Ah, I have already mentioned how much I am in love with summer produce with last week's asparagus risotto recipe. Let's talk about rhubarb, and my love for this epic fruit (actually it's a vegetable :-)). Rhubarb is super popular in Germany in the late spring/ early summer, and I remember how my grandmother used to cook jars and jars of rhubarb compote during its very short season. This would then be dessert for the rest of the summer, served with either creamy vanilla ice cream or thick, lucious vanilla sauce. Divine! Rhubarb pies and crumbles take it to the next level.
Rhubarb is a powerhouse when it comes to a plant based source of calcium and iron. The leaves are not edible, since they contain a high amount of oxalic acid. You may have heard of this compound in other leafy greens, and how it stops your mineral digestion (especially of iron and calcium). So make sure to discard the leaves and only use the stalks. You can eat them raw when they are nice and crisp - similar to celery, but I would recommend making a compote out of them. In this recipe there will be plenty of the compote leftover. If you are already going through the trouble of cooking this, you may as well eat a few different meals from it. I like to top my morning oatmeal with the compote or try this delicious coconut chia pudding with rhubarb.
Yes, this pie takes some time - what baking doesn't? It's not something you whip up five minutes before your guests arrive. Make this on a lazy summer weekend, and enjoy the process. So many people feel so stressed out about making food. I see it as mediation. A way to deeply take care of my body and my soul :-).
Preparation time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Makes 1 pie to feed 8-12 people:
For the base:
1 1/2 cups almond flour
1 cup oat flour
2 Tbsp melted virgin coconut oil + extra for pan
2 Tbsp honey or maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (make your own here)
pinch of sea salt
For the filling:
600g/ 1.3 lbs fresh rhubarb stalks
250g/ 0.5 lbs fresh or frozen strawberries
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
zest of 1 orange plus the juice
2 Tbsp arrowroot (or corn starch)
For the crumble topping:
1/2 cup oat flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
1/4 cup melted virgin coconut oil
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tso vanilla extract
Pre-heat the oven to 175°C/ 350°F. Take a 24cm/ 9.5inch springform pan or pie pan, and brush with a little coconut oil. Place pan to the side.
To make the base, process all ingredients in a food processor until a crumbly dough forms. When you pinch it, it should stick. Otherwise you can add another spoon of coconut oil. Pour the base into the pan, and using the bottom of a glass or spoon, press the dough into the pan evenly.
Bake for 15 minutes until brown. Take out, and let it cool off slightly.
In the meantime prepare the rhubarb. Start at the end of one rhubarb stalk, cut off about 1 cm/ half an inch. Then use your knife to pull off strands of red skin from the rhubarb. They will make your compote stringy, so make sure to be diligent here. Pull off all the skin, and discard. Repeat with all the stalks.
Chop the rhubarb into bite sized pieces, and add to a large pot.
Add the strawberries to the pot together with all the other filling ingredients except the arrowroot.
Cook for 20-30 minutes on medium heat uncovered until the fruit starts to fall apart.
Dissolve the arrowroot in 2 Tbsp of water, and stir into the rhubarb. The compote should start to thicken slightly. Turn off heat, and let sit.
Make the crumbly topping by adding all the topping ingredients to a bowl and kneading with your fingertips.
Add 2 cups from the rhubarb to the pie crust. Keep the rest in the fridge for up to 2 weeks as a yummy oatmeal topping, a snack by itself or to bake another pie.
Sprinkle with the crumbly topping, and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
Let the pie cool off completely (about an hour), before cutting into it.