The Zamzows Table: Grandma Helen Zamzow's Rhubarb Sauce

The Zamzows Table: Grandma Helen Zamzow's Rhubarb Sauce

Quote from Callie Zamzow:
grandma helen

“My Grandma Helen made the best rhubarb sauce. She crafted each batch based on how she planned to use it. Sometimes she would cut the sugar down to make it more tart if, for instance, she was adding it to strawberries. If it was going to be used over ice cream, she might add a little bit more sugar. I recall times when we would visit Grandma and be welcomed into the house with the wonderful aroma of rhubarb cooking on the stove. It meant something delicious was about to be served.”

Ingredients from the garden:

- 2 cups of rhubarb, cut into 1/2 to 1-inch sections - I needed about 4 and a half long stalks.

Ingredients from the store:
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup sugar (a little more or less to taste)
- 1/2 to 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla


  1. In a medium-sized saucepan, add water and sugar over medium heat.
  2. Stir constantly to dissolve the sugar and bring it to a gentle boil.
  3. Add your chopped rhubarb and bring it back up to a boil.
  4. Stir often until the rhubarb has softened. Cover with a lid and remove from heat until cooled.
  5. Add vanilla and cinnamon to your preferred taste.
  6. If you prefer a smoother sauce, use an immersion blender or transfer it to a food processor. Blend to the desired consistency.
  7. Store the sauce in a mason jar or container with a tight lid.

Nolan's Notes:

This sauce was surprisingly easy to make. I was initially unsure about how long to boil the rhubarb once I added it to the saucepan. However, as I tended to the sauce, I quickly realized that the precise boiling time wasn't critical.

I removed the rhubarb from the heat after it boiled for a little over a minute. As the sauce cooled, I was pleasantly surprised to see it break down almost completely, resulting in a very smooth consistency.

To ensure a perfectly smooth texture and to incorporate the cinnamon and vanilla, I ran the sauce through a food processor. In the end, both the consistency and taste resembled applesauce.

Also note that the sauce may vary slightly depending on the specific characteristics of the rhubarb and personal preference. Feel free to adjust the recipe to suit your taste and enjoy the delightful flavors of this garden-fresh rhubarb sauce.

Download the recipe here.