Friday, April 13, 2012

Canning Rhubarb

Normally it would be another month before I even started thinking about harvesting rhubarb. But I am unsure if it is from our unseasonably warm weather early in the spring, lots of rainfall or that couple buckets of rabbit poop fertilizer but the rhubarb was getting huge. So large that I was starting to worry about the stalks getting too big and woody. It was looking like Sequoia instead of rhubarb ! So I cut the first stalks of the 2012 season. You just twist them off at the ground level and cut off the leaves because they are poisonous. You can use the leaves to make an insect spray for your garden to kill the bugs. 

I then trimmed and washed the stalks.

Before anyone asks..... yes I have green rhubarb. My rhubarb does not get red. My start was given to me by a local farmer and I am unsure of the variety but only an occasional pink tinge can be found at ground level. It tastes great though. 

 Once cleaned it is cut into about 1 inch pieces. 

If you would like to follow along the recipe can be found in the Ball Blue Book 100th Anniversary Edition page 21. 

For each quart rhubarb pieces add 1/2 to 1 cup sugar in large sauce pan.

Stir to coat all rhubarb with sugar. Cover and let sit for 3 to 4 hours in a cool place.

After 4 hours the rhubarb will look like this with all the sugar melted and juice standing in the bottom of the pot. Stir well and put pot on stove and slowly bring to boil and boil for 30 seconds. As it boils it will continue to make a syrup or juice.

Ladle hot rhubarb and syrup into hot sterile canning jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace.  

Remove air bubbles.

Wipe rims.

Place hot two piece caps on hot jars and tighten.

Process pints and quarts 15 minutes in a hot boiling water canner.

Remove from heat and allow to cool. Once cool the lids should pull down to seal the jar. Remove rings and wipe jar clean with a warm soapy dishcloth. Label jar with contents and date and store in a cool dry pantry. These may be used for pies, pastries, cobblers and sauces. They are great mixed with strawberries or raspberries. 

Blessings from The Holler

The Canned Quilter


  1. I love that you posted what you do with it as well. I've never thought of canning rhubarb (my mom always froze what we didn't eat fresh) but it is an interesting idea. I like preserving and would like to dive more into it, but I don't always know what to do with the foods after they've been canned to really make the best use of them. Thanks for this post!

  2. Thank you so much! I am hoping for enough to can this year, fingers crossed!

  3. Yum, LOVE rhubarb! We have several plants as well as several friends who 'gift' us with rhubarb because they don't know what to do with each year. We use it like you do, but it's also a favorite topping for homemade yogurt and cottage cheese.

  4. Rhubard pie was always Dad's favorite.

  5. My one little plant gets about three inches tall each year before some invisible bug eats it to the ground one dime-sized circle at a time in just a few days. Yours looks so hearty. And thanks for the tip about using the leaves - if I could ever get any of those.

  6. Might be worth growing just for the natural bug killer properties. :o)

    Hope you're all doing well! ♥

  7. Rhubarb has been one of my favorite fruits since I was little!

    I am curious how you use the leaves to make an insect repellant?

    1. Mrs Z I will see if i can find that recipe and post it.

  8. Thanks so much for this! My rhubarb is not growing that well this year, but the neighbor's is and they never use it. I'm going to ask if I can harvest it!

    1. Cover the ground around the plants with dried cow manure in the spring before the new leaves emerge. You will see a difference in the health of your plants, and the size of stalks.

  9. Hello,

    Recipe sounds great, but I am wondering if you can substitute rhubarb with a few cup of straberries.

    Many thanks!

    1. I never have added strawberries but I suppose it is possible. I a, pasting a site that has a recipe for rhubarb and strawberry pie filling in jars. I have never tried it but you can experiment.

    2. I experimented and came up with this recipe, which turned out wonderful -- 10 pints in a hot water bath. Rhubarb in Wisconsin this year is early and I hope I get a second crop.

      4 quarts rhubarb
      1 quart strawberries
      4 tsp lemon juice
      2 3/4 sugar

    3. That sounds great! You will have to let me know how it works in your recipes as i have never tried canning strawberries.

    4. Hello,

      I just harvested the last of my rhubarb with 3 1/2 quarts. I cut it up and let it sit in 2 1/4 cups of sugar for about 3 hours, then added 1 quart of crushed strawberries and 4 teaspoonfuls of lemon juice. Brought it to a boil and reduced it a little bit. Finished it off in a 15 minute hot water bath (7 pints plus a cup left over for dinner this evening). It really is an amazing sauce. My son, who is a chef, suggested adding a little thyme to some of the sauce and pour it over a pork tenderloin, thus allowing the sauce to be used in a savory dish. My strawberries were bought locally last year and frozen and their flavor was great. What a wonderful time of the year . . .

      You have a great website -- thank you-:)
      C, Wisconsin

  10. is it possible to make this with splenda?

  11. Does anyone have a Rhubarb pie recipe that actually uses the canned Rhubarb??? Please share!!!

  12. Does anyone have a Rhubarb pie recipe that actually uses the canned Rhubarb??? Please share!!!

  13. Rhubarb Pie
    1 qt canned rhubarb
    3 Tbl cornstarch

    Mix together and place in pie crust. Bake.


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