An incredibly tasting – and incredibly easy – three ingredient rhubarb butter sweetened only with honey and flavored with lemon that may just change the way you think about rhubarb! Equally good frozen or water bath canned.
I’ve decided to add more rhubarb recipes to the site because I realized that I’m actually lacking in rhubarb recipes even though I grow and harvest it each spring.
Oh sure, I’ve posted a Spicy Rhubarb Chutney that makes pork so good you wouldn’t believe it (and makes a fine salad dressing, too) and I have a Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce that I will occasionally make to have in the freezer. But none of the muffins, bars, tarts or baked goods that I make every season.
Well, that will change starting with this delicious recipe for preserving your harvest with rhubarb butter – so get ready for more rhubarb! (Update: see Crumb Topped Orange Rhubarb Muffins, Rhubarb Honey Crumb Bars, Small Batch Honey Rhubarb Ginger Jam, plus the hugely popular Ultimate Rhubarb Guide: Grow, Harvest, Cook & Preserve.)
I just happen to be starting with a recipe for rhubarb butter that will throw everything you thought you knew about rhubarb out the window:
- Think you don’t like rhubarb? Um, I dare you to try this.
- Think you’ve been-there-done-that with fruit butters? Not even close.
This honey lemon rhubarb butter is simply to.die.for.
Which, to be honest, surprised the heck out of me.
When I was creating this, I thought it would be okay – maybe even better than okay as I added my favorite lemon flavor. But I wasn’t sure – lemon isn’t known for being sweet and rhubarb is usually paired with sweet things like strawberries and oranges.
But since I like things on the tart side, I persevered – and am I ever glad I did. It really turned out incredible.
Honey Lemon Rhubarb Butter Recipe
I think this rhubarb butter is pretty much a perfect balance of sweet-tart, though you could add a bit more honey if you want it sweeter.
And the ingredients are so simple and real: just rhubarb, honey and lemon with a bit of water. Yep, that’s it – only three ingredients!
The One Tool You’ll Need
It’s also an easy dump-and-cook recipe. After adding all the ingredients to a pot to boil, the only other thing you’ll have to do is puree the mixture with a hand-held immersion blender like this. You can use a blender if that’s all you have, but you’ll have to be very careful about handling the hot product transferring it to and from the blender.
Making Rhubarb Butter
After boiling and blending the mixture, you then just let it cook to thicken. The photos above show how the butter looks at one and two hours of cooking. Notice how deeper colored and thicker it is at close to 2 hours. It also takes longer to fill in when you drag the spoon through it. That’s your clue that it’s ready to freeze or can.
You can preserve this rhubarb butter by water-bath canning (see my complete tutorial here – it’s really easy, I promise) or by freezing it, whichever you prefer. This is a small batch recipe, though, making only 3 half pints, so however you preserve it, I definitely think you’re going to want to make more.
Even though this recipe contains just three simple ingredients, the flavor isn’t simple at all – something magical happens when you cook the ingredients for a couple hours until thick and smooth. I pretty much ate it right from a spoon.
Though of course it’s terrific on muffins (why not double up on the rhubarb by serving with a glazed orange rhubarb muffin?), toast and desserts like vanilla ice cream, butter cakes or shortbread. Oh, just writing this is giving me more ideas: how about as the jam in thumbprint cookies or the filling in mini tarts? Yes, yes.
That’s assuming there’s anything left after being eaten off the spoon, that is.
So here’s your dare – make this, even if you think you don’t like rhubarb, and then let me know if you think it’s as good as we do!
Honey Lemon Rhubarb Butter (To Can or Freeze)
- 6 cups chopped rhubarb 1 ½ to 2 pounds
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup honey
- zest & juice of 1 small lemon
- Add all ingredients to a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until soft, about 15-20 minutes.
- Puree the contents of the pot with an immersion blender (or carefully transfer to a blender and blend, then return to the pot) until smooth.
- Reduce heat all the way to low and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, or until the rhubarb butter is thickened (see photos in recipe for a guide) and doesn't run when a bit is added to a plate.
- To Can:
- As rhubarb butter nears completion, prepare three 1/2-pint jars and keep hot until needed. Prepare canning lids according to manufacturer’s directions, and start the water heating in a canner.
- When the butter is ready, ladle into 1 jar at a time, leaving 1/4-inch headspace, wiping the rim with a damp cloth, and attaching the lid. Place jar in prepared canner. Fill and close remaining jars.
- Process jars in a boiling-water canner for 15 minutes. Remove lid, turn off heat and let jars cool in canner 5 minutes before transferring to a towel-lined counter to cool. Check seals before labeling and storing in a cool, dark place.
- To Freeze:
- Let rhubarb butter cool a bit and divide into freezer-safe jars, leaving 2-inches headspace for expansion. Seal, label and freeze for up to a year.
- Thaw before using and keep in the refrigerator (it will keep in the fridge for a few weeks).
Other rhubarb recipes you may like:
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