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Category Archives: Pies

Is That Rhubarb in Your Pocket, Or Are You Just Happy to See Me?

Is That Rhubarb in Your Pocket, Or Are You Just Happy to See Me?

Hey folks, thanks for coming back or visiting for the first time.

The weather the past few weeks has been fantastic and wonky all at once. For May/June this time of year, I have to say, it’s not usually as hot, but it’s been pretty warm the past few weeks. I love it! You will never catch me saying, “Hot enough for ya?” Mostly because I prefer not getting punched in the face by someone who really doesn’t like the hot weather. I figure it this way… it’s better than a blizzard.

A couple months ago a, local to my job, farmer’s market opened up to kick off the season. My family loves visiting farm stands and supporting local growers. Nothing beats fresh grown veggies and fruits. Admittedly, some of these things come from other areas than Long Island, but for the most part, they’re Long Island, NY grown. Also, prices are comparable to the prices at the supermarkets, so we’re not spending more for local grown.

This is where the title comes in. The farmer’s market had rhubarb!!!

You may or may not know the intense love I have for this stalky red tart deliciousness. I love it. Seriously, if it wasn’t for the whole veggie/human thing, I’d marry a whole field of the stuff. Love it. You get the point. So, I ended up relieving the market of just under 10 pounds of the stuff. Cradling it like a baby as I walked around browsing the other delights, but this was my cherished purchase and the blinders were turned on. I only had eyes for the rhubarb. It was almost as if it was a slow motion high school dance sequence in a movie… I turn… the glistening stalks of rhubarb becoming vignettes with a dreamy glow. I was locked on my target… my breath leaving my lungs all at once… drifting over to the currogated box cradling my seasonal delights. We spent the afternoon in the air conditioned office of my workplace pouring over the endless pages of type corrections and photo clipping until it was time to go home.

Yes, I love rhubarb. I have had the fantastic first time opportunity last year to make some strawberry rhubarb preserves… personal use only of course. This stuff is like gold. I will share… if I hafta. (for a night of babysitting, I’ll send you home with your own container to enjoy) This stuff is even better in the freezer. It doesn’t get hard in the freezer which makes the application of this treat endless. I have put it on ice cream, on toast, on a spoon, anything. Yum… drooling now…

I also made two strawberry rhubarb pies for the Fourth of July gathering we go to every year at my husband’s aunt’s house. Let’s just say… 2 isn’t enough. I had a slice (as the baker, I’m pretty sure I’m allowed) and then all holy heck almost broke out. Who’d have thought this simple delicious flakey crusted pie would make people get all frenzied. Well, maybe that’s elaborated upon a bit… there were no fisticuffs, but it might have come to that… eventually.

This year… I made personal pocket sized Strawberry Rhubarb pies. Delicious!

First I cleaned the stalks…

Then I trimmed, skinned and cubed the stalks…

Then… a week or so later, bought strawberries and made the filling from Smitten Kitchen (LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS SITE!), and froze it until I needed it.

Once I was ready to use the filling, I defrosted it, and admittedly helped it along with a little bit of warming. While that was happening I made some dough. I like to make my pie crust by hand. I don’t usually use a mixer because I don’t “feel” how the texture is using the machine. I blend the butter, flour, salt together to make a sort of crumb like texture like sand or brown sugar. Then form the dough. I rolled it out and cut out 5 inch circles and put just over a spoonful of the filling into the center of each circle.

Once that was done, I wet halfway around lightly using water and a gentle fingertip and folded the dough over to form a pocket. Once in place on a parchment lined cookie sheet I brushed each with egg, sprinkled with “sugar in the raw” and cut vent holes (which became larger as I went because there were some exploding pockets).

┬áThe smell of these little pockets of sweet and tart goodness filled the air and I couldn’t help but be giddy with anticipation.
I would call this a success, but needs improvement. Definitely plan to try these out with different fillings and ┬ámethods until I can get all of them to keep from splitting open. Let’s just say that they were definitely enjoyed at the annual 4th of July barbecue and there was plenty to go around.