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I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Sunday, June 07, 2009

Rhubarb Pie Filling & Rhubarb Pie

I grew up with a rhubarb patch and have had one at every house we've owned. Rhubarb grows almost like a weed once it is established. We moved here almost 2 years ago just as the rhubarb patch was starting to produce nicely in our former garden and too late to put in a patch that year. Last year we were still in the process of ripping out a lot of the overgrowth so we didn't plant rhubarb although in hindsight we should have. So our rhubarb patch did not get planted until this spring which means if we are lucky it might be big enough to get a pie or two out of next year. Instead we have been getting rhubarb from family, friends and neighbours. That means I'm being very frugal in using some fresh rhubarb and preserving rhubarb for later use.

rhubarb pie fillingRhubarb Pie Filling

My husband loves rhubarb pie so the primary use for rhubarb is making pies. Normally I either freeze or can stewed rhubarb for later use. This year I decided to make a ready to use rhubarb pie filling. The problem was I couldn't find a plain rhubarb pie filling for canning so I relied on my canning knowledge to create one. The end result was a tasty, gorgeous looking, ready to use pie filling testing in at pH 2.9 suitable for boiling water bath canning. If you make this pie filling do not substitute the Clear Jel® with flour or corn starch. Clear Jel® is currently the only USDA approved thickener for canning.

Rhubarb Pie Filling

9½ c prepared rhubarb
2 c water

2 c organic sugar
⅝ c ClearJel®
1 c water

4 tbsp lemon juice

Wash rhubarb then cut into ¾ inch pieces. Place in stock pot. Pour the 2 c of water over the rhubarb. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Drain the rhubarb reserving the liquid. Set hot rhubarb aside. Combine sugar, Clear Gel®, 1 c water and reserve liquid in sauce pan. Heat on medium high while whisking until mixture thickens. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice. Stir the thickened mixture into the hot rhubarb pieces. Ladle into hot jars leaving 1-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rims. Adjust two piece lids. Process in boiling water bath canner for 15 minutes.

rhubarb pieRhubarb Pie

My husband would have been very upset had I not made him a rhubarb pie. I have made the same rhubarb pie from my aged Betty Crocker cookbook that includes my favourite pie pastry  for as long as I've had the cookbook. This time I made a couple of changes. First and this has always been a problem with my pies is I changed the thickener. The recipe calls for flour but I substituted Clear Jel®. This is a modified corn starch that tolerates high heat without breaking down and doesn't thicken until the pie starts cooling down. By the time the pie had cooled enough to slice the filling had nicely thickened unlike my normal runny results.

Rhubarb Pie

pastry for 10-inch two crust pie
2 c sugar
½ c Clear Jel®
1 tbsp lemon juice
5 c fresh cut rhubarb
3 tbsp butter
organic sugar

Heat oven to 219ºC (425ºF). Prepare pastry. Wash and cut rhubarb into ¾-inch pieces. Mix Clear Jel® and sugar together then mix with rhubarb. Pour the rhubarb mixture into the prepared pie shell. Drizzle the lemon juice on top. Add the butter in small pieces over the rhubarb. Top with pastry top. Crimp the edges. Poke a few holes in the pastry top with a fork. Sprinkle organic sugar on top of the pastry top. Cover edges with aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning. Remove during the last 15 minutes of baking. Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until crust is brown and juice begins to bubble through the crust.

23 food lovers commented:

Mrs. Mecomber said...

Clear Jel in pie! Fantastic idea! I'll have to try that. I have never had rhubarb pie, have never grown rhubarb... but I don't like runny fruit pies. I love peach pie and beryy pies, and the filling is always too runny for my taste. Thanks for the tip!

Aloria said...

My husband also loves rhubarb pie. But you don't say how many quarts of pie filling your canning recipe makes. I'm guessing the rhubarb cooks down to 2 qts? Thanks for including the pH info!

Garden Gnome said...

Hi Aloria, the recipe will make 4 - 500 ml (pint) jars of pie filling. You're welcome for the pH info :)

Anonymous said...

I just made the pie filling, and was wondering, will one jar fill a pie crust, or do you need 2? I want to give as gifts. Do you have any easy recipes/use recommendations I should give with a single jar?

Garden Gnome said...

Hi Joyce and thanks for visiting. A one 500 ml jar is approximately 2 c of filling. This is enough to fill 6 large tarts or one shallow 9-inch pie shell or for a 9x9x2 - inch cobbler. You will need about 2 jars to fill a larger deep dish pie shell. I don't have any specific recipes for using up one jar although I will highly recommend my favourite pie crust recipe for the crust. This recipe will give perfect results every time!

Shauna said...

I'm sorry, I'm not a good cook. Can you tell me if I just put 2 pints of pie filling in a crust and bake or do I need to add anything when I use that recipe to can to turn it into a pie?

Garden Gnome said...

Hi Shauna and thanks for visiting. I think 2 pints would be plenty for a pie. Just pour the filling into the unbaked crust, top with a crust, poke steam holes in the top crust and bake. You should be fine. HTH

Anonymous said...

Where do you find Clear Jel. I have checked 3 grocery stores and could not find.

Garden Gnome said...

Hi :) It is highly unlikely you will find Clear Jel for canning in the grocery stores. I buy Clear Jel for canning from Golda's Kitchen when I'm in the GTA but I have ordered from them online as well.

Sheila from Texas said...

Is clear jel gluten free? Most celiacs avoid "modified food starch" unless it is clear which type of starch they are using...

Garden Gnome said...

Hi Sheila and thanks for visiting. I haven't seen any indication that Clear Jel is gluten free but a quick Google search shows Clear Jel being used in some gluten free recipes. HTH

Lisa said...

Thanks so much for the recipe! Can I add strawberries to this and if so, how much would you recommend?

Thanks! Lisa

Cornabys said...

I use Thick Gel in all of my canned (or otherwise) pie fillings--I get it from [link removed]. It is more stable than Clear Jel and the pie filling holds up without going cloudy and separating. Your rhubarb pie filling looks heavenly. The canning directions I have for my apple pie filling say to process for 35 minutes (quarts) for altitudes from 3000-6000 feet above sea level. I live in the Rockies; where do you hail from?

Mrs. said...

I made a triple batch of your rhubarb pie filling recipe for canning. Oh my,is it ever good! I may just forget the pie crust and eat it out of the jar. Thanks for sharing the recipe you developed.

Amy I said...

I just made your pie recipe and it smells just great! I have to wait to cut it,(I made this for a work potluck tomorrow), so I'll let you know how it came out!

Shoshannah Ragan said...

This sounds great! I just picked and chopped up a ton of rhubarb and was searching for ways to can it and I will def. try this! I have made my own apple pie filling and have just spread one jar in a baking pan and put apple crisp topping ( I make a mix out of the dry ingredients and keep it on hand so I just have to add butter) on it and it makes a very easy dessert. I can't wait to try it with this!!

Anonymous said...

Do you use Instant Clear Jel or regular. And since one pie takes 2 pints, can I use quarts to can?
Mil gracias, Joey

Anonymous said...

Would love to have an answer regarding my question about Clear Jel versus Instant Clear Jel in the canning recipe. Also the quarts rather than pints. Thank you, once again.

Garden Gnome said...

All home canning recipes calling for ClearJel use the regular ClearJel not instant. This more than likely will be a product you will have to order online as it usually is not carried in the stores.

I can pie filling in pints as a personal preference. If you would like to can in quarts, you can refer to the National Center for Home Food Preservation website. There is not an actual recipe for rhubarb pie filling but timing for pints and quarts is the same.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your response. I have both instant and regular clear jel so I'll be all set next Spring when my rhubarb pops up in all its glory!! We live in Mexico from Oct. to June so it's great to know that I can make my rhubarb pies friends will be thrilled!
Mil gracias,

Kari said...

I'd like to print your recipe to take over to my kitchen to make this filling but the blog won't allow me to copy it to a word doc to print?
can you possibly email it to me?
kari palmer
happy valley oregon

Unknown said...

Do you happen to have this recipe but with fresh strawberries?
thank you

Unknown said...

I get mine at Amazon.