Saturday, July 20, 2013

Awesome Rhubarb Sauce and Syrup

Ridiculously good. Ridiculously easy. And a really good way to make use of all that rhubarb! We've harvested ours three times so far this year, and I expect two or three more before it's done.

Ingredients for a modest batch of either the syrup or the sauce:

3 or 4 cups of chopped fresh (or frozen) rhubarb
1 cup filtered water
¾ cup sugar 

This makes a pretty tart final product, which is good over homemade vanilla ice cream or as an ingredient in barbecue sauce.
For a sweeter version, use 1 cup sugar. This one is great as a snack by itself or over granola and such as a breakfast.

Load it into a saucepan. Bring it to a boil, then lower it to a simmer, and let it go for a while. You can get by with as little as 20 minutes: just enough to break down the rhubarb into a very nice sauce. 

I prefer to let it simmer for another half an hour or more: it breaks down even more, of course, but more importantly, it reduces the mixture and the flavor is deeper and richer. If you turn up the heat a little and let it caramelize, it's another world of flavor.

If you're looking for rhubarb sauce, then you're done. Serve it hot over ice cream, or cool it in the fridge for use on granola, yogurt, or cottage cheese. Or just eat it by itself (you'll want the sweet one for this!)

If you're looking for rhubarb syrup, then strain the hot sauce through a fine strainer. After it's sat and drained (it's not fast), the resulting pulp will still be wet: this is also yummy. I might try swirling some of that residue, perhaps with some crushed Nilla Wafers, in freshly homemade ice cream for a new & different treat.

I'll be using the syrup in barbecue sauces, cocktails, maybe over ice cream. Mm mmm.

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