Rhubarb is a special summertime treat. For those want to enjoy it year-round, though, you can capture the flavor of summer by canning rhubarb. You’ll thank yourself on that cold wintery day when you need a little extra summer warmth to get you through.
Yields about 6 pints (3 quarts)
4½ pounds rhubarb
1½ cups sugar
Wash the rhubarb and cut it into 2-inch lengths. Measure 12 cups of cut rhubarb and place them in a 12-quart, heavy-bottomed, stainless steel kettle. Add the sugar; stir lightly. Cover the kettle. Let stand 4 hours to draw juice out of the rhubarb.
Then, drain hot, sterilized, pint or quart jars, upside down, on a clean tea towel. Let stand.
Over medium-high heat, bring the rhubarb mixture to a boil, stirring continuously. Boil the rhubarb 10 seconds only.
Remove from the heat. Using a slotted spoon, pack the hot rhubarb (without syrup) into the prepared jars, leaving ½-inch headspace.
Using a 1-cup measuring cup with a pouring spout, cover the rhubarb in the jars with the hot syrup, maintaining ½-inch headspace. Using a plastic knife or a narrow, rubber spatula, remove the air bubbles in the jars. Then, check the headspace in each jar and if necessary, add additional syrup to maintain ½-inch headspace. Wipe the jar rims and threads. Place hot, metal lids on the jars and screw the bands firmly.
Process in a boiling-water canner for the time shown in the processing times chart at the end of this recipe.
Remove the jars from the canner and place them on a dry, wooden board that has been covered with a tea towel. Let the jars stand, undisturbed, 12 hours to cool completely.
Recipe courtesy of Blue Ribbon Country Canning Cookbook by Diane Roupe.
Photos by Erin Scott (Egg & Dart Press, 2013).