One of the benefits of selling at the local farmer’s markets is being so close to the freshest locally grown fruits and veggies! And you already know, if you have read my blog before, that I love to experiment with new recipes and produce I never tried before. This year I am SO excited by the super fresh offerings of our Glencoe Farmer’s Market neighbor, Barry’s Berries.
Fresh rhubarb is a plant I know from my childhood. The ruby stems and huge heart shaped leaves so broad and green they could hide a small 4-year old child (like me) underneath.
Cooking with rhubarb is something I have never done. Too scared off by the warnings about the “poisonous” leaves of the plant, I was not sure what parts to use safely – it always put me on edge. But at the farmer’s market, the grower had the leaves removed, and all I had to worry about was cleaning and chopping for my recipe! So – this year – and for the very first time – I ventured to make my very own strawberry rhubarb pie!
And, as the pictures indicate – it turned out delicious! So I have to share:
By the way, I do make my very own hand-made pie crust. (And it’s not scary at all to make!) Check out the recipe on another post. The orange juice in the crust complements the orange zest in this recipe so well – and it is simple to make.
The recipe below showcases this amazing spring vegetable beautifully. For this recipe you will need about 4 cups of fruit in total (2 c strawberries plus 2 c rhubarb) for each double-crusted 9″ pie. But, by all means, buy more rhubarb (support your local farmers!) as it is in season for only a short time – clean, chop and freeze it in recipe convenient volumes and let spring flavor reign all year long!
Strawberry -Rhubarb Farmers' Market Pie
Celebrate Spring Flavor!
- 1 double pie crusts (see pie crust recipe) Pie Filling:
- 2 cups rhubarb stalks, cleaned and cut into 1/2 in pieces (Trim ends and discard leaves)
- 2 cups (about 1 pint) strawberries, hulled and quartered
- 3/4 to 1 c. pure cane sugar – depending how sweet you like your pies
- 2 T. quick cooking tapioca
- 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 T. fresh orange zest
- 1/4 t. salt
- 2 T. butter (to dot filling) Top of Crust:
- 2 T. GC Lavender Sugar or regular sugar (to top crust) optional
- 2 T. milk or cream (to brush crust for browning)
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Wash and chop rhubarb into 1/2 in pieces.
- Wash, hull and quarter strawberries.
- Place rhubarb, strawberries, orange zest, sugar, tapioca, flour, and salt in a large bowl. Mix together and let stand for 10 minutes.
- Place filling into a pastry lined 9″ pie plate (preferably glass for better bottom browning). I used a slotted spoon to let some of the moisture drain away from the fruit so the pie doesn’t get too soggy!
- Dot butter over filling.
- Place second crust on top of filling and secure to bottom crust by pinching and sealing with dabs of water. Try to create an even fluted edge.
- Using a pastry brush, brush top of pastry with milk or heavy cream.
- Top the pastry with a generous amount of GC Lavender Sugar.
- Cut slits into top crust to allow air to escape.
- Cover the edge of the pie crusts with strips of foil (about 2 1/2 ” wide) to prevent over baking.
- Then bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet at 400 degrees F for 15 min.
- Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and remove foil before baking pies for an additional 35 to 45 minutes – until the crust is golden and juice bubbles through the openings in the crust.
Enjoy warm or cooled, alone or with vanilla ice cream!
Some Tips for Success:
I used a slotted spoon to let some of the juice drain out (not all, just some) when I placed the fruit filling into the crust – to prevent the pie from getting too soggy. Typically, rhubarb pies can get runny. By waiting 10 minutes after mixing the filling, a lot of excess water is let off to collect into the bottom of the bowl.
I use a pastry cutter to chop in the butter and lard. Yes – I use both in my hand-made crust – here’s why – lard makes it flaky and the butter gives it flavor. (Check out the crust recipe on another post.)
Glaze the top of the crust with milk/cream and sugar before baking. Of course, given the choice, I love to use our very own GC Lavender Sugar to add just a hint of panache!
Always use a glass pie plate for best bottom browning of crust.
And, I really like the method of higher heat with a foil covered crust edge to get it all started in the oven, and then lowering the heat – remove the foil and let ‘er rip for the rest of the way.
And always place pies on a rimmed cookie sheet (My pies always seem to bubble over somewhere) and this saves wear and tare on cleaning the oven!
GC Lavender Sugar
So – Is Rhubarb Poisonous?
The following excerpt is from from Taste of Home .com 6/10/2022
According to http://www.tasteofhome.com:
“The stalks of a rhubarb plant are safe to eat. You can even eat them raw—but be warned, they’re very tart!
However, the large, smooth, heart-shaped leaves are toxic. “Rhubarb leaves are considered poisonous to humans and animals due to high concentrations of oxalic acid,” says Dr. Barbara Ingham, a professor of food science at the University of Wisconsin.”
“…You would have to eat several pounds of rhubarb leaves to reach a toxic level..”
So now you know!
Enjoy your rhubarb pie with confidence!