Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Every so often, Ginny asks me a crucial question. Well, shortly before her recent visit to the Boondocks (aka, my house) she was visiting her folks out in Des Moines. From their house, she calls me.

Ginny: So, um, how much rhubarb should I bring out with me?
Me: As much as you can carry.

Ask a silly question.....

Well, in any case, she ended up bringing somewhere in the neighborhood of ten pounds of gorgeous rhubarb stalks with her, and a long list of ideas for what to do with it. I am a huge fan of rhubarb (still have those memories of cutting stalks from our patch in the back yard when I was a kid, dipping it in sugar and snacking on it), so this was no problem for me at all.

From this plethora of tart-a-liciousness came the following:
Rhubarb-Ginger Jam

Rhubarb Ginger Jam

3/4 lbs. rhubarb stalks, chopped in 2″ pieces
1 cups sugar
1″ piece peeled ginger
1 cinnamon stick

Quarter 1″ piece of ginger.
Place in a large saucepan with sugar, ginger, cinnamon stick and 1 cup water. Simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally and skimming foam as it rises, until rhubarb is soft and syrup begins to thicken, about 15 minutes. Remove rhubarb with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Continue simmering syrup until very thick, another 7–10 minutes. Remove from heat.
Discard ginger and cinnamon, return rhubarb to pan, stir, and cool for 5–10 minutes.
Pour jam into jars and allow to cool.
Store in refrigerator for up to 1 month.
Rhubarb-Ginger Syrup
makes 1 jar to keep, plus a little to use right away; can easily be doubled or tripled

1.5 cups white sugar
1 cup water
2 cups thick-sliced rhubarb stalks, leaves discarded
1 cup chopped ginger (no need to peel)

In a medium saucepan, bring the sugar and water to a simmer, stirring to dissolve. Add the rhubarb and ginger; return to a simmer, then reduce heat and let slowly bubble until the rhubarb is thoroughly soft. Remove from heat and let steep for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, line a metal strainer with cheesecloth, and place it over a heatproof bowl. (If you want crystal-clear syrup, use a muslin jelly bag and be prepared to wait for gravity to draw the liquid into the bowl; be careful not to press or squeeze the solids.)

If you noticed, there does seem to be a theme here. And that theme is GINGER. We are both lovers of ginger, but Ginny is the more enthusiastic of the two. Needless to say, we may have used more ginger than the recipes called for. In the case of the jam, where the recipe calls for straining the ginger out and discarding it...well....that’s just wasteful. We put that ginger and some of the rhubarb in the food processor and put the resulting paste right back into the jam. Mmmm hmmmm.
Also. Both recipes recommend canning, but we opted to freeze the jam, and DRINK the syrup (it was excellent with some club soda and a little tequila).
NOTES: We quadrupled the recipe for the jam and doubled the recipe for the syrup so that we would have plenty, and use as much of the rhubarb as we could. The taste combination of rhubarb and ginger is absolutely phenomenal. The jam was like eating ambrosia and I’ll be hoarding my share and rationing it out over the winter. The syrup? Yeah well, the syrup didn’t last long in my fridge at all.....it is summer, you know....and you really should hydrate regularly.....


Kim said...

Sounds like you were the lucky recipient of lots of rhubarb, a great problem to have! Never thought of pairing rhubarb with ginger, but it does sound delicious.

I love rhubarb too. In fact, one of my favorite popsicles was the rhubarb popsicles. It was really creamy and delicious.

Krista said...

I had a whole stack of rhubarb recipes to try this year once I harvested my parent's supply when I got "back home". Unfortunately, theirs was all gone or too far gone by the time that I got there a couple of weekends ago. Lucky you....10 pounds! The jelly, syrup, and drinks all sound wonderful. Jealous....