Traditions come in many forms and are associated with many specific times and places. Cherry Rhubarb Jam is a recipe that touches on each of those.

My mother-in-law had rhubarb plants in her yard and each spring she would make her delectable Cherry Rhubarb Jam. I don’t know where she got her original recipe – probably from one of the many sisters-in-law or from a newspaper like Capper’s Weekly. But each year we looked forward to the gift of a few jars and each time we spread it on a biscuit or toast it reminded us of spring.

After she passed away, we were able to transplant several of her rhubarb plants to our own yard and have continued the tradition using the same plants. This is a really simple recipe and it makes a perfect gift for family, friends and neighbors.


4 cups diced fresh rhubarb
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 package (3 oz.) cherry Jello
1 can cherry pie filling (21 oz.)
1/8 tsp. almond extract (optional)


In a large saucepan, combine the sugar and the rhubarb and let sit for a couple of hours. Stir occasionally as the sugar breaks down the rhubarb and moisture is released.

Cook the rhubarb on medium heat for about 10-15 minutes until it is tender.

While rhubarb is hot, add the Jello powder and stir in to dissolve completely.

Add the cherry pie filling and mix well.

You can then proceed to put in jars and process to seal, or you can place in a container(s) in your refrigerator for immediate use. This keeps up to 3 weeks (although I doubt it will last 3 days).

I remember going to Aldi’s and picking up flats of cherry pie filling to take with us when we traveled to Denver. My mother-in-law was always excited to get her pie filling from here because it was cheaper.


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