Monday, July 11, 2011

Rhubarb ! Endless possibilities

Last Saturday the mister and I went to the farmer's market where, much to his delight, we found RHUBARB! The mister is a huge lover of rhubarb and he likes it so much that he'll eat the pieces right off the cutting board. Ewwww... but to each their own, I 'spose.

I do like rhubarb and immediately set about making rhubarb/strawberry jam. This jam turned out Deeeeeeelishous! It was very simple to make and only made 4 half pint jars so we won't be overwhelmed with jars upon jars of rhubarb jam...unless, of course I make more which I most likely will. Especially after putting a dollop on top of vanilla ice cream (see first photo...oh what a yummy sundae!) Back to the Rhubarb jam. Ingredients are simple:
3 cups of rhubarb chopped into 1/2" to 1" pieces
1/2 cup water
2 cups fresh strawberries, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 cup honey
1 pouch liquid pectin (85 ml size)

Prepare and sterilize your jars for waterbath canning.
Bring rhubarb to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until rhubarb is very tender.

Add strawberries and the lemon juice. Cover and allow to simmer until the mixture is soft (5 - 10 minutes)

Add the honey and bring to a boil. Stir constantly to avoid sticking.

Add the pectin and boil hard for 1 minute stirring constantly.

Remove from heat, ladle into HOT jars and leave 1/2 inch at the top for headspace. Place jars in the canner, cover canner, return water to a boil and process. Boil filled jars for 10 minutes or as per manufacturer's instrustions, and then remove jars.

Cool, undisturbed, for 24 hours.
Well, that is pretty, eh? Oh and it is absolutely wonderful flavored jam. I like the use of honey rather than a boatload of sugar in this recipe.

Now for the pies. The first rhubarb pie is called an Amish Rhubarb pie. This is a basic rhubarb pie recipe but rather than using a top crust, it has a crumble topping with a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg mixed in the flour/sugar/butter crumble mix. For this pie fill the bottom pie crust with the rhubarb mixture (any basic rhubarb pie filling will work). The mister does not like to have his rhubarb pie adulterated with strawberries and requested his pies be entirely rhubarb, so that is what I made for him. After filling the bottom crust with the rhubarb filling, top with the crumble topping. Bake it up until nice and golden and bubbly. The second rhubarb pie I made is similar but has the tradition two crusts. This is the pie the mister cut into first: I had about 5 more cups of chopped rhubarb remaining after I made the jam and the two pies so I froze the rest of the rhubarb for future use. I plan to make some rhubarb crisp and cobblers at a later date.

I must say though, the jam is my favorite is wonderful not only as a biscuit or roll topping but adding a dollop to a ball or two of ice cream is just wonderful. And a light drizzle of chocolate was the perfect complete touch.

Until next time,


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