It’s that time of year again when the rhubarb goes mad. We’ve only got 2 plants but they produce so much. We’ve done so much with rhubarb today that I thought it worthy of a blog post.
I set the kids on ferrying the rhubarb and then cutting off the ends ready to go into the house. I’m keen on teaching them safe knife skills and very happy that Chi ‘graduated’ to using our ‘sharp’ kitchen knife safely. I did have to stop and Google if you should eat rhubarb raw as Rowan kept trying to eat the ends. (You can, it’s just very sharp).
Sam’s request was Finnish rhubarb soup. The Finnish fruit soups are an odd thing, a bit like a coulis but not as sweet and much more runny. It’s eaten as a dessert, ontop of your cereal or just slurped from a mug. It’s basically fruit, sugar, water and potato (corn) flour and shouldn’t be good but it is. I was able to do a quick batch whilst we ate dinner to give us a dessert. Rhubarb soup is best with a dash of milk or cream to take off the sharpness. Here’s how you make it.
Finnish Fruit Soup
1 litre water
4 tbsp potato (corn) flour
Heat the fruit, sugar and water until cooked. Add more sugar to adjust sweetness if needed.
Mix the potato flour with a bit of water in a cup and pour into the soup slowly whilst stirring.
Serve warm, can be stored in the fridge.
Chi’s first request was ‘rhubarb juice’. I had made a squash with it the other year which she loved. I dusted off our Mehu Liisa and got to work. It’s basically a steamer with a special section in the middle to collect the juice. It’s a traditional tool in Finnish kitchens, my mother in law brought one over many years go now that has been woefully underused. I think I am getting the hang of it now though.
2kg of chopped rhubarb
Pop the fruit and sugar in the top section, fill the bottom section half full with water and heat for 45 mins.
Siphon off the juice and pour it over the fruit/sugar mix. Top up the water in the bottom section. Return to the heat for another 45 minutes.
Siphon off the juice into bottles.
I was quite dubious about the Mehu Liisa at first, if you move it whilst heating it spits at you, I managed to burn the bottom half one time and the siphon gets so hot. This batch went really well though, I used a jam pan to collect the siphoned juice at half time and topped up the water to stop burning. I did have a fair amount of sugar in the middle section at the end so I do need to refine things. I love that the juice will store for over a year without pasturising, it comes out so hot that it is sterile. I only got 3 750ml bottles though, I’d love to be able to get more each batch.
Lastly I made some rhubarb and cinnamon jam. I managed to squeeze it whilst the Mehu Liisa was on it’s first round of heating. It was meant to be a rhubarb and vanilla recipe but I mixed up vanilla and cinnamon. It makes a really nice jam that I found tastes a bit like coca cola if you let it mature. I loved it on my porridge.
Rhubarb and Cinnamon jam
1.3kg jam sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
Combine the rubarb, sugar and cinnamon sticks, gently heat and stir until the sugar dissolves.
Add lemon juice, raise the heat and bring to the boil.
Stir regularly for about 10 minutes, removing the froth.
Check if it’s reached setting point.
Pour into sterile jars
Made 5 380ml jars
I had wanted to make some of the Finnish rhubarb cake but I ran out of time today. That plus rhubarb vodka and rhubarb gin makes up all of my rhubarb recipes.
What do you like doing with rhubarb?