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Rhubarb Strawberry Pie -

Tarte de Rhubarbe et Fraise

What is rhubarb?  Botanically, it is a vegetable.  However, in the 1940s, the New York State Court changed rhubarb’s classification to a fruit, because it is primarily used in the US in jams, pies, cakes, and other sweets.

Why would anyone care whether rhubarb is classified as a vegetable or a fruit?  I thought you’d never ask.  It seems that during the 1940s, the import tax on vegetables was higher than the import tax on fruit.  Re-classify it as a fruit and lower the taxes.  Money makes the world go ’round, and…it changes vegetables into fruits!

Back to rhubarb.  Its taste is tangy, tart, fresh and unique.  I can’t think of any other flavor that is similar.  It grows on a perennial plant (comes back every year).  This is our rhubarb plant.

The leaves are toxic, and the edible portion is the stalk, which looks like a large, pink stalk of celery.  When picking rhubarb, choose the thin, pink stalks, like the one on the left of the picture.  The green one on the right is too old and would be tougher and not as flavorful.  On to the pie!

Wash and trim rhubarb.

Pick your strawberries.  Or if you only grow strawberries for chipmunk food like we do, get your strawberries from the store.

Prepare your pie crust and place it in the pie plate.  When making my own pie crust, I use the recipe on the side of the Crisco can.  To save time today, I used the pie crust that comes rolled up in a box from the grocery store’s refrigerated section.  For me, the pie is more about the filling than it is about the crust.  However, some people love the crust.  If you are a crust lover, feel free to make your crust from scratch every time.  If you have time.  Which today, I don’t.

Cut the fruit into pieces.  If you like chunky pie, use larger pieces.  I prefer smaller chunks.

Add the sugar and stir.  The strawberries help to sweeten the pie, but the rhubarb is very tart and sugar is still necessary.  You may vary the quantity to your preference – use more sugar if you like it sweeter, less if you don’t.

Add the flour.  This is the glue that holds it together and keeps the pie from being too runny.

Fruit glazed with sugar and flour.

Pour the mixture into your pie crust, the crust you made from scratch or the one from the grocery store.  Either will work.  You just need something to hold that pie filling in.

Put the second crust on top and pinch the edges together.  Mark your pie with steam vents – S = Strawberry; R = Rhubarb; ♥ = Love.

Brush pie crust with milk and sprinkle sugar on top for a little sparkle and shine.

Bake.

Enjoy!

Rhubarb Strawberry Pie – Tarte de Rhubarbe et Fraise

Ingredients

  • Pie crust
  • 3 cups cut rhubarb
  • 2 cups cut strawberries
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour (use 1/2 cup if strawberries are exceptionally juicy)
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 Tablespoon milk
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Fit pie crust into pie pan.
  3. Toss rhubarb and strawberries with sugar.
  4. Mix in flour.
  5. Pour into pie shell and add 2 Tablespoons of butter.
  6. Add top crust.  Seal and crimp edges.
  7. Brush crust with milk and sprinkle with sugar.
  8. Bake 40 – 50 minutes until browned and bubbling.
  9. Cool 10 minutes.  Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
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