Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Orange Rhubarb Sauce

Orange Rhubarb Sauce is thick, tangy and perfect either on its own or over your favourite breakfast treat. Try it on pancakes or waffles!

Ah, rhubarb. In my backyard, we have no fewer than 6 plants strewn across various fence lines and corners, and quite often the bulk of the tart, stringy stalks are left to go to waste (one of the family members is against using them for food if you can believe that). However, the plant I call my own (and have for the last 13 years) is the grand daddy of the yard and gets put into a variety of tasty things for the shelf and the freezer. One application I hadn't really thought of for this vegetable was to make a "butter" with it, a la apple butter. Food in Jars posted a recipe that was not only a rhubarb butter, but with orange flavour too. The orange threw another curveball for me - would the tangy citrus clash with the sharper tartness of the rhubarb? Would it work well? There was only one way to find out!

Well, I learned a few things in this experiment - the rhubarb mixture does not get quite to spreadable consistency despite hours of cooking (and I was nervous about burning it after 2 hours of work). However, it was a thick applesauce consistency which was perfectly fine with me! Secondly, the orange flavour actually pairs exceedingly well with the rhubarb, and I amplified it by adding the orange zest to the pot as well. While the recipe didn't make a ton, it made the perfect amount for our family to use and appreciate, and I will definitely be making more! Mom claimed it was best on roasted chicken legs or pork loin, but I mixed it into oatmeal for a zip. It truly is versatile, and that gives it an extra push into the "win" category for me!

If you're looking for an alternative to the run of the mill fruit applications out there, give this orange rhubarb sauce a try. Who knows, maybe you'll finally have a reprieve from the strawberry rhubarb fad - just don't forget about those strawberries, they need love too!

Orange Rhubarb Sauce
Adapted from Food in Jars
Makes 1 1/2 pints
4 1/2 cups chopped rhubarb
1 cup sugar 
3 tbsp agave nectar or honey
1 1/2 cups orange juice
zest of 1 orange
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. 
  2. Reduce the temperature to low and let it gently bubble, stirring every five minutes or so, for 2 hours. It should be thick and spoonable, like a rich homemade applesauce.
  3. Ladle into jars and process in a waterbath 15 minutes.

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