Fruit butters are a beautiful thing. You get a powerful punch of intense flavour, perfect for spreading on toast or layering with whipped cream or mascarpone, or spreading over almond or peanut butter, or serving hot over ice cream…. with the advantage of a fraction of the sugar. This year I am switching over to butters. Jam is fine, but, the sugar I really don’t need. Its flavour I want!
Rhubarb butter is a power-pack of flavour. Its sweet enough to eat on its own (um… in giant scoopfuls…) but of course I would neeever do that. *bats eyelashes*
You have a wonderful spicy kick from the ginger, and it is balanced by the citrus of the orange. The honey (vegans: use maple syrup, agave or other liquid sweetener) evens out the acidity of the rhubarb, so you end up with a nicely balanced spread….
Rhubarb Orange Butter
NOTE: You may find that using a whole vanilla bean for this recipe is almost sacriledge, given the retail cost of those suckers. I would suggest, try substituting a couple whole cloves, or some cardamom pods, or maybe a few allspice berries, or some ground cinnamon or whole cinnamon sticks. The possibilities are limitless.
Also, feel free to change the proportions of the flavourings- make it more or less spicy to your liking.
- 6 cups chopped rhubarb (if you use the thin, redder, tender stalks, you will get a truly deep pink sauce)
- 1/2 cup honey (vegan: maple syrup or agave agave)
- 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped out to add to this recipe
- 1/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate or 1 cup orange juice
- 2 tbsp orange zest
- 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
- note: ginger, orange zest, vanilla can all be increased to suit your taste
- Place all ingredients in a pot on low heat.
- Bring to a simmer, and simmer for 1 hour or longer (until the mixture has reduced in volume and there are no individual chunks of rhubarb sticking out).
- Remove the vanilla bean.
- You may wish to puree with a hand blender. For extra spiciness, add in some freshly grated ginger.
Note: To get the pink colour- use only the small young bright pink stalks :)
Also: If you like the zesty orange flavour, add an additional tbsp of freshly grated zest to the mixture after it is cooked and pureed.
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