I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July weekend! We got so wrapped up in our holiday weekend I didn’t even have time to get around to writing up this post for a summer pie. But it actually seems serendipitous since this pie was inspired by our farmer’s market Sundays…lately, on Sundays R and I have started walking Mads over to the farmer’s market in our neighborhood. As you might suspect, it inspires a whole lot of my recipes currently. There’s something so much more fun about the farmer’s market than the grocery store. When we get groceries, I have a list, a plan, and some ideas in mind for an entire week’s worth of meals. The farmer’s market is so much more inspiration-based. I like wandering around and seeing what’s there, thinking up different things I could do with the ingredients instead of having it planned ahead of time.
A couple weeks back, there were big, fat stalks of rhubarb at the farmer’s market just calling out to be taken home. At first, I wasn’t quite sure what to do with it. I actually don’t know if I’ve ever made anything with rhubarb before. When I was growing up, there would always be signs on the roads that there was rhubarb for sale when summer arrived and I remember my grandmother making rhubarb crisp that was tart but sweet and delicious. So I decided to use that as my inspiration for this pie, reminiscent of that sweet yet tart crisp but with my own spin on it. Seeing as though I am somewhat kitchen challenged, I didn’t know what kind of pan I would use, or if I had one that was the right size for what I was trying to pull off. So instead of a crisp, I opted for pie. And it was juuuuuuust right.
I started with the rhubarb stalks and decided I should add strawberries – mostly because I wasn’t sure if I had enough rhubarb to fill the pie entirely. I also didn’t want to add a lot of sweetener to try and keep the pie as “healthy” as a pie can be… I figured the natural sweetness from the strawberries would help me out in that regard. The mixture of the tart rhubarb and the sweet strawberries was just what I was hoping it would be. There’s a reason you often see these two foods together in recipes. They compliment each other very well.
Now, I have to admit, I used a vegan store-bought crust. Gasp! I know, I know. I was raised to make our own pie crusts! But the fact of the matter is, they’re often really hard to make. And since this was the first time I was experimenting with this recipe, I didn’t want to have a ton of time wasted if it didn’t turn out. So it was more a convenience choice than anything. If you like to make your own crusts – I have a recipe here from my quiche if you’re feeling so inclined to make your own. Aside from a homemade crust, this recipe itself is pretty simple to make. Just chop all your rhubarb and strawberries, toss them with a some sugar and a bit of flour, a little agave and lemon juice and that’s really all you’re doing for the filling.
I decided to go with a crumble as the top rather than another pie crust to remind me of my grandma’s crisp a little more. I wanted something a little sweet but crispy as well to give the pie some depth on the texture front. Once the strawberries and rhubarb cook they’re pretty soft, and the crust, while flaky, is also a bit soft. So I decided to mix up some unsweetened coconut as the base for the crumble. I mixed it with a bit of flour, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla, and it was a delicious way to finish the pie.
The first time I made and served this pie was actually for father’s day and I a bit nervous that the crowd wouldn’t like it. Rhubarb can be a bit risky to go with, some people haven’t had it or don’t really know what it is. While often I find people either love it or absolutely hate it. I was relieved when I found out rhubarb is apparently popular in Ireland, where R’s family is from, so I didn’t have to sell anyone on the concept of rhubarb to begin with.
It turned out to be a big hit – with no leftovers. The best compliment you can get when bringing a dish to a gathering is having nothing to bring back home with you afterwards. This pie definitely passed the test. It was sweet and tart with a crisp crumble crust, it had everything I was hoping it would have. And being a crowd pleaser is always a plus.
I like to warm the pie up a bit before serving and add a bit of vegan vanilla ice cream to really take it to the next level. But ice cream or no, this recipe will be one I come back to time and time again when I see those big rhubarb stalks at the farmer’s market. It’s too good to pass up!
Strawberry Rhubarb Coconut Crisp Pie
What You’ll Need:
- 9 inch pie crust
For the filling
- 2 1/2 cups chopped rhubarb stalks
- 3 cups chopped strawberries
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
- 3 tablespoons agave
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- dash salt
For the crisp
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons agave
What You’ll Do:
- Preheat the oven to 425.
- Chop the strawberries and rhubarb and add flour, sugar, agave, lemon juice and salt to the fruit. Mix well, being careful not to crush the strawberries
- Pour the mixture into the uncooked pie crust and spread evenly.
- In a separate bowl, mix the coconut, flour, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and agave together.
- Top the fruit with the coconut mixture, making sure the pie is evenly covered with the crisp topping. Note: you may have some crisp left over – that’s ok!
- Cover the pie with tin foil and poke a couple holes in it for venting.
- Bake at 425 for 20 minutes
- Remove foil, turn oven to 375 and continue baking for another 40 minutes, or until insides of pie are bubbling and the top is browned and crispy. Note: you may have to recover just the edges of the crust for part of the last 40 minutes – just keep an eye on it to prevent burning.
- Let the pie cool a bit before serving. The longer it cools the less runny the insides will be. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a couple extra strawberries. Enjoy!