Fermented Raspberry-Rhubarb Sauce(s)

They say that home is where the heart is. Although this is true, home is also where: Noses are bloodied, messes are made, school work is done {and often not done}, people are bored and of course last but not least… there is no shortage of people “starving to death.”

By the end of most days I’m realizing its 10:00 and I have not had a moments peace all day. I’m in the kitchen cooking and canning, helping with school work, cleaning up messes, tending to boo boo’s, making new messes and chasing the cat out of my space. When it’s all said and over with, the only time I have for myself is usually when I’m exercising. {if I’m lucky} Lets face it, that’s not me time it is just pure hell. I absolutely 1,000% hate it.

A couple years ago my neighbor said she grew rhubarb and had plenty of it. My response was, what’s that? My first real encounter with the frisky vibrant stalks was at the CSA a month ago. Rhubarb was described to me by Heidi as refreshing, light and kind of sour. She said her favorite use of rhubarb was as a spritzer beverage. This raspberry-rhubarb sauce would be great mixed into lemonade, or incredible as a cocktail with champagne, (pfft yeah right) white wine (Riesling is my favorite), gin or my best buddy vodka. If your feeling fancy pants-ish go ahead and put this mixture directly into the booze for raspberry-rhubarb liqueur! Eat it with a mouse in a house… you get the point.

Rhubarb has become my happy place. I am truly very infatuated with it.  Tart, citrus-y, very slightly sweet and one of a kind. Although it took me a little bit to master it, I love the stuff. (whether I overcook it or not) I like it with ice cream, I like it with applesauce, I like it any which way and the good news is its all mine. Man-Meat HATES it and I have yet to convince the kids to try the “creepy pink infested celery.” To keep the peace I segregate my rhubarb when possible. I made a big batch of fermented raspberry sauce and a big batch of rhubarb compote, I mixed half of the two together for when Momma wants a sundae. Perfect on peach and sour cream ice cream, delicious with granola and raw yogurt, and it is awesome in those cocktails too!

Fermented Fresh Raspberry Sauce

The raspberry sauce is a recipe for fermented raspberry sauce found in Nourishing Traditions, you can sour it two to three days (covered at room temperature) or simply use less salt and refrigerate it for up to a week. If you are not souring it and making just a small portion for the rhubarb-raspberry dessert sauce you can halve the recipe. Whether you ferment it or not you do not want to mix this sauce with the other sauce during cooking. The raw raspberry taste is more vibrant un-cooked and the color is prettiest this way as well.

  • 2 cups fresh raspberries
  • 1/4 cup sucanat, raw sugar or other dry sweetener substitute
  • Heavy Pinch, (about 2 teaspoons) Of Salt *optional, see note*

In a blender puree all ingredients together. Pour into a mesh sieve/strainer. Gently press the mixture through, do not Hulk Smash the mixture or you will end up with seeds. Put into a lidded jar and leave at room temperature for 2-3 days. It will smell sweet and sour and it should taste less salty when its finished. Once fermented add additional honey or sugar to sweeten it to your taste.

Note: If you are not fermenting the sauce use a small pinch of salt. After puree’d and strained it is ready for storage or use. I used this for not only this sauce but “fermented raspberry ice cream.” About 1/2 cup of sauce with any 2-3 cup custard base. Similar to my probiotic blueberry ice cream only I used this fermented raspberry sauce instead of blueberry compote.

Basic Rhubarb Compote 

When I want to rhubarb-ify something I mix this into it. Its great in applesauce or any previously prepared compote or jam. For strawberry-rhubarb jam I just mix this compote or microwaved rhubarb into it. (Yes I really just said microwaved rhubarb. Two minutes and VOILA! “Stewed” rhubarb.) The same will work with blueberry compote or raspberry jam. This compote can be substituted for applesauce in baked goods for a nice zip!

I’ve learned through trial and error that rhubarb is equally as beautiful as it is delicate. It is quite willing to instantly stringify itself with no courtesy warning. My ugly compotes, they taste pretty good but they do not look like all the lovely rose hued compotes from Martha Stewart. I think generally the answer is to add something, anything to make it look and taste better. (Like raspberries maybe?) Instead of always trying to hide the ugly duckling I want to give it a hug. Rhubarb doesn’t always need to be gussied up, I actually like the taste of rhubarb. Just Rhubarb. Looking through some of my favorite blogs I came across Ten Ways to Enjoy Rhubarb Compote , alas the answer. Don’t try to hide the rhubarb flavor simply lipstick that pig! Beets are the answer. A little beet juice will transform your ugly Betty of a compote into a beautiful ethereal little lady. But you know what they say, make an ugly woman your wife. Sometimes ugly really isn’t all that bad.

  • 2lbs rhubarb, sliced and diced small
  • 1/2 cup honey or other liquid sweetener 

Place honey and rhubarb into a pot. Bring to a boil and simmer on medium heat. Cook for five minutes or until softened. Add a pinch of salt and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks or process into sterile jars.

-Five minutes is about good, if you have an electric stove like I do it can be tricky. Turn on the heat to medium. Bring to a boil for one or two minutes. Turn heat off and cover. Check back in five minutes. If its too crunchy for you, rinse and repeat this process.