I’ve found a cordial recipe this year that is so good it has actually made me love my rhubarb plants again.
I have two huge rhubarb plants. I lift and split them regularly. A couple of years ago I offered a friend a piece and she happily accepted. We didn’t see each other for a while and the plant was already lifted so eventually we agree to swap the piece at a birthday party we both had to drop our children to. The party was at a distant roller skating rink, at night, in the winter. Two middle aged ladies were therefore seen struggling across the carpark with a huge box of earth, in the dark. Why we didn’t park next to each other I’ll never know but we still laugh about it now. Especially when either one of us is trying to palm off a section of their plant to other friends. It’s a good grower that rhubarb root!
8 1/2lb of it was harvested this morning to make my latest batch of cordial. I discovered the recipe this year and as HubB loves the stuff we’re on our third batch. I’ve so far had 43lb of rhubarb from the plants, 15 has gone in the freezer, the rest we have drunk.
After boiling, the pulp is put through a sieve.
The resulting liquid is then strained through muslin and the sieve. This could all be done in one step but it’s much slower that way.
The juice is measured, returned to the cleaned pan and 7oz of honey is added for each pint of liquid. I use leftover old honey for this. Some of it had creamed very nicely as you can see in the above picture, but some was quite wet as it was 2018 harvest.
The mixture is gently simmered for 5 minutes and bottled in warm, sterilised bottles. I’m using old coffee jars for mine. As they cool the lids draw down in the same way jam does to create the seal.
I keep it in the pantry until I open it when it goes into the fridge.
As an interesting point, 8 1/2lb of fruit made 3 1/2pt of juice and left 2 1/2lb of pulp afterwards. You can use the pulp for a pie although it looks pretty unappertising so I haven’t previously. Perhaps tonight’s the night, crumble anyone??