Rhubarb and vanilla bean jelly

Rhubarb and vanilla bean jelly

The Sugar Hit!
Chris Middleton

This jelly will change every idea you’ve ever had about jelly for dessert, especially if you’ve only ever had the stuff made from crystals. This jelly is pure, sweet rhubarb flavour perfumed with vanilla. It is fully, ridiculously, electrically pink. It’s just so intense in every way, I absolutely love it. This is the Stevie Nicks of desserts. Serve with crème fraîche or whipped cream.


Quantity Ingredient
900g rhubarb, (trimmed weight)
345g caster sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthways and seeds scraped
18g titanium-strength gelatine leaves


  1. Chop the rhubarb into 2 cm pieces and put it in a large saucepan over medium–low heat with the sugar, vanilla bean and seeds and 750 ml water. Put the lid on, bring to the boil and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the rhubarb is very soft.
  2. Once cooked, strain the mixture through a sieve into a large measuring pitcher. You should get about 1 litre of liquid – if there’s not quite enough you can top it up with water or a squeeze of orange juice – or even pomegranate juice, if you have some.
  3. Put the gelatine leaves in a shallow bowl, cover with cold water and soak for 5 minutes.
  4. Put 250 ml of the rhubarb liquid in a small saucepan over low heat. Once the rhubarb juice is steaming hot, turn off the heat, squeeze out the gelatine leaves (now turned to goo), and whisk them into the hot liquid until they’re dissolved.
  5. Stir the dissolved gelatine–rhubarb mixture back into the main rhubarb pitcher, then pour into a lightly greased 1 litre jelly mould. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.


  • The left-over rhubarb is still delicious – use it to make a rhubarb fool (sweeten the left-over rhubarb to taste then fold through whipped cream), or to eat for breakfast with some Supa-thick yoghurt.
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