This is Me!

This is Me! The good, the bad, and the bald. You get it all! But I have hair now. This spring I'll be rockin the pixie.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sunshine Rhubarb Juice Concentrate

I had the very good fortune to barter with the right person this week.  My commodity, an artichoke plant, the recipients commodity, about 35 cups of rhubarb.  At first this was just me saving out a start from the really happy artichoke plant in our yard.  Then he mentioned rhubarb.  Now, I do have my own plants.  They are just about enough to keep my neighbor and myself happy all summer, and during a good year there might be a bit extra for some strawberry rhubarb pie filling or jam.  To get this much at once... what on earth do you do with it all?  One can only eat so many rhubarb muffins before one turns into one.   As many of you know, it kills me to waste anything, especially something from the garden, so I looked in my favorite canning book, Ball "Complete Book of Home Preserving".  I love the creative recipes in this book.  I found this juice concentrate recipe and I just happened to have the oranges and lemons needed.  That isn't always the case but it was this time.  I made a double batch and got 9 pints.  I am told by a fellow canning junkie that this is "the thing" to add to your juice or punches in the summer.  "It gives it a little kick." she says.  I put it over ice and plan on trying it in ice tea and lemonade.  Give it a try.  Pretty easy to make.  I will be lookin for extra rhubarb after trying this one.   

12 C sliced rhubarb (about inch long slices)
4 C water
1 1/2 C sugar
grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
grated zest and juice of 1 orange

1. In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine rhubarb and water, lemon zest, and orange zest.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Reduce heat, cover and boil gently until rhubarb is soft, about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and add lemon juice and orange juice.

2. Transfer to a dampened jelly bag or strainer lined with several layers of cheese cloth set over a deep bowl.  Let drip for at least 2 hours.

3.  Combine rhubarb juice and sugar and bring back to 190 degrees over heat to dissolve sugar. 

4.  Prepare hot water bath canner and lids. 

Process pints for 10 minutes. Then allow them to cool for 5 minutes before pulling them out of the canner.

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