Apple Rhubarb Marmalade

Since rhubarb made its Spring debut in my garden this week, I thought I’d share some favorite rhubarb recipes, starting with a delicious jam.

My Rhubarb in April

A cold-loving plant, rhubarb thrives in the North Country without a lot of fuss.

I got this simple recipe from the UAF Extension Service’s rhubarb recipes handout.

My Rhubarb Patch in May

By the end of May, my rhubarb patch is in full production.

(They also publish a helpful flier on growing rhubarb.)

My Rhubarb in August

Rhubarb is a hearty perennial that produces well into August in my garden.

I’ve made this jam for over 14 years, and often wondered why it’s called “marmalade” when there isn’t any citrus peel included.

June Rhubarb Harvest

I picked nearly 10 lbs. of rhubarb to share at music camp last summer.

However, after searching online, I concluded that “marmalade” can simply mean any jam-like fruit preserve. Besides, rhubarb has a distinctly citrus-y taste.

Organic Homegrown Apples

"Give me spots on my apples, but leave me the birds & the bees, please!" - Joni Mitchell

Plus, it’s just fun to say “Apple Rhubarb Marmalade” out loud (go on, give it whirl…), so I’ll keep the name. Just know you won’t need any citrus peel for this preserve.

You will, however, need some apples. We have 3 old apple trees, so I try to use our own.

Peeling Apples by Hand

I make a game of trying to remove an apple's peel in one long spiral.

So, without further ado, I give you:

Apple Rhubarb Marmalade

3½ cups sugar
5 cups rhubarb stalks, cut fine
5 cups apples, peeled & sliced thin

Place alternate layers of sugar and rhubarb in a glass bowl. Let stand overnight.
In the morning, add the apples and simmer 1½ to 2 hours.
Pour boiling hot into hot jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace. Adjust caps.

Process 15 minutes in boiling water bath.

Yields 6 half pints.

Jars of Apple Rhubarb Marmalade

Putting up my own fruit preserves feels like money in the bank come winter.

Simple and delicious!

What about you? Do you have a favorite rhubarb recipe? Do you make other preserves?

Rhubarb – North Country Harbinger of Spring

Early spring is ugly here in New England. My garden looks forlorn, lonely, bedraggled.

Dreary Garden in Early Spring

After a strange, non-winter, what little snow we had has melted, leaving Mud Season in it's place.

But, look closer and you see it: the 1st rhubarb stalks emerging from the cold, wet ground.

NH Rhubarb Patch in March

Amidst the mud & debris, it's easy to miss the small red & green of signs of Spring returning.

Rhubarb is a perennial vegetable that we treat like a fruit. It’s the exact opposite of tomato, an annual fruit we treat like a vegetable.

Rhubarb Bud Emerging

Emerging rhubarb signals the start of Spring in New Hampshire.

The beauty of perennials is that they return on their own, without much work on your part.

Rhubarb Budding Out

Rhubarb's giant green leaves burst forth from reddish buds.

Our old-growth rhubarb patch returns early each Spring with great zest & vigor.

Emerging Rhubarb Leaves

Rhubarb leaves burst forth with an infectious joy for living.

Another benefit of looking closely?

Volunteer Pansy

What I thought were weeds in my raised garden beds turned out to be volunteer pansies.

These cheerful annual pansies self-seeded & volunteered to brighten up my muddy garden, all on their own.

Despite the dreary mud, it’s hard not to feel hopeful & glad.

Happy, happy Spring, everyone!