Normally rhubarb makes and exit from the farmer’s market by the end of June. And there is only one stand that has it to begin with, so you’ve got to go early enough to get some before it’s gone. Two weekends ago I was running to the market for some fresh veggies and passed by the stand and was surprised to see there was rhubarb. I hadn’t been able to make it to the market much during the typical season and was sure it was over since it has been so hot here. They told me they thought it was done as well, but then I guess it made one last effort. The stalks were much thinner than usual, but giving the fact that I was planning to make some sort of dessert for the evening’s backyard gathering, I decided I need to make one last pie.
I had a double challenge for my dessert endeavor, the brother’s next door had a guest from Brazil who was vegan and Erik is still gluten free. At least with a fruit pie I didn’t have to alter much. I just switched the normal butter for vegan “butter”. I could have made the whole thing gluten free as well, but instead of using expensive gluten free flour for the whole crust, I made Erik a mini pie. Anyway, instead of a double crust pie, I made a streusel topping that was a yummy change to the usual. I screwed up my mini pie and for some reason used white sugar instead of brown. Given that I didn’t measure much making the mini crust and just kind of threw it together, I was surprised Erik said it was fine. Guess I’m getting better at this baking thing. I had like 10 strawberries that need to be used up, so I also threw them in the mix. I wouldn’t say they really altered the taste of the pie though. (The recipe below is just for the large pie, non- gluten free)
When I was dishing it out, one of our southern friends said, “I’ll just share with her, I don’t like a lot of sweet stuff.” To which I replied that this was by no means sweet at all pretty tart, was he sure he didn’t want his own? I have found that few southerners can really handle the flavor of rhubarb. They ended up not being able to finish it because it was too tart. Another friend directed my attention to a video by Cultural Kitchen who interview the women who started a pie shop in Brooklyn called Four and Twenty Blackbirds. A shop that is absolutely delicious. They grew up in northeastern South Dakota and are talking about baking rhubarb pie. They get it. They totally get it.
- 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp cold water
- 2 cups sugar
- 2/3 cup all purpose flout
- 6 cups rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
- 1 to 2 tbsp (vegan) butter
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 (vegan) butter
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Make the crust by mixing all the ingredients except the water in a medium bowl. When all the flour is moistened, sprinkle with water, one tablespoon at a time until absorbed. Gather into a ball and press into a 9″ pie pan.
- Mix together the filling ingredients except butter and pour into prepared crust. cut butter in to cubes and sprinkle on top.
- Make the streusel by mixing all ingredients together until the flour and brown sugar are moist, may need to add a bit more butter. Sprinkle over the pie filling.
- Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, checking to make sure the crust edge is not burning. Add foil to edge if it looks like it is baking too fast. The juices should be bubbling when the pie is done.
- Let cool completely (if possible) before devouring.