It's springtime and I'm in love.
My neighbor has been sharing her robust patch of rhubarb with me, and I am taking full advantage of her generosity.
No matter how happy this abundance of rhubarb makes me, it's difficult to stay cheerful when it's been raining for 42 days in a row. In Seattle we have endured the rainiest (and coldest!) April on record.
I can't think of a better way to chase away the rain than with sunny citrus. In this case, I chose grapefruit. Looks sort of like the sun, doesn't it? That's not a coincidence.
No Photoshop color enhancements here...this is the real deal!
Our rain has produced some first-rate rhubarb. Combine it with grapefruit & sugar and you have sparkling sweet-tart sunshine in a jar. This recipe is a walk in the park. 3 ingredients. 3 hours. And I spent 2.5 of those hours at school taking a math test. Seriously.
To make this recipe you'll need:
- 1 pound of chopped rhubarb stalks, as seen in the photo* above
- 1 good-sized grapefruit
- 1 -2 cups of white sugar
*Important note about the photo: Do NOT eat the leaves of rhubarb - they are poisonous to people and pets!
I advise you buy only organic grapefruit. You don't want waxes, pesticides, or toxins with your fruit, especially when you're eating the peel too.
Zest the rind of one whole grapefruit.
Zest the rind before cutting the grapefruit please...it's easier. Don't zest it after you cut the grapefruit in half, like I did here. Not smart at all.
(I was stressing about my math test and momentarily lost focus. Before I knew it I'd cut the grapefruit in half. I know; excuses, excuses.)
Squeeeeeze the juice from the grapefruit halves over the chopped rhubarb. (Then scrape out the remaining grapefruit pulp and eat it!)
Here's what the zest looks like atop the chopped rhubarb and grapefruit juice mixture.
Add between one and two cups of sugar. I prefer to use two cups of sugar. I adore the contrast of the sour rhubarb, the tart grapefruit and the sweet white sugar.
Stir until just combined, and set aside for 2 hours. (This is the point where I went to school and took my math test.) You can make this a 2-day process by letting it sit overnight, if you'd like. Just cover it well and put it in the fridge or another cool place.
The grapefruit juice and sugar draw moisture from the rhubarb, and you end up with this marvelous ruby red mixture in just 2 hours!
Spoon this into a shallow, heavy-bottomed pan, and boil it like crazy for about 10 minutes, while stirring gently, occasionally, to prevent any sugar from sticking to the bottom of the pan. It should look thick, with small bubbles popping on the surface. It's okay if it develops white foam on the surface; it doesn't affect the flavor or texture.
If the foam doesn't subside after you remove the mixture from the heat, you can skim it off the surface before ladling into the jars, which is the next step...
Oh my goodness...isn't this lovely?
I wish you could smell my kitchen. The rhubarb and the grapefruit are a match made in Heaven. No wonder I'm in love with rhubarb; it plays so well with others.
Sparkling Rhubarb~Grapefruit Preserves...ooh la la!
~ Recipe inspired by the fabulous "Chez Panisse Fruit Cookbook" ~