10 cassia buds, see note
1 whole clove
1 whole green cardamom, smashed
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1 star anise, broken into pieces
8 to 10 stalks rhubarb, chopped
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup grenadine syrup
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 piece (2-inches long) ginger root, grated
Makes About 5-6 cups.
Heat the cassia buds, clove, cardamom and star anise in a medium dry skillet over low heat. Cook until spices toast and become fragrant, about 2 minutes. Wrap in a piece of cheesecloth; tie with kitchen string. Set aside.
Mix the rhubarb, granulated sugar, grenadine syrup and brown sugar in a Dutch oven; stir in the cheesecloth packet. Set aside at least 8 hours.
Grate the zest of the oranges and lemons; reserve. Peel the fruit, divided into sections. Add the orange and lemon sections to the rhubarb mixture; add just enough cold water to barely cover. Heat mixture to a full boil over medium-high heat; lower heat to a simmer. Cook until rhubarb is soft, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in the ginger and reserved zests. Stir 5 minutes, skim off foam; set aside to cool.
Pour into sterilized canning jars with lids, up to 1/4 inch from the top; tighten lids. Process in a boiling water bath 15 minutes (or, refrigerate and use within several weeks).
Note: Cassia buds, dried flower buds from the cassia tree, also the source of cinnamon, are available in specialty spice shops.
Nutritional information per tablespoon: 29 calories, no calories from fat, no fat, no saturated fat, no cholesterol, 54 g carbohydrates, 1 g protein, 3 mg sodium, 1 g fiber.