This New For Us Friday, my cousins’ grandmother, Ruby, is smiling down on us from heaven. I remember her pies–she made awesome, incredible, sinful pies–and rhubarb was one of them.
Honestly, before this week, I couldn’t have picked rhubarb out of a five-veggie lineup. I really couldn’t. But we have our brand-spankin’ new membership to our local CSA to thank for introducing us to something little new this week: rhubarb.
And for this sweet-tooth family, making rhubarb pie was the only thing I could think of to do with this crazy, new-for-us vegetable.
- Fresh Rhubarb Pie: At first, Cora would only call it ‘roob’, and Maddy insisted on calling it, ‘rubar’. It took a lot of practice for my kiddos to call this veggie by its name, but after our afternoon with rhubarb this week, I’m convinced they’ll never forget it.
We did a bit of research to figure out what to do with this strange veggie, and the best advice I read was to treat it like celery. After showing our rhubarb to Maddy, Owen, and Cora and talking about our pie-making plans, I washed it, cut off the leaves and the other end, and then I chopped it.
We each tasted a tiny piece of the rhubarb, and everyone except Cora spit them out almost immediately. Rhubarb is sour. It’s tangy, and it is strong. It’s such a strange, unappealing crunchy and bitter. I hoped it’d be better in a pie.
The recipe couldn’t have been easier to follow; with only a handful of ingredients and a few steps, it was my kind of pie. Our CSA share only yielded three of the four necessary cups of chopped rhubarb, so we added a cup of chopped strawberries.
We mixed sugar and flour, sprinkled some on the bottom of the pie crust, and threw on the rhubarb and strawberry mix.
Then we added the remaining dry ingredients on top.
We added tiny pats of butter on top, then we pinched on the second pie crust.
fyi: I totally bought these crusts in the frozen section of the grocery store; I am not that skilled in the kitchen to break out the ole rolling pin and whip up my own pie crusts. Yet.
I am, however, super-decorative when it comes to my pies, so we added some hearts with bits of dough that broke off.
We put it in the oven, and we could hardly wait until it was cool to eat it. I cut four pieces, added a little bit of vanilla ice-cream, and we sat down for one of the most unhealthy afternoon snacks in the history of afternoon snacks.
It was, in my opinion, awesome. Perfect. The absolute best blend of sweet and tangy and just delicious.
But Maddy said hers tasted mushy, and Owen took the teeniest bite and said it was too sour. Cora wouldn’t even have her pie on the plate while she ate her ice-cream. She said it made her ice-cream taste funny.
I, on the other hand, had no problem putting away my piece. And Maddy’s. And Owen’s. Okay, and Cora’s. It was the best rhubarb pie I can remember–and not because it was my kiddos’ fingers who helped make it.
Want more info about rhubarb? Chew on these strange rhubarb facts:
- Rhubarb is actually a vegetable, but it’s commonly mistaken for a fruit since it usually ends up in pies.
- When chopping rhubarb, treat it like celery. (Hey! We know celery!) Wash it, cut off the leaves and the end stalks, and cut into 1/4 inch – 1/2 pieces.
- Rhubarb will keep in the fridge, stored in plastic bags, for up to 3 weeks. And about 1 lb of rhubarb yields 3 cups chopped.
- Rhubarb is described as a “wonderous drug” and “an Asian plant with mysterious cathartic powers” (The Rhubarb Compendium).
- Rhubarb’s leaves contain oxalate, which is poisonous if consumed in large quantities. What?! (also, The Rhubarb Compendium, poison information).
- Dispose of mushy stems because the oxalic acid may have migrated there if the plants survived a frost (allrecipes.com). Ack!
- You can substitute chopped rhubarb for half of the fruit in any dessert recipe (allrecipes.com).
And that’s it for this week’s NFUF. Sure, there’s still some pie left in our fridge, but not much. . .