Rhubarb Compote a la Marketman

Every year I wait with bated breath for the appearance of local rhubarb in the weekend markets. Some years, a minor glee shock occurs when I spy it at the vegetable chiller section of Rustan’s (like two Christmases ago) but refuse to buy when it has a price tag approaching PHP400 a kilo or more. More often than not, it is available from mid-December to mid-February, when the weather is at its coolest. Rhubarb is by no means a local green, but since the American missionaries used Baguio as a retreat from the lowland heat, they have grown rhubarb, blueberries and strawberries in the cool weather in the mountains. And if you have never had rhubarb, you are definitely missing a unique, tart flavor sensation.

My suki, Mary, at the FTI market, knows I go weak at the knees when she stocks rhubarb, and she just smiled today when I spied a large crate filled with rhubarb, and at only PHP150 a kilo, a fraction of the price at the other snazzy weekend markets or groceries. So I bought some 2-3 kilos as well several punnets of strawberries. I will almost inevitably make these strawberry rhubarb pies I have featured before that are an absolute house favorite, and I still had more than a kilo to work with otherwise.

I trimmed and cut up roughly 700-800 grams of rhubarb and added about 1.5 cups of granulated white sugar and let this steep for around 15 minutes. The rhubarb that reaches manila tends to be a tad dried out, so don’t expect the sugar to get all liquified, but it should get a little wet as it draws out liquid from the stalks of rhubarb.

I added some grated candied ginger for that certain hint of flavor other than the sharp rhubarb, but just make sure it is finely grated and distributed throughout your fruit. Put the pot over a medium-high heat and when it reaches a boil, turn the heat down and cook for just 4-5 minutes more until the rhubarb is partially mushy but some slices are still visibly whole. Turn the heat off. Do not overcook.

Let the compote cool for some 10-15 minutes and spoon it into some jars, letting it cool completely and sealing and storing in the fridge. This is not a jam, and it will last only a week or more in the fridge. It is perfect drizzled over good vanilla ice cream, in a pavlova, fool, or over butter cake with some heavy cream. I like rhubarb so much, this batch of compote gets to rest in some fantastic little glass jars I bought in the South of France a couple of years ago… :)


10 Responses

  1. This post confirms that it was indeed you I saw at the FTI market yesterday! :-) It was my first time to go there. I was inspired to do that because of reading your blog.

  2. Hi MM! May I ask where the AANI Market is currently located?
    I haven’t been to FTI since college (which was in 2001 – 2003 hahahaha) and i will definitely get lost there now! ^_^

  3. Mary, you go on the south expressway service road from taguig, that’s on the left side of the highway when headed towards Alabang from Makati. Then you turn left when you get to FTI, about 6-8 minutes from Fort Bonifacio gate, depending on traffic (I go early Saturday mornings). And at the main gate of FTI, now owned by Ayala, you enter and take a left and up about 100 meters and that’s the market.

  4. SO happy to see more posts from you, MM!

    In other news: my officemates are going gaga and taking photos in front of the Zubuchon tarp/sign here in Makati. Can’t wait!!!

  5. Kasseopeia, so that’s who it was… workers say some “crazed” folks just walk up to take selfies and grill them on opening date… worksite is supposed to be off-limits, but they are amused, parang “groupies” daw… hahaha.

  6. Thanks MM! Who knows maybe I’ll see you when i visit ^_^

    BTW where is the new makati location? I need to visit and have a photo op with the tarp too!

  7. marj, it’s on Talisay street near the corner with Yakal street, roughly 100 meters behind the makati fire station (covenient for roasting, hahaha), but I think the tarp is down as they were working on that part of the building… it’s a bit of a mess honestly, but people have been taking photos of the worksite… huh? :)

  8. Hej MM!
    It’s been a long while! I’ve missed your posts! Now I’m making up with triple comments.
    Today I was pleasantly reminded of your blog when Anton of AOP wrote about your Zubuchon Manila! Fantastic! Congratulations! Another feather to your already feathered hat! I was salivating as I read the review and all the want-to/must-try dishes at Zubuchon. I must make sure I will be fit to take in all the dishes when hubby and I come visiting in December. The dinuguan is a must-try as Per is now a convert to the dish despite my using blodpudding to make a compromise dinuguan. And of course the lechon is top of the agenda.

    And so to your rhubarb compote. I too love rhubarb! It’s good to know that it grows in the Phils. at least where it’s cool. It grows like weeds (at least in the northern hemisphere) once it has taken roots and as a perennial will continue to grow year in and year out. The more you trim it (collecting the lovely pink stems) the more it will grow new shoots. Have you also smothered this compote on a well-buttered sourdough toast? Or a toasted croissant? Heavenly breakfast treat! How did you manage to get an almost clear compote considering you have both strawberries and rhubarb in it? It usually gets a bit cloudy when I’ve made it. I would love to have your recipe, please!

    Many thanks for your continued blogging! I am now updating myself by reading your posts. I too feel so sorry for the loss of your beloved Ginger! I’ve read about her in your previous posts some years back and I liked her intelligent chocolately looks!




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