Friday, May 27, 2016

Rhubarb jam with black pepper

This is the second recipe with rhubarb I made with my big rhubarb haul. An intriguing rhubarb jam with black pepper.

It is thick, sticky and sweet with a peppery kick right at the end that you can feel at the back of your throat, as a reminder of the special ingredient added.

You can definitely switch it up and use a vanilla bean or rose geranium (we use it in Greece a lot for jams and spoon sweets) instead, but I strongly suggest you try the black pepper. Besides, the flavor is not that pronounced, it’s just enough to make its presence known but not upset the balance of sweet and piquant.

It’s the perfect jam to serve with a cheese platter (I find blue cheeses and hard cow’s or sheep’s milk cheeses, like Greek Kefalotyri, make a good pairing), charcuterie, big green olives, a few fresh and crispy purslane, rocket or watercress leaves, and good crackers, bread or bread sticks. It also pairs beautifully with a bit of balsamic on toasted sourdough, and you can certainly have it for breakfast on top of your favorite brioche/tsoureki toast or croissant.

It’s quick and easy to make, extremely tasty and definitely worth it. Making the most out of the season’s bounty should not be hard work.

Rhubarb jam with black pepper

Most of the rhubarb I used for the jam was green but if yours is a vibrant red, your jam will come out a beautiful pink color.

It pairs perfectly with these Parmesan biscuits.

Yield: 450-500 g (1 medium-large jam jar)

450 g rhubarb (without leaves)
450 g caster sugar
Freshly ground black pepper, 15 grinds of the pepper mill

Special equipment: wide, large, heavy-bottomed pan, glass jam jar with lid

Rinse the rhubarb under cold, running water. Trim each stalk on both ends and then chop it into small pieces.

Place it inside a wide, large, heavy-bottomed pan together with the sugar, and stir continuously until first the sugar dissolves, then the rhubarb starts to release its juices and then it comes to a boil. This process will take 25-30 minutes. When it comes to a boil, remove the scum that comes to the top with a metal spoon and add the pepper. Turn heat down to the lowest of settings and allow the rhubarb to gently bubble for 40-45 minutes, or until it is almost completely broken down and the mixture has a jammy consistency. Check it and stir it every 10 minutes and make sure it doesn’t burn.
In the end, you should have a thick but not gloopy or gummy jam, so be careful not to overcook it. It will be a sticky jam though.

Pour the hot jam into a sterilized jar and turn it upside down. (Read here how to sterilize glass jars).

Once opened, the jam will keep for 1-1½ month in the fridge.


  1. We've been making a lot of rhubarb dishes this summer - pies, chutneys, compotes - so I guess I will be jammin' soon with you, Magda!

  2. Yum! Wish I had a jar for elevenses!

  3. Making this for the third year running! Thank you for such a lovely recipe - Jenny