Monday, May 21, 2012

Fun with Rhubarb

Know what else is in season here in Northern California? Rhubarb! Never heard of it? Don't know what to do with it? Great - this post will explain it to ya!
Raw rhubarb stalks
Rhubarb is a plant that has pink/red stalks and green leaves at the top. Unless you grow rhubarb yourself, you will never see the leaves as sellers take them off before displaying them. The leaves contain oxalic acid, which is toxic. However you would need to eat a LOT of them for the toxic effects to be apparent. Oxalic acid is common in plants, it can also be found in small amounts in spinach leaves, black tea, and sorrell - all delicious things!

Anyway, eating the rhubarb stalks is perfectly safe. And while I've heard of some savory recipes, my favorite way to enjoy rhubarb is to make a pie! Even a health coach has to give in to her sweet tooth every once in a while, right? When I heard the other day that rhubarb was in season, my mouth started watering for my mom's rhubarb pie recipe. While many recipes will combine rhubarb with strawberries, I prefer the taste of rhubarb by itself. It has a deliciously tart flavor that I really enjoy. I scoured the markets to find some so that I could recreate my memory. If you have a pie crust recipe you like go ahead and use it here, but I prefer to buy a pre-made crust. And apparently EpiCurious agrees with my choice for the best tasting traditional pie crust!
I almost forgot to take a picture of a slice, we gobbled it up so fast!

Mom's Rhubarb Pie
Just out of the oven - smells SO good!
2 9" Pie Crusts
3C Rhubarb, rinsed and cut into small pieces
1C Sugar
2T Flour
1 Egg

- Prepare pie crust. If using frozen, allow it to thaw.
- In large bowl, combine the sugar, flour, and egg.
- Mix in rhubarb.
- Put mix into a 9" pie crust.
- Top with a second crust.
- Bake for about 40 minutes at 425 degrees.
- Allow pie to cool for a few hours (or day before) before eating, this lets the inside set instead of being liquidy.

Baked to deliciousness
I had a little extra rhubarb left over, so I experimented with some strawberry and rhubarb crumbles. No recipe for these as I just threw them together, but I thought I'd share the pictures.
Before baking

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