Rhubarb Sauce


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Average: 4.1 (19 votes)


I remember so well the time back in the early 1920s spent with my aunt and two cousins in Salem Depot, New Hampshire, every summer. My aunt was a wonderful cook, and one of the things I remember most is the rhubarb sauce she made. It tasted as though it had been mixed with strawberries.

After I was married in 1936, she gave me her recipe for rhubarb sauce. I have shared it with many friends, and everyone agrees: Follow the recipe to a T and you will have the most delicious rhubarb sauce you have ever tasted. —Stella Van Vloten, North Easton, Massachusetts

For more rhubarb dishes, see our “Best Rhubarb Recipes” page!

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photo: Shutterstock


2 cups water
2 scant cups sugar
3 pounds rhubarb cut into 1-inch pieces


Make a syrup with the water and sugar. Boil together a few minutes.

Add rhubarb to syrup when it starts boiling in center. Watch closely and let boil just 1 minute.

Now here is the trick that makes ordinary rhubarb sauce a Sauce Deluxe: Pour into a bowl or pan with a tight cover. Leave tightly covered until cold, and you will find a sauce very different from any you have ever eaten.


Stella Van Vloten, North Easton, Massachusetts

Reader Comments

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I would like to process this in 8 oz jars. How long would you water bath these?

If you don't get any canning

If you don't get any canning answers, consider freezing the syrup in the Ball Jar - just leave an inch of headroom for expansion. I freeze everything I don't know how to can in Ball Jars.

I have canned it before you

I have canned it before you have to have jars just like for jam hot,clean, and hot clean lids.Dry the lid before placeing on top and make sure no fruit is on the rim, leave a space at the top and listen to hear the snap I boil my rhubarb till it looks broken and stringy yes with the sugar and water and some times I put a bit of lemon juice not allot. If you would feel better you can boil your jars for a half hr but I never with the last batch and it wont last long lovely with cream or ice cream.

'airtight' ?

Would stretching a clingwrap film suffice for this ? Or are we talking a plastic lid ? Or even a big stainless steel stew-pan with its lid in which the sauce has been prepared ?

I would never place plastic

I would never place plastic wrap against hot food - chemicals from the plastic wrap can leach into the food.

How do convert pounds into cups?

This sounds amazing! Do you have any idea how many stalks I would use. Or, cups of cut up rhubarb? I don't have a scale. Thanks!

Rhubarb sauce pound to cups

Hi Darla
i just made the sauce. it would very on the size of your stakes. but, my 3 pounds of Rhubarb cut-up came to 10 cups.
hope that helps

There's something missing

There's something missing here. It says "...let boil just 1 minute." However, the instant you add the rhubarb to the boiling syrup, the boiling stops, and it takes several minutes to start boiling again. When do you start timing the one minute? When you add the rhubarb (in which case it doesn't "boil") or when the syrup begins to boil again?

Hi Charles, thanks for

Hi Charles, thanks for commenting. You should start timing (1 minute) when the syrup and rhubarb starts boiling again, after you've added the rhubarb. Enjoy!

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