Mini Rhubarb Crunch Pies
It’s officially rhubarb season! I’m so excited to finally gather the first harvest from my rhubarb plant that I planted three long years ago! And for my first rhubarb recipe of the season, I decided to make some mini rhubarb crunch pies.
About the Recipe
This recipe is adapted from a rhubarb crunch recipe in my copy of Everything Rhubarb, which was a gift from my in-laws. They know how much I love rhubarb, and I love this book too! It has so many different rhubarb recipes – from sweet to savory. It even includes a recipe for rhubarb ketchup.
For this recipe, I made a few of my own modifications. Since I only had two cups of rhubarb from my first harvest, and the original crunch recipe called for five cups, I cut the recipe in half – and made four small pies in ramekin cups.
I also added a pie crust bottom to each of the ramekins – turning the crunch into mini pies. To the rhubarb filling recipe, I also added the zest of an orange for a little added flavor. Then I piled the filling with mounds of the oatmeal crumb topping. I also reduced the baking time from 40 minutes to 35 since I was making smaller, individual sized pies.
Finally, I served with a generous dollop of homemade whipped cream. I definitely recommend serving with the whipped cream. The whipped cream adds the perfect balance of sweetness to offset the tart of the rhubarb and salty flavors of the pie crust and oat topping.
About My Rhubarb
This is the third year since I planted my rhubarb plant. I had read you are not supposed to harvest it in the first two years, so I was excited to have a chance to harvest some this year.
However, I also read when harvesting rhubarb, you should wait until the stalks are an inch and a half wide – and turning red in color. Well my stalks were definitely wide enough, but still very green.
When I consulted a couple of friends familiar with growing rhubarb, one said to go ahead and pick it green – and not all rhubarb plants will turn red. My other friend said she thought my plant wasn’t rhubarb at all – but something called burdock!
I am sure the label on the plant when I bought it said rhubarb, but decided to do a little research online to figure out what type of rhubarb plant I have. I am still pretty sure it is not burdock, as this description says burdock has burrs – which my plant does not.
So I found this Wikipedia page describing the different types of rhubarb. I think I may have a Victoria plant, the last one listed on this page, since the stalks are pretty green. It still tastes like rhubarb. It’s probably not as tart as other rhubarb I’ve had, and definitely not as pretty when cooked because the lack of the red color. It looked like celery crunch pie, with the green color, but it still tasted good.
In other gardening news, in addition to my rhubarb, the rest of my garden is coming in rather nicely. I do container gardening, and this year planted basil, cilantro, parsley, two different kinds of lettuce, cucumbers, celebrity tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, jalapeno and green pepper. Click here to see the most recent pictures of my garden.