With rhubarb being in season and there always being plenty to bring home from the allotment, I decided to invest in a few good recipes in which to use my produce.
I cannot take credit for any of the recipes listed below. They were sourced from the Internet and the direct links for each can be found just by clicking the recipe title.
Some of these I have tried, some I am yet to try. I hope you find a favourite in amongst them too.
Makes five or six medium (300-400ml) jars, though you can double the quantities (in which case it will take longer to cook).
- 1kg rhubarb, cut into 3-4cm pieces
- 500g onions, peeled and chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 500g dried apricots, very roughly chopped – quarters or sixths is fine
- 350g golden granulated sugar
- 300ml cider vinegar
- Finely grated zest of 2 large oranges Juice of the oranges (about 200ml)
- 50g root ginger, peeled and finely grated
- 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp finely ground black pepper
Put all the ingredients in a preserving pan. Bring to a simmer and cook gently for an hour and a quarter to an hour and a half, stirring often, particularly towards the end, when the thickened mixture might otherwise catch and burn.
The chutney is ready when it is rich and thick, exhibiting a geyser-like plopping, rather than a liquid simmering. Pull a wooden spatula through it – if you can see the base of the pan briefly, before the chutney comes together again, it’s ready.
While the chutney is cooking, sterilise some jars and vinegar-proof lids. Put them in the oven towards the end of the chutney cooking time, so they are clean, dry and hot when you come to pot the chutney.
Pot into the hot jars, filling them right to the top and ensuring there are no air pockets. Seal at once and leave to cool before labelling. Leave for at least a month before opening, then keep in the fridge. Store unopened jars in a cool, dark place for up to two years.
The hint of ginger adds an undertone to the tart rhubarb. With a dusting of powdered sugar, these bars make for a lovely snack.
Makes 16 bars
85g butter, at room temperature
50g granulated sugar
60g wholewheat flour
¼ tsp salt
For the topping
360g rhubarb, diced into 2cm pieces
75g sugar, divided
½ tsp ground ginger
3 large eggs
Juice from ½ lemon
1 tbsp cornflour
Preheat oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Line a 20x20cm baking tin with baking paper, then lightly grease. In a mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the flours and salt, continuing to mix until uniform. Press the crust evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Set aside.
Meanwhile, place the rhubarb, 3 tbsp sugar and ground ginger into a large saucepan. Over a medium-high heat, cook the rhubarb until soft – about 10 minutes – stirring occasionally. Cool the rhubarb until lukewarm.
Put the softened rhubarb in a blender and process until smooth. In another mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, lemon juice, and remaining 3 tbsp sugar. Gradually add the processed rhubarb and continue whisking until fully mixed in. Whisk in the cornflour.
Lower the oven temperature to 160C/325F/gas mark 3. Pour the filling over the cooked crust and bake for another 25-30 minutes, or until the filling has set and no longer moves when the pan is jiggled. The bars will be easiest to cut after being chilled (but there’s no shame in sneaking a few bites when they are warm). Serve warm or chilled, with a dusting of icing sugar.