Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Ruby Spring: Honey-Roasted Rhubarb Sauce

I bought a bundle of rhubarb at the Sunday farmers' market with no actual plan in mind, I just wanted to buy something fresh since it was finally there.  I made a rhubarb cake a couple weeks ago (using home-frozen rhubarb) and so we didn't really need another cake again so soon.  I don't have any other rhubarb recipes bookmarked and no other desserts I wanted to make, so I decided to turn it into a fruit sauce to use in my morning oatmeal.   Rhubarb sauce is also supposed to be good on ice cream, so I might try a spoonful that way.  My current favorite ice cream topping is peanut dust, what's left after Husband Jeff eats the huge container of store-brand peanuts from Target.  It is so perfectly nutty-salty with a tiny touch of sweetness! 

[Edited on July 2, 2014 to add microwave cooking instructions. See below!]


Cafe Zupas' honey roasted rhubarb


  • 1 bunch rhubarb (mine was 6 long stalks)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 Tablespoons orange juice


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

Microwave instructions - To make this in the microwave and not heat up your house, put the chopped rhubarb in a bowl with the honey and microwave for 3 minutes, stir, 3 minutes, stir, and then about 2 more minutes.  If you have a less powerful microwave (mine is heavy-duty) you might need to cook it a bit longer, but it's really quick. 

While the oven is heating up, cut the rhubarb into bite-sized pieces and put it into a glass 9x13 baking dish.  I had thoughts floating around in my head that rhubarb is acidic enough that you need to avoid metal containers, so I figured glass was probably a good safe choice.  Better safe than sorry.

And no need to worry about spraying the pan.  I gave it half a second of thought but went without and it was totally fine because it's so wet that it's not going to stick.   
Chopped rhubarb, oj, and honey.
Add the honey and orange juice.  My orange juice is frozen cubes from a pitcher I made several months ago (not homemade at all, completely from one of those frozen concentrate canisters).  All of the cubes froze into a big blob, so I had to whack the bag against the floor a couple times to break up the chunks. So classy.  One ice cube is approximately 2 tablespoons, so I just went with that. 

Bake for 15-20 minutes. 
After cooking 20 minutes.
I stirred mine after 15 minutes and decided to cook it another 5 minutes to reduce some of the liquid and fully soften the last couple of pieces.  I wish rhubarb was less wet so it could have browned like when you roast veggies.  I guess I could have put it under the broiler for a bit, but I'm slightly afraid of the powerful broiler, it's easy to let something go a little too long and burn it. 

Then I mashed the fruit with the back of the spoon and let it cool a bit. 
After mashing with that big serving spoon.  I don't like that weird pink and green color. 
As it cooled it unexpectedly thickened which was good because that's more of what I was looking for. And I don't know if it's because it cooled or what, but I was glad it turned more appealing pink color that the freshly-mashed dingy green and dull pink. 

After cooling a bit, I transferred it to a smaller container and tucked it into the fridge for later in the week. 
Beautiful ruby color of fresh rhubarb sauce. 


I licked the spoon as I finished cleaning out the baking pan and liked what I tasted.  I'm glad I went with this recipe that used only 1/4 cup of honey, it was the right amount of sweetness and not too tart. Some of the other recipes I found used 1/2 cup of sugar, which would have been way too sweet.

I also liked that it added some orange juice for some variety in the flavor.   I wanted to add some vanilla extract and a touch of cinnamon, but I completely forgot since I was making this on my lunch break and I was watching the TV show Clean House on my iPad at the same time. I'll probably add a couple of teaspoons of my homemade vanilla (essentially vanilla vodka, a handful of vanilla beans in a bottle of vodka) and a sprinkle of cinnamon later. 

Wanna Chat?

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