I try to freeze at least a little rhubarb every year. I’m so excited to see it in the spring that my enthusiasm gets the best of me, and before I know it, I have 4 pounds of pink stalks poking out of my fridge. Later in the summer or fall (or winter, let’s be honest), this results in some freezer clean-out preserves that span the seasons. This is exactly what happened here, and I’m so glad it did because I don’t think these two unlikely tart fruit pals would have found their way together otherwise.
This recipe requires that you supreme the grapefruit, which simply means cutting the citrus flesh away from the membranes. I will be the first to admit that I hated supreming for a really long time. It’s a pain, it feels a little precious, and— most importantly—I was pretty bad at it. A couple of things changed to make me feel better about supreming. One was practice and the other, more important, factor was my knife. It really needs to be sharp. I’m not exaggerating when I say sharpen it right before you supreme. I just use my very unfancy at-home sharpener, and it still makes a huge difference.
- 2 pounds (about 2 medium) red grapefruit
- 1 pound (about 4 cups) rhubarb, sliced ½ inch thick
- 2 cups sugar
- Cut 1-inch-thick strips of peel from the grapefruit, leaving as much pith behind as possible.
- Stack 3 or 4 pieces of peel together and julienne until you have ¼ cup of julienned peel. Add to the preserving pot.
- Once you have enough peel, supreme the grapefruit, reserving the seeds and as much juice as possible. I find the easiest way to catch as much juice as possible is to work over a bowl or Pyrex measuring cup. Squeeze the “rag” of the grapefruit, the membrane that remains after you have cut away all the fruit during supreming, to extract as much juice as possible. Measure 1½ cups supremed grapefruit sections and juice.
- Tie the seeds up in a square of cheesecloth or scrap of white tea towel. Add them to the preserving pot with the julienned peel, grapefruit flesh and juice, rhubarb chunks, and sugar. Over high heat, bring the mixture to a boil that cannot be stirred down. Immediately remove from heat, let cool, and refrigerate overnight.
- Remove and squeeze the grapefruit seed packet into the preserving pot.
- Over high heat, bring to a boil that cannot be stirred down. Reduce to medium-high and cook, stirring frequently, until it passes the plate test. This small batch sets up quickly, in less than 10 minutes.
- Ladle into prepared half-pint jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and wipe rims. Place the lids on the jars and screw on the bands until they are fingertip tight.
- Process in a water-bath canner for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude as needed.
- After 24 hours, check the seals. Label, date, and store out of direct sunlight without the bands for up to a year.
Printed with permission from Beyond Canning by Autumn Giles, ©2016 Voyageur Press.