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 quite firm, they cook down easily and balances out other sweet fruits, especially berries.
Raspberry preserves are delicately sweet and when combined with rhubarb, take on a slightly different character. When making jams, jellies or preserves, rhubarb is 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 in the morning and especially good over ice cream. I think it would make a great filling for doughnuts and coffeecakes too and with a smear of goat cheese on a cracker.
These preserves are 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 the preserves immediately in and pop them into the freezer without a water bath to preserve them. So, as you are strolling by the fresh rhubarb and raspberries this season, pick some up and prepare some homemade preserves.
3 stalk fresh rhubarb
1/2 pint raspberries
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
(Makes 1 Pint)
1. Slice rhubarb into 1/2 inch thick pieces and wash raspberries. Place them both into a medium pot, along with 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 lemon juice and stir. Remove from heat and let cool in pan for 30 minutes. Spoon preserves into a jar and place in freezer or refrigerator to use now, or at a later date. Enjoy!