gin

Preserving – What can you do with Rhubarb?

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Spring time! The rhubarb emerging at the plot

It’s coming towards the end of the rhubarb season now.  My mum always told me you shouldn’t pull rhubarb beyond the end of June.  Having done further research there isn’t a specific date but you should definitely give your plants enough time to recover and store energy before winter.

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this year’s first harvest

My plants at the allotment stopped putting out big, thick stalks about May and are now mainly made up of lots of thinner ones so I am happy for them to rest as you need to take so much more when they get skinnier and it makes me feel bad.  I have a conscience for my rhubarb plant’s well being.

A colleague at work brought her last pull in to work and as no one took any of it I’ve acquired my final bag of the season and need to decide what to do with it.  It got me thinking that it would be interesting to do a post on what you can do with rhubarb -so here it is!

Rhubarb Gin:

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2nd batch of rhubarb gin under way

If you like sloe gin, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that you’ll love rhubarb gin too!  It’s so easy to drink.

It took a little time to get the sugar balance right, but once it’s there it’s just beautiful.

We used the recipe from Scarlet Pyjamas and you can find it here.

The pinker your rhubarb the pinker your gin will be.

Rhubarb Compote:

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Before roasting

I got this recipe from Marisa McClellan’s Preserving by the Pint book, so I can’t give you the exact recipe here, but having just stalked her blog I can give you the link to her Honey Sweetened Rhubarb Compote with Ginger recipe which looks equally yummy and will be going on my to do list!

Rhubarb and Rosemary Jelly:

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My first even batch of rhubarb and rosemary jelly

I am in love with having this jelly on toasted crumpets.  It’s more subtle in taste and texture than the stronger rhubarb flavoured recipes above, but the subtly is it’s beauty.  It’s divine and such a pretty colour.  I got braver with the second batch I made and left the rosemary sprigs in longer and it made such a difference (in a good way!).

Again, the recipe was out of the Preserving by the Pint book, but you could give the Rhubarb and Rosemary Jam recipe a go instead! Alternatively, just buy the book.  It’s such a good investment and I recommend it to everyone.

Rhubarb Syrup:

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The start of a double batch of rhubarb syrup

I use this with lemonade or prosecco, it’s super yummy.  Word of advice though…. always add the syrup last, otherwise you just have a big glass of froth.  Learnt that the hard way…. not as appetizing as a rhubarb bellini believe me!

This recipe is in my notebook of preserving recipes but has no source, so I apologise if I’ve stolen your recipe – let me know and I’ll credit you here! In the meantime:

Ingredients:

4 cups chopped rhubarb

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

Method:

1) Put the rhubarb in a saucepan and add in the sugar.  Give it a good mix and leave it for around 10 minutes so that the juices start to leach out.

2) Add the water, stir together and then bring to the boil

3) Simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently.  By this point the rhubarb should be completely broken down.

4) Strain the juice through a cheese cloth, leave it hanging for a good couple of hours to allow all the liquid to drip out.  I remember reading that you shouldn’t squeeze the liquid out or it’ll make the final product cloudy, however, I made 2 batches, one I squeezed and the other I didn’t and there is no difference in their colouring.

5) You can bottle the syrup now and keep refridgerate or if you would like a thicker syrup…

6) Return to a clean saucepan and bring to the boil, simmer until it starts to reduce

7) Pour in to clean bottles or jars and process in a water bath for 10 minutes – then store in a cool dry place until opened.

Rhubarb Chutney:

Whilst finding recipes to link in this blog post today I came across this Rhubarb Chutney recipe on the Food in Jars blog. I’m going to give it a go this weekend so watch this space!

I’d love to hear about what you’ve been making with rhubarb, so please leave me a comment below! I’m always on the look out for new ideas!

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