The use of rhubarb as food is recorded early in the 17th century in England after sugar become more available and affordable for the everyday cook. Interestingly the leaves of the rhubarb plant are toxic and should not be consumed. However the pinkish stalks of the rhubarb are commonly used in jams, purees and desserts. It’s been a family favorite of ours for years.
This particular recipe for Rhubarb and Pineapple Jam by Mrs. R.W. Laskey was found in the 111 Favorites: A Recipe Book from Pleasant Grove Presbyterian Church Women that my grandma had in her files. Mrs. Laskey notes it’s especially nice to use with ham and pork.
3 cups rhubarb – cut in 3/4″ pieces
1 cup pineapple – crushed
3 cups sugar
Wash and cut rhubarb, measure and combine with pineapple and sugar in large saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Then boil rapidly 25-30 minutes until thick, stirring frequently. Pour into hot jelly jars and seal immediately with a thin layer of paraffin. Makes 3 to 3 1/2 cups.
I thought this recipe was perfectly timed for the upcoming growing season, so make sure to plant rhubarb or look for it at your local Farmer’s Market. Next up will be an Appalachian treat with quail!