I grew up with rhubarb growing generously at the base of my parents' enormous garden. I remember pulling stalks of it and dipping the end in sugar and eating it raw. I remember rhubarb pies, cakes, bread, and more. But for some reason, we stopped short of making rhubarb preserves. That was clearly something that needed remedying.
Being a fan of the chunky, tangy-sweet nature of marmalade, that seemed the proper route to take with this effort. Before long, I was slathering my toast in a marmalade that perfectly captures the flavor of my childhood. What's more, it lasts well in the refrigerator and can be frozen as well. Now I can enjoy the flavor of rhubarb year round and not have to wait until spring to enjoy it.
In addition to being perfect on everything from toast to bagels to scones, this marmalade is a great glaze for ham or turkey and is a fun condiment for roasted pork. You can even use it in pie fillings or other baking recipes in which a saucy element with a bit of tang is recommended. When less than an hour gives you the taste of the garden year round, it's time well spent!
- 1 lb. diced rhubarb
- 1 lb. sugar
- 1/2 apple, cored and finely chopped
- 2 T. lemon or lime juice
- 1 pint strawberries, hulled and chopped (optional)
Combine all of the ingredients in a large stockpot and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture begins to bubble and the sugar is dissolved. Simmer, stirring every few minutes, until the rhubarb and apple are soft and the strawberries — if using — are broken down. Remove from the heat, ladle into jars, seal the jars, and store in the refrigerator or freezer when cooled.
- Yields: 6-8 cups preserves
- Preparation Time: 45 minutes