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Stewed Rhubarb & Orange Recipe

by Kylie Foster December 29, 2019 2 Comments

Stewed rhubarb and orange recipe

Do you have rhubarb going nuts in your garden right now? It seems to be the optimal rhubarb growing season (summertime in New Zealand) which means it's time to stew some rhubarb. Stewed rhubarb is super versatile and great to have with breakfast cereals, desserts or use in baking. Oranges are also at their prime right now so I've added orange as a great way to use any excess you may have available, plus it adds a great flavour note. As a testament to how good this stewed rhubarb and orange recipe is, I made three batches of it last night to use up the 3.5kg of rhubarb I removed from my garden.  

I've used raw golden sugar in this recipe (use standard sugar if you prefer or switch out and use honey). I generally prefer preserves to be on the less sweet side as it makes them much more flexible for later use.  I felt this recipe was pretty bang on for sweetness to eat as is plus the rhubarb to sugar ratio is really easy to work with if you have more or less rhubarb you need to stew - you can adjust the amount of sugar to suit your tastebuds. The use of orange in this recipe adds a lovely flavour dimension with the benefit of added sweetness too.

This recipe is for the canning of rhubarb - it continues to cook during the heat processing step. The heat processing time applies to the jar sizes noted below. If you have a large canning pot that holds more jars, you can double the recipe and heat process 6 jars at once - note, you will still use the 15 mins heat processing time given in the recipe.

Home preserved rhubarb and orange recipe

Makes: 3x 580mL Weck Mold Jars or 3x Ball Wide Mouth Pint Mason Jars or 3x Ball Regular Mouth Pint Mason Jars


1.2 kg rhubarb stems (leaves removed)
120 g sugar (I use raw golden sugar)
Zest and juice from 1x medium sized orange
1/4 cup water (this can be omitted for a thicker stewed rhubarb - see notes in recipe)

Stewed rhubarb and orange recipe steps


  1. Wash your preserving jars in hot soapy water, rinse and place in a warm oven (use a low heat setting) until ready for use. Prepare the lids or seals as per manufacturers recommendations.
  2. Fill your canning pot to about halfway (or slightly more) with water. Put this on high heat and bring to the boil while you prepare the rhubarb.
  3. Wash the rhubarb stems, chop into 2-3 cm lengths and place into a large pot or stock pot.
  4. Cover the rhubarb with the sugar, mix through and leave for about 30 minutes or longer. The sugar will help draw water out from the rhubarb which you will need as you start the heating process. If you decide to omit the 1/4 cup of water, let the rhubarb and sugar rest for a couple of hours before progressing to the next step.
  5. Add the orange rind and juice, mix through, cover with a lid then bring to the boil gently over a low-medium heat. Stir occasionally whilst bringing to the boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn off the heat - it will continue to cook during heat processing so don't worry if it doesn't look cooked enough at this stage. (At this step, I also fill up my electric kettle with water and bring to the boil so I have hot water available if needed in Step 7.)
  6. Take the jars out of the oven and place on a wooden chopping board. Using a jar funnel, ladle the stewed rhubarb into the jars leaving a 1/2" (15 mm) gap from the rim. You will need to press the rhubarb down into the jars a little to help remove air pockets - use a spatula or spoon. Adjust the fill level if required. Place the lid on top and fasten (method dependent on the preserving jar system you are using - for Ball mason jars, these should be tightened to finger tight).
  7. Once all jars are filled, place onto the rack in the water bath using a jar lifter. Adjust the level of water in the bath/pot so that you have at least 2 cm of water above the jars. Bring back up to the boil and, once at a boil, heat process for 15 mins. After 15 mins, turn off the heat and leave to sit in the water bath for about 5 mins. Then remove from the water bath using a jar lifter and place on a folded tea towel in a place where the jars can be left undisturbed for 12 hours. 
  8. After 12 hours (once cooled), remove the clamps or rings from your jars and ensure that a seal has formed. Label and store in a cool, dark place for up to 12 months. 

Stewed rhubarb and orange canning recipe NZ

Kylie Foster
Kylie Foster


2 Responses

Kylie Foster
Kylie Foster

February 01, 2020

Thanks Hugh! Hope you like it. Always good to have some new flavour combinations to try. Kylie

Hugh Cronwright
Hugh Cronwright

February 01, 2020

Have printed it, look forward to trying it out! Thanks!

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