I used to grab the jar of brown sugar from the kitchen and sneak out into the rhubarb patch. Pulling up a ripe stalk, I’d lick the end of the rhubarb before dipping it into the vat of golden, crunchy sugar. Not the most clever way to eat rhubarb…but it was really just a vehicle for sugar.
I found a better way to eat rhubarb with fresh stalks from a friend’s garden. I made gingered rhubarb jam with honey. It turned out like a new take on marmalade.
The recipe I used was from The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving by Ellie Topp and Margaret Howard.
Here’s what you need:
I lemon, 2 cups chopped rhubarb, 1 large tart apple (cored, peeled and chopped), 1/2 cup water, 1 1/2 cups white sugar, 1 cup liquid honey, 1 1/2 tbsp. crystallized ginger (finely chopped)
Here’s how you make it:
- Remove the rind from the lemon with a peeler and cut into this strips. Place lemon rind in a medium stainless steel enamel saucepan. Squeeze in lemon juice (reserving 1 tbsp. for later).
- Add rhubarb, apple and water to saucepan. Bring to boil over high heat, cover and reduce heat and boil gently for 15 minutes until fruit is tender.
- Add sugar, honey, ginger and reserved lemon juice. Return to boil, then boil rapidly uncovered until mixture forms a gel – about 8 minutes – stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
- Ladle into hot jars (I used 125 mL canning jars – they make a nice sampling size). Process for 10 minutes in boiling water bath. Makes 3 1/4 cups.
If you need to know more about canning, check out this site from Bernardin.
The recipe works with fresh or frozen rhubarb. I made the first batch with fresh rhubarb. And I have more that’s washed and chopped and waiting in the freezer to make more of this first canning success of the 2016 growing season.