Rhubarb and Orange Blossom Jam

London Borough of Jam founder Lillie O'Brien shares the recipe for a brand-new flavor, just for Sweet.

Rhubarb and Orange Blossom Jam

Densely fruity and sweetly set, this rhubarb and orange blossom jam is perfect for spreading on sourdough toast, or spooning onto a steaming bowl of oatmeal—just don't call it a jelly.

London Borough of Jam
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Special Equipment

  • Glass Jam Jars with Lids: I really like Le Parfait jars as they have a screw-top lid and are very strong.
  • Large Pan: Always use a pan with a super-thick base. It doesn't have to be a copper jam pan like mine—you can use a big Le Creuset.
  • Metal Funnel: You can buy specific jam funnels that have a wider hole, which makes it easier, quicker, and cleaner to pour jam.

Level: Moderate


  • 2¾ lb. fairtrade unrefined caster sugar
  • A little less than 4½ lb. chopped rhubarb
  • A little less than ¾ oz. orange blossom water


  1. Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Prepare the rhubarb, chopping into pieces a little less than half an inch long. Weigh the sugar and measure the orange blossom water. If the rhubarb feels like it has any dirt on it, give it a rinse. Make sure not to use the leaves as they are poisonous!
  2. Sterilize the jam jars by placing on a tray in the oven until they reach about 225 degrees. This usually takes 15 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave jars in so they stay warm. Place lids in a pan of water, and place on the stove top on medium heat. We want to slowly bring these up to a boil and leave in the hot water so they’ll be ready when we pour the jam into the jars.
  3. Place the chopped rhubarb in the pan and place on the stove top on low heat. Stew for 5 minutes to release some liquid before adding the sugar and orange blossom water. Once the sugar and orange blossom have been added, slowly bring the jam up to a boil stirring with a wooden spoon, making sure it doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan. Boil the jam until desired setting point is reached. As there is no added pectin, this may take a little longer. I usually cook mine for 8–10 minutes.
  4. Remove jars from the oven and funnel jam into jars. They will have cooled a little, but you still want the jars and the lids warm when the jam is poured in. Once the jam is poured into the jars, I pour off the water in the lid pan and quickly screw the lids onto the jars.
Rhubarb chopping will be your new favorite hobby once you taste this jam.
You've got to sterilize your jars before they can be safe homes for jam.
The ingredients get to know one another.
One can never have too much jam on hand.

Lillie’s Tips

  1. Write the batch-date on each jar.
  2. Store in the refrigerator once opened.
  3. Lack of pectin means it won’t be a set jelly. I don’t use added pectin as I prefer to work with the natural pectin in the fruit, but if you want a thicker set, then you can cheat and use jam sugar, which has pectin added to it. It also depends on what fruit is used in jam-making, as some have higher levels.
  4. Be creative with what flavors you add to the fruit; I prefer to use only one fruit in my jams, as you get to appreciate the flavor more and then add something extra to enhance it.
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