The Preservatory's rhubarb vanilla preserve

Try your hand at the preserve that started it all for The Preservatory 

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Take a walk around your neighbourhood and you will see tons of rhubarb plants thriving! Its colossal green leaves and deep pink stalks make it impossible to miss. If you have some growing in your garden, you know how fast this fruit grows and takes over its surroundings. If you don't have any and spy some in your neighbourhood, consider making friends with any neighbours who might enjoy some preserves. 

The Preservatory, located in Langley B.C., is a year-round farm-based artisanal production company that specializes in--you guess it--preserves. Owned and operated by Lee Murphy and her partner Patrick since 2002, this duo creates some of the best preserves in Canada. They use traditional cooking methods to create delicious jams and spreads, like using copper kettles, among other practices. They created this cookbook to allow people to harness their seasonal harvests and use them in the best way possible, from their own kitchen. 

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This preserve does an excellent job of harnessing the pucker-inducing flavour that rhubarb has, all while using vanilla bean to balance its strong flavour. This jam is the master of all trades and can make your plain breakfasts super interesting. Spoon this jam over a bowl of cottage cheese for a healthy breakfast, or on the other end of the health spectrum, slather it over a warm buttermilk biscuit with a heavy hand of Devonshire cream. 

rhubarb vanilla preserve

1 vanilla bean
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
5 lb trimmed and chopped rhubarb, about 6 lbs of whole rhubarb
8 cups sugar

Cut vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out seeds with the dull side of a paring knife. Stir vanilla seeds into lemon juice and whisk to separate seeds. Stir rhubarb together with sugar and vanilla-lemon juice. Macerate mixture overnight in the fridge.

The next day, strain accumulated juices into a jam pot. Reserve rhubarb.

Boil juice to 220°F. Add rhubarb and bring back to a boil, stirring often to prevent scorching and skimming as required. Cook to set, again to 220°F; check to see if it's set on a cold plate.

Let sit 5 minutes, then ladle into hot sterilized jars, wipe rims, place sterilized lids on jars and process 10 to 15 minutes.


Ten to Twelve 8-oz/250-ml jars