Go ahead and stock up on abundant spring Rhubarb—we’ve got plenty of uses for it!
Don’t feel that you have to process all of your rhubarb at once. Freezing is definitely an option. Be aware that rhubarb will lose its shape as it thaws. However, as you’ll be cooking it anyway, frozen rhubarb is perfect for jam, chutney, or jelly recipes that don’t necessarily require a crunchy rhubarb texture. Put it up now and treat yourself with that tart, spring flavor once the cool weather hits and you’re ready to turn on the oven!
- Slice the rhubarb according to a recipe: stalks, chunks, dice.
- Rinse and pat dry.
- Pack recipe-sized portions into a Ziplock bag, or airtight freezer container. Rhubarb pieces may freeze together, but if you’re just going to cook it later, it shouldn’t matter.
- Alternately, you can line your rhubarb pieces individually on a baking sheet and freeze. Once pieces are frozen, store in a Ziplock bag or container.
Basic Rhubarb Compote
6 cups fresh chopped rhubarb, washed
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup maple sugar or brown sugar
Combine all ingredients in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Cover and simmer gently for about five minutes. Rhubarb will begin to soften. Uncover and continue to cook another five minutes.
Remove from heat, cool.
Makes about three cups. Will keep in fridge for up to two weeks (if it lasts long!)
Note: Add any of your favorite to this basic compote recipe. Strawberries and rhubarb are best friends, but peaches or cherries would also work.
2 1/4 pounds rhubarb
3/4 cup granulated sugar
Trim ends from rhubarb and slice stalks into 2 inch x 1/4 inch batons. Place cut rhubarb in a large stainless stockpot or dutch oven. Toss rhubarb with sugar. Cover and let rhubarb macerate for 4 hours to release its liquid. ( I occasionally stirred the rhubarb during this maceration phase.)
After 4 hours, place pot holding the rhubarb (and all of its released liquid) onto the stove top. Turn the flame to medium-high. Stir regularly while bringing the pot to a boil. Once boiling, count to 10 and remove the pan from the heat. (If you cook the rhubarb any longer, the fibers really break down and the consistency gets soft and mushy like stewed rhubarb.)
Using a slotting spoon, immediately place rhubarb into jars and pour liquid over the top. Seal jars. Let jars cool to room temp and rest for 12 hours. Your canned rhubarb will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks.
To preserve canned rhubarb for an extended period, you’ll want to immerse sealed jars into a water bath for 15 minutes, to ensure jars form a tight seal.
4 1/2 cups chopped rhubarb
2/3 cups white sugar
1/3 cup water
2 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Combine the rhubarb, water and sugar and place in the crockpot. Cover and cook on low setting for 6-7 hours. Turn off the crockpot, add butter and vanilla. Combine well. Allow to cool before spooning into jars. Serve chilled.