Vanilla bean stewed rhubarb

There's more to rhubarb than pies and crisps

If you're a home cook who insists on cooking everything from scratch, then canning and preserving should be nothing new to you. Victoria-based Amy Bronee, author of the Family Feedbag blog and her new cookbook, The Canning Kitchen, is a big proponent of showcasing whole ingredients and empowering home cooks.

Here's how you can enjoy those beautiful pink rhurbarb stalks, if you have any left in your garden. 

"Old-fashioned stewed rhubarb goes from casual comfort to dazzling dessert with the addition of tiny black vanilla seeds. There’s not much you can put in a jar that’s tastier or more beautiful than simple stewed rhubarb." -- Amy Bronee.

2-1/2 lb rhubarb stalks
1 vanilla bean
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup water

Rinse rhubarb well under cool running water. Chop into ½ -inch (1 cm) pieces (you should have about 9 cups/2.25 L of chopped rhubarb). Place the rhubarb in a large, heavy-bottomed pot.

Using a small sharp knife, slice the vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Using the back of the knife, scrape the length of the bean to remove the tiny black seeds. Add them to the pot, along with the vanilla bean halves.

Add the sugar and water. Bring the mixture to a bubble over high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the rhubarb is soft and stringy. Remove from the heat. Discard the vanilla bean halves.

Ladle into 5 clean 250 mL (1 cup) jars, leaving a ¼ -inch (5 mm) headspace. Process in a boiling water bath canner for 15 minutes.

Tip: Rhubarb can be chopped and frozen for use another day. Growing your own rhubarb is easy. Buy a plant from a local garden centre and plant in a sunny spot, or ask a gardening friend for some rhubarb with plenty of attached root. Plant it in your own garden to enjoy fresh rhubarb year after year.


5 1-cup jars