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Celebrate the First Cherries & Rhubarb of the Season!

Rhubarb is ripe in Ottawa now.  It freezes really well.  Just rinse it, chop it and remove the toxic leaves.  Place in freezer grade bags, seal and freeze.
Rhubarb is one of the easiest things to work with. The leaves are toxic so be sure to compost them.

Tis fresh Rhubarb & Cherry Season. Check out your local Farmers' Market for the first of the local Rhubarb, if you don't have a patch growing out back. Pick up some extra while you're at it because it freezes really well. Just rinse it and chop it up. Seal it in freezer grade plastic bags and you have a supply ready for the next time you get a hankering.

I use sweet cherries for this recipe. Ontario cherries aren't ripe yet but US ones are. You can use sour cherries in this recipe if you prefer. They will give an even bigger, rounder taste. If you use sour I would increase the sugar quantity by an additional 2 oz.

Prep wise, this is a very easy recipe. With only 5 ingredients, it's a cinch to make. Serve this one with whipped cream or whipped coconut milk on top. Add an orange liquor to make it extra special. Use it in a parfait or trifle, layered with a lemon curd. Pop it into small prebaked individual tart shells.... You get the picture. Have fun with it!

What you will need:

2 medium sized pots with lids, an immersion or upright blender, a long metal spoon, a rubber spatula, measuring cups or a kitchen scale, a cutting board and knife, a heat proof/food safe container with lid, a cherry pitter (if using fresh)

We are seeing the first crop of the US cherries in our grocery stores.  Ontario ones are still a few weeks away.  If using sour cherries, increase the sugar content by 2 oz.
I use sweet cherries for this recipe. Ontario cherries aren't ripe yet but upper state cherries are.


26 oz pitted fresh or frozen cherries

26 oz chopped rhubarb

16 oz light brown sugar or organic sugar

13 oz Calrose medium grain rice

1 + 8 oz coconut milk (14 oz to a regular can)

(if using sour cherries add + 2 oz of sugar)


  1. Place the Calrose rice into a strainer that fits inside of a bowl. Rinse under running water and strain. Repeat 2 more times. Set aside to drain.

  2. Cut off and discard the rhubarb leaves. Rinse rhubarb stalks under water & chop coarsely. Set aside.

  3. Rinse the fresh cherries and remove and discard the pit & stems (if using fresh). Frozen pitted cherries work equally as well here.

  4. Place the prepared rhubarb, cherries, 12 oz of water and 10 oz of light brown sugar in a pot. Bring to a medium boil, covered. Reduce the heat to a slow simmer and continue to cook for an additional 15 - 20 minutes, covered.

  5. In the second medium sized pot place 32 oz of water and 1 oz of coconut milk. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting and add the rinsed and drained Calrose rice. Stir to ensure that the rice isn't stuck to the bottom of the pot. Cover and set a timer for 20 minutes.

  6. Once the cherries and rhubarb have softened, using an immersion blender or upright blender, puree the fruit sauce until not quite smooth. Add 8 oz of coconut milk, 8 oz of water and 6 oz of light brown sugar. Bring back to a medium boil, covered. Reduce the heat and simmer until the rice is fully cooked.

  7. After the rice has cooked for 20 minutes, turn off the heat and allow it to continue to cook and to absorb more liquid for an additional 10 minutes, covered.

  8. After the 10 minutes rest, empty the hot Calrose rice into the hot fruit sauce. Incorporate well using a wire whisk. Bring the Cherry & Rhubarb Fruit Rice Pudding back to a medium boil and then turn off the heat.

  9. Empty the hot rice pudding into a food safe/heat proof container and cover. Place it on the counter or on a wire rack to cool for 15 to 20 minutes. Then place it in the fridge to cool completely. It will keep for up to 2 weeks in the fridge or you may choose to portion and package some of it into freezer grade containers to enjoy at a later time. It keeps for months in the freezer.

  10. Consult our How to Freeze & Thaw blog post for best results. Consult our Simply Fruit Rice Puddings: Basic Ingredients post and our Basic Cooking Techniques blog post for more tips and tricks on making your very own fruit rice pudding. Enjoy!

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