This recipe is one that we get asked to share on a regular basis whenever we serve this at Puriri Lane - Rhubarb Cordial. We use for this recipe what we think is the best Rhubarb which is called Crimson Crumble . The colour as you can see from the batch that I have just made is just divine and when you cook the Rhubarb it retains is pretty pink colour - it is also wonderful for baking as it holds its shape if you are wanting little batons of rhubarb for pastries.
Crimson Crumble produces throughout the year and the plants bulk up very quickly again after you harvest your rhubarb - just make sure you provide plenty of food for these hungry plants - we have about 6 in the garden to make sure we have enough for our winter crumbles and muffins - see the recipe here and for making our summer cordial.
This very simple recipe will make approximately 1 litre of cordial which can then be diluted with sparkling water.
1kg of Rhubarb
2 Oranges or Tangelo - skin only
5 Star Anise
600g of Caster Sugar - approximately
Citric Acid | 1 teaspoon
Put all of the ingredients (except the Citric Acid) into a large pan and add 750ml of water - the rhubarb will not be totally covered and this is what you want. Use a vegetable peeler to peel 2-3 strips of the orange or tangelo into the pot along with the star anise. We use Tangelos as they are readily available in Winter here at Puriri Lane, but either are fine. You can also add in some freshly grated ginger which makes for another lovely flavour combination.
Bring the rhubarb to the boil and the turn down the heat and cook until the rhubarb has fallen apart and is soft. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Pour the rhubarb and the juice into a jelly bag and allow the juice to drip overnight.
Pour the collected juice into a pot and add the sugar - I tend to just add a bit at a time to ensure it is not too sweet - so just taste it as you go to get it to your liking. Once the sugar is dissolved you can add the teaspoon of Citric Acid which will act as a natural preservative or you can add the juice of a couple of lemons to give you a sharper zing.
Allow the cordial to cool and then pour into a sterilised bottle and store in the fridge - or you can freeze it into ice cube trays which is enough for a glass. Gorgeous to gift or keep for summer drinks.