ton left over!

  38. We will be making blueberry and strawberry jams with fruit from our local berry farmers. The berries are so fresh and so tasty that the jam can’t help but be delicious!

  39. My great grandmother was a notoriously horrible cook, but she made an amazing Italian prune jam (she called it conserve) that I would love to try to replicate for my Dad. It had lots of spices and raisins and orange. We only get prunes once a year, and it’s just about time. If only I had canning supplies! :o)

  40. My husband and I would like to make dill pickles & our 8-year-old son would insist on pickled garlic! An orange-lime-ginger marmalade sounds lush, too!

  41. I have made a wonderful orange vanilla jelly with oranges from my in-laws in Arizona and Hawaiian vanilla beans from my best friend. Maybe the best jelly I have had, because the ingredients were meaningful places in my life.

  42. I’ve only canned versions of strawberry jam, with strawberry lemon turning out the best. I would love to try something more unusual with apricots or follow your lead with rhubarb.

  43. I have the best glass canning funnel, inherited it from my gram, and everyone should invest in one of these! My best canning event occurred last year while teaching my 15 yr old daughter the ropes. A pint jar of raspberry jam slipped out of my, landed squarely on the floor, creating an enormous volcanoe effect and spewing deep red jam all over us and the kitchen! In retrospect, I should have sprayed with a garden hose to clean up that mess. Every single jar opened and given way over the past year elicited fits of laughter with the accompanying story.

  44. Congrats on your first jam canning project. I haven’t actually given it a try yet, but I’ve been reading lots of articles to learn as much as I can. I’d really like to give it a try.

  45. This will be only my second season canning so I am quite the newbie. My parents never did it so I have to kind of “wing-it”. Sure is nice to have the internet, especially Pinterest. I planted a grape vine a couple of years ago and this year will be my first harvest. I plan on making my own Concord Grape Jelly and am pretty excited about it!

  46. I make cranberry jelly all through the year. When fresh cranberries are available in the fall I make/can a few cases of jelly. Some I give as presents at Christmas. I also freeze enough fresh berries to make sure that I will be able to have homemade cranberry jelly until the next harvest.

  47. I am looking forward to trying to make some new jellies this year with rose hips. my fireweed jelly turned out very nice

  48. My favorite jam of all time is crab apple, but I like to strawberry-rhubarb jam. We use the rhubarb patch that is older than I am for the best rhubarb this side of the Mississippi. And then we found an organic strawberry patch this year. Yummy. It turned out this year, but was quite disappointed with the previous years batch.

  49. I love blueberry jam and blueberries seem to be on sale right now….although I really want to can some of this amazing summer fruit as pie filling for the winter!

  50. I have only made plum butter. But jam has escaped me thus far in my life.
    It is my hope to make blueberry jam with a hint of ginger.
    I am grateful for a company that still makes product in the USA p.
    Thank you Ball Co.

  51. I first canned this summer with a friend of mine. I was always terrified of canning but, we ended up with a lot of loquats this year, and I wanted to make jam. The loquat jam was wonderful and my friend (an expert canner) made the entire process really fun. I can’t wait to can more 🙂

  52. I love peach jam, and it is a good year for produce this year. My grandma used to let me help her can – great memory!!

  53. Strawberry Rhubarb-it is a favourite of mine. I do have a jar of mango coconut that I purchased in France that I love.

    PS I love your copper pot.

  54. I had grew up in a canning communittee and never truly learned how to do it myself. So last year I made it a mission to figure it out and bought the Ball canning book and went for it. I made tomato marmalade and spiced honey peaches, both of which were awesome! I also tried some different pickle recipes. Canning has become my creative meditation. Although it is work, it produces such a great reward!

  55. The only canning experience Ive had was a horrible and expensive disaster. I found a recipe for peach jam and said ,”Why not?” . The jars never ‘”pinged”! I tried re-canning but I just couldn’t get it right. I really want to try again.

  56. Chokecherry jelly and huckleberry jam! The chokecherry bushes are overloaded, and I need to go pick my share of both berries before the bears get to them.

  57. I’ve watched (and helped) my mom for years, sometimes hundreds of jars of veg and jams; but now I’m 1500 miles away and on my own! I’ve made dilly beans (yum), but would love to make some plain Jane strawberry jam for my boys. And elderberry jam for me!

  58. My mother-in-law always made this terrific chili sauce. We loved it and ate it but never had the recipe–We live in NJ and she lived in Michigan. After she died, we thought we would never have the terrific chili sauce again. Luckily, I was looking through one of the cookbook at her home and found the magazine clipping for the chili sauce stuck in the cookbook. That year was the first time I ever canned anything. Quite an experience! I have been lax for a number of year–only doing freezer jam–which didn’t gel right. So your posting is making me think that I better stop by the farm stand for a lot of tomatoes for the chili sauce. Thanks for the bringing back the memories!

  59. My most memorable canning experience was helping some friends can some apple sauce. Most of the jars we used were of the recycled variety and only a few were actual canning jars. It was so sad to watch 5 of the first 6 jars jars we put in the hot water bath break making apple sauce soup. A good lesson was learned that day!

  60. I just made my first jam as well! That might not seem like much, until you consider that I’ve been in the kitchen since before there were microwave ovens…what took me so long?!
    So simple, so gratifying, and sooo tasty!
    I don’t have any canning stories, since I haven’t been at this very long–except to say how lovely the afternoon was for the two of us who did it together, ending in dozens of glistening ruby-colored jars and a bit of prosecco to toast our success!

  61. I always wanted to learn how, so I am trying it this weekend. Living in the city, it is not always easy to find fresh fruit in the dead of winter. I think this will be a great opportunity to try it. Wish me luck, Thank you

  62. Each August my Mama and I would spend a day picking wild blueberries all over the area (up in the Adirondack Mountains in NY) and then the next day turning them into jam. A fun and tasty summer adventure!

  63. I am a retired Home Economics teacher who loves rhubarb, but I’m a purist. After washing and cutting, I add a little water and sugar, or honey if you like, before simmering until soft. I refrigerate it and have it in the AM with my oatmeal. I look forward to every spring/summer for rhubarb.

  64. My one and only canning attempt was as a young girl, making plum jam with my Dad. We were given a bushel of over-ripe plums – what a mess we made!

  65. I get the canning bug every year when lovely produce is abundant! While I have tried jam in the past, green tomato relish is one of my favorites. I can no longer find the original recipe, so each year’s product is a little different.

  66. I just started canning this year. I fell in love after tasting the strawberry jam I made. Not less than 4 hours off the patch and I was processing the best jam I’ve ever had. Lookingforward to exploring this great hobby!

  67. One year my mom canned apricot jam. I ate it everyday in a pb&j sandwich for TWO years. I still can’t eat apricot jam. I always make sure to never can too much of one thing at a time 🙂

  68. Best canning story? How about last week! I’m 18 weeks pregnant and trying desperately to ‘put up’ our harvest for the winter when I’m quite ’round’ and maybe not having the energy to cook. So… In a pregnancy-fuzzy-brain-induced-state, out of 7 jars, I didn’t tighten the ring well enough on one jar, and since I boiled the canner water before putting the jars in instead of putting them in first, I broke one jar. So… 5/7 plum jars made it. I plan to can pear jam though in a few weeks to keep up with the harvest around here. 🙂

  69. I fell in love with canning last summer when I had the best garden ever and so much food! The first jam I attempted was Strawberry and it didn’t quite set but I used it anyway for a syrup. I have since learned so much and now make everything from blueberry jam to elderberry jam right through to zucchini jam! I love experimenting with new recipes and flavors and everyone that gets a jar begs for more! Need I say More?! Haha I especially love that I grow much of my own food and know where it’s coming from unlike shopping blindly and not knowing which foods are GMO’s!!

  70. I just started making jam last year! I Love it! Nothing like homemade jam on your toast in the morning. I am making the rhubarb jam today. I have some blackberries that my daughter picked off of our bush that I will make jam with and once my grapes are ready, I will make jam with them. I also want to make some peach jam and if my peppers would cooperate, I can make some pepper jam!

  71. My favorite is raspberry Jam! I would LOVE a recipe for orange marmalade it is my all time favorite! Just discovered your site and love it!

  72. I want to can BBQ sauce to give as Christmas presents. I would also love to can the sweet Oregon berries we pick all summer.

  73. I really want to make strawberry rhubarb jam this year, but it will be my first time and I’m a little nervous… My parents would can grape juice when I was little and the cans didn’t always “pop” and then we’d end up with nasty grape vinegar (or bad “wine”). Pretty gross…. 🙂

  74. I love to make strawberry-banana jam. And I saw a bourbon maple corn jam at the Farmer’s Market today and was very intrigued.

  75. Please don’t enter me to win, as I already won this at another site (woo-hoo!). However in addition to commenting on how yummy this sounds (I am pinning it for sure) I wanted to commiserate about the rhubarb. First, to my mother’s horror, I tore out a plant at a previous residence because it was in the backyard where the kids and dogs played and I was terrified they would eat the leaves. Then, since moving, I have planted several and none have taken. I think rhubarb gods have made it clear they did not appreciate me removing it lol.

  76. I have a cake rack, snipped at some junctions, that I shove in the bottom of my canning pot. The polypropylene rack is incredible! I would love to use it as I make my blackberry-poblano or peach-habenero jams.

  77. My most memorable canning story happened many, many years ago. A friend and I used to can together, and did so for a few years in a row.
    One of the things we’d can was salsa, using fresh jalepenos. Back then I didn’t know about needing to use gloves when cutting them up, so I used bare hands. Needless to say, I burned my hands and was in agony. They were so painful, I thought I’d need to go to the Emergency Room. Instead, I called a nurse’s line and was told to try soaking my hands in milk. That did the trick. I don’t find the need to chop up jalepenos too often, but if I do, I certainly use gloves, now.

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