It’s a little late in the season to be sharing rhubarb recipes, but my patch is still producing, fighting for space next to the English peas and the garlic that keeps getting taller.
Besides, I’ve been talking about making this jelly for far too long, ever since a friend brought a case to exchange at my very first ever jam swap. It was a clear favourite of both Danny’s and mine, and we hoarded our jars for as long as possible.
You’d think that after six years I’d develop my own recipe for the rhubarb vanilla jelly, but here’s the honest truth: jelly scared me. Homemade jelly is a whole ‘nother ball of wax from making jam. Jelly either sets or it doesn’t (becoming syrup). It’s cloudy or it’s clear. It either works – or it doesn’t.
Today I’m sharing a homemade jelly recipe that most definitely worked for me. It’s not actually that scary after all.
Here on Simple Bites, I have a pretty decent selection of preserves in my archives. Think of them as a virtual jam pantry: fruit butters, jams, marmalade, conserves, curds, and much more. This, however, is my first ever jelly recipe.
I’ll come right out and say it. This jelly has a ton of sugar. But I figured since I’m a jelly-making novice, I should start by playing by the rules – at least the first time. Besides, rhubarb isn’t exactly naturally sweet like an apple jelly or other fruit jellies.
Newly-cut rhubarb and aromatic fresh vanilla beans come together in a delicately perfumed blushing pink jelly that is every bit as bewitching as it was years ago. I’d like to think that we’d be handing out a few jars as gifts, but to be perfectly honest, I think we’re keeping them all.
This recipe is adapted from Yvonne Trembley’s book, 250 Home Preserving Favorites. She’s a Canadian canning queen that knows a thing or two about making jelly. Incidentally, she tested all the preserving recipes for my upcoming cookbook, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars; you know they’re going to be solid!
|Rhubarb Vanilla Bean Jelly|| |
- 1 jelly bag
- 12 cups chopped rhubarb, (12-inch/1 cm pieces) about 4 pounds
- 2 cups water
- 2 vanilla beans, split
- 1 package (57g) powdered pectin
- 6 cups granulated sugar
- In a large heavy bottomed pot, combine rhubarb and water together over high heat. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered for 10 minutes.
- Pour sauced rhubarb into jelly bag and let drip overnight in the refrigerator. Do not squeeze the bag.
- Prepare tools and five 250mL jars for hot-water canning. Review our basic Canning 101 article if required.
- Measure 4 cups of rhubarb liquid and pour into a large heavy-bottomed pot. Scrape vanilla seeds out of the pods using a paring knife and add them to the liquid.
- Pour in the pectin and stir the liquid with a wooden spoon until the pectin is dissolved and the vanilla seeds are distributed.
- Place the pot over high heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add sugar in a steady stream, stirring all the while. Return to a full boil while continuing to stir the jelly.
- Boil hard for 1 minute. Remove from heat and use a plastic ladle or wooden spoon to skim off any foam on the top.
- Ladle jelly into sterilized jars within ¼ inch of rim. Wipe the rims with a warm cloth. Add the lids and the rings, tighten jut until finger-tip tight.
- Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes Transfer the jars to a towel-lined surface and cool at room temperature for a full 24 hours.
What is your favourite jelly of all time?