fresh rhubarb on a slate table

Savory Rhubarb Conserve

Savory Rhubarb Conserve is a low-sugar cooked conserve made with Pomona’s Universal Pectin. Pomona’s Pectin contains no sugar or preservatives and jells reliably with low amounts of any sweetener.
This recipe was created by Allison Carroll Duffy for Pomona’s Pectin. She says: “This rhubarb conserve is a savory one – sweet, sour, spicy, and a little bit pungent, all at the same time. It’s like a chutney, really, and I use it in the same way.”
Servings 5 cups


  • pounds rhubarb stalks trimmed
  • 1 cup onion diced
  • ½ cup golden raisins or regular raisins, if you prefer
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 Tablespoon orange zest
  • 2 Tablespoons ginger root finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon whole mustard seed
  • 1 teaspoon allspice ground
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom ground
  • 1 teaspoon cloves ground
  • ½ teaspoon coriander ground
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric ground
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons calcium water see step #1
  • cups sugar divided
  • 2 teaspoons Pomona’s Pectin mixed with sweetener


  • Before you begin, prepare calcium water.
    To do this, combine ½ teaspoon calcium powder (in the small packet in your box of Pomona’s pectin) with ½ cup water in a small, clear jar with a lid. Shake well.
    Extra calcium water should be stored in the refrigerator for future use.
  • Wash and rinse jars, lids, and screw bands. Set screw bands aside until ready to use. Place jars in boiling water bath canner with a rack, fill at least 2/3 of the way full with water, and bring to a boil. Boil jars for 10 minutes to sterilize (add 1 additional minute of sterilizing time for every 1000 feet above sea level), then turn down heat and let jars stand in hot water until ready to use. Place lids in water in a small pan, bring to a low simmer, and hold there until ready to use.
  • Rinse the rhubarb stalks. Slice the stalks lengthwise in to strips, then dice.
  • In a large sauce pan, combine diced rhubarb, diced onion, raisins, vinegar, orange juice, orange zest, minced ginger root, mustard seed, allspice, cardamom, cloves, coriander, turmeric, salt, and black pepper. Put a lid on the pan and bring mixture to a boil over high heat. Then reduce heat and simmer, still covered, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove the sauce pan from the heat. Transfer the mixture into a bowl or other heat-proof container, then measure out 4 cups of the mixture. (If you have any left over, you can use it for something else.) Pour the measured quantity of the mixture back into the sauce pan. Add the calcium water and stir to combine.
  • Measure 1 cup sugar into a bowl. Thoroughly mix pectin powder into sugar. Set aside.
  • Put the sauce pan on the stove and bring the rhubarb mixture up to a rolling boil over high heat. Add the sugar-pectin mixture, then stir vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes, still over the highest heat, to dissolve the pectin.
  • Add remaining 1½ cups sugar once pectin is dissolved. Stir well and return to a boil. Once the conserve returns to a full boil, remove it from the heat.
  • Remove hot jars from canner and fill jars with conserve, leaving ¼ inch of headspace. Remove trapped air bubbles, wipe rims with a damp cloth, and put on lids and screw bands, tightening bands only to “fingertip tight” (until resistance is met, and then just the tiniest bit more).
  • Place jars in the hot water, on the rack inside the canner. (Make sure jars are upright, not touching each other or the sides of the canner, and are covered with at least 1-2 inches of water). Place the lid on the canner, return the canner to a rolling boil, and boil for 10 minutes. (Add 1 minute additional processing time for every 1000 feet above sea level.)
  • Turn off heat and allow canner and jars to sit for 5 minutes. Then remove jars from canner.
  • Allow jars to cool undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours. Then confirm that jars have sealed. Remove screw bands from sealed jars, rinse off outside of jars if necessary, label jars, and store for later use.

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2 Responses

  1. Breda
    | Reply

    Hi, I’m new to Pomona’s……. can the conserves/preserves/marmalades & jams all be frozen?
    Thank you.

    • Shelby Collings
      | Reply

      They sure can! 😊

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