Rhubarb Hibiscus Compote

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes about

    3 cups

Appears in

I always know it’s spring when I see the first stalks of rhubarb at the farmers’ market. In this recipe, fresh rhubarb is cooked down into a bright-colored compote. Dried hibiscus flowers are traditionally used in jamaica, a Mexican agua fresca, and to make tea. You can find hibiscus flowers in tea shops and many grocery stores, especially Latin markets. Here, they brighten the pink hue of the rhubarb. This compote fills the corn-flour Rhubarb Tarts and also makes a delicious filling for fruit crisps and cobblers.


  • 2 pounds rhubarb stalks
  • cups dark brown sugar
  • 8 dried hibiscus flowers


  1. Rinse the rhubarb stalks and trim off the very ends. Unless the stalks are very slender, cut them in half lengthwise. Cut the rhubarb on the diagonal into ¾-inch chunks. You’ll have about 6 cups of rhubarb; set aside 2 cups and put the remaining 4 cups into a medium heavy-bottomed pot (with about a 5-quart capacity).
  2. Add the brown sugar and hibiscus flowers to the pot, give the mixture a few stirs, cover, and turn the heat to medium-low. (It’s important to begin slowly so the rhubarb warms up and begins to release its liquid.) Cook the rhubarb mixture for about 15 minutes, covered, until the mixture is saucy.
  3. Remove the cover and increase the heat to medium. Cook for 15 to 17 minutes, stirring continuously, until the rhubarb is completely broken down and thick enough that a spoon leaves a trail at the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add the remaining rhubarb chunks to the pot and stir to combine.
  5. Immediately pour the compote out onto a large plate or baking dish to cool. When the compote is cooled completely, remove the hibiscus flowers, squeezing any juice from them into the compote, and discard. The compote will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.