Sunday, March 13, 2011

Strawberry Rhubarb Streusel Pie

Where I grew up in Michigan, rhubarb used to grew like weeds. In our backyard and garden, even if we hadn’t planted rhubarb there, it was growing there. Rhubarb was everywhere—and my mom was really good at putting all that rhubarb to use. I grew up eating rhubarb cookies, rhubarb crisp, rhubarb cobbler, rhubarb coffee cake, stewed rhubarb, raw rhubarb stalks dipped in granulated sugar, and of course, rhubarb pie.

My husband, on the other hand, grew up in Tennessee and Georgia, where rhubarb did not grow like weeds. I don’t think he’d ever even seen a real, live rhubarb plant the whole time he was growing up. I just don’t think it grows too well in the South. I remember when my husband and I were first married and living in Southern California, and I showed him the raw rhubarb stalks I bought at the grocery store. He thought the rhubarb was a weed. He was flabbergasted that I spent money for it at the grocery store! (Okay, to be fair, I had never seen or tasted okra or grits before visiting the South for the first time after I was married…but that’s another story!)

Throughout my marriage, I have made it a point to try to show my husband that rhubarb is not a weed and that it is actually tasty. The recipe below for strawberry rhubarb pie comes close to achieving this goal. When I make this pie, I’ve actually seen my husband go for seconds. Maybe you would like it too.


1 large egg, beaten
1 cup granulated sugar
1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
16 oz. bag frozen rhubarb, thawed
2 cups frozen strawberries, thawed

1 9-inch pie shell, unbaked

Streusel Topping:
¾ cup unbleached white flour
½ cup light brown sugar, packed
¾ cup oatmeal (quick or old fashioned)
½ cup unsalted butter, cold

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium-sized bowl, beat egg, sugar and vanilla together. Stir in rhubarb and strawberries (I cut the rhubarb pieces in the bag in half, and slice the strawberries into thirds.). Pour into crust. Bake for 15 minutes. While it is baking, mix together the ingredients for the streusel topping until crumbly, using a pastry blender or your hands. After the 15 minutes is up, remove pie from oven. Top with streusel. Lower heat to 350 degrees. Bake the pie for another 35-40 minutes. Cool on a rack. This pie tastes best slightly warm out of the oven, alamode with ice cream.

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