Rhubarb is a lovely tangy vegetable that is most often prepared as fruit in pies, tarts, cakes and compotes. The ruby red and green striped stalks often remind me of colorful celery, but they are in a completely different family of vegetable. Even though rhubarb stalks are firm, the vegetable cooks down easily and balances the flavors of other sweet fruits, which makes it wonderful in preserves.
Raspberry preserves are delicately sweet and combined with rhubarb, take on a slightly different character. When making jams, jellies or preserves, rhubarb acts as a natural thickener, so there is no need to add pectin to the recipe. This fruity spread is great in sandwiches, or spooned on toast or over ice cream. I think it would make a great filling for doughnuts and coffeecakes and delicious on top of a smear of goat cheese and a cracker.
Raspberry Rhubarb Preserves is a simple one-pot preparation that you can make in less than 20 minutes. I prefer to use freezer jars, so I can easily spoon in the preserves and pop them into the freezer to use for special occasions or at holiday time. So, as you are strolling by the fresh rhubarb and raspberries this season, pick some up and prepare some freshly made preserves.
3 stalk fresh rhubarb
1/2 pint raspberries
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
(Makes 1 Pint)
1. Slice the rhubarb into 1/2 inch thick pieces and wash the raspberries. Place them both into a medium pot, along with the sugar and 1 cup of water. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced by half.
2. Squeeze in the lemon juice and stir. Remove from heat and let cool in the pan for 30 minutes. Spoon the preserves into a jar and place in the freezer or refrigerator to use now, or at a later date. Enjoy!