EASY PRESERVED RHUBARB

When shooting Diane's Roupe's Blue Ribbon Country Canning, I fell in love with her rhubarb and knew I had to share this recipe with all of you. Diane's rhubarb maintains a wonderful tart bite while being just sweetened enough by a bit of sugar. Imagine nestling little bits of puckery ruby-hued rhubarb onto a bowl of vanilla ice cream... yum!

INGREDIENTS adapted from Diane Roupe's Blue Ribbon Country Canning

  • 2 1/4 pounds rhubarb
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

Trim ends from rhubarb and slice the 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. The flavor and texture are still delish, just not as firm as Diane's intention.)

Using a slotting spoon, immediately place rhubarb into jars and pour liquid over the top. Seal jars. For more information on this important phase of canning, please consult Diane's book, or your favorite canning guide. Keep in mind: you can also make this recipe and store the rhubarb in clean lidded containers in the fridge. Unsealed rhubarb should be eaten within 2 weeks.

Let jars cool to room temp and rest for 12 hours.

Serve rhubarb on something sweet and creamy like vanilla ice cream...

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