Adam's Mom recently gifted us with several stalks of home-grown rhubarb. I was skeptical. My earlier impressions of rhubarb were, well... sour. And just look at the stuff! You know that rude phrase "beaten with the ugly stick?" Rhubarb could very well BE that stick. It's rough, tough, offensively red, and basically looks like celery gone to the dark side. Pretty much the last thing I'd grab to throw in a pie.
But, I did, and here's how I did it.
The filling is about as simple as can be: strawberries and rhubarb (at a 1:1 ratio and roughly chopped so they won't just liquify), 1/2 a cup of sugar, a few tablespoons of flour, a pinch of salt, and the juice of a particularly rotund lemon.
The topping is like a spicy oatmeal cookie: a stick of melted butter, a cup of flour, 1/2 cup of Stone Buhr 4 Grain Cereal Mates (as an aside: I did NOT buy this cereal. I don't even know how it got in my cupboard. I only eat cereal that gives me sugar-related heart palpitations.), 3 tablespoons of sugar, 3 tablespoons of brown sugar, a drizzle of molasses, a generous pinch each of nutmeg and ground ginger, an obscene amount of cinnamon, a sprinkling of diced crystalized ginger, and the zest of the above-mentioned lemon.
Baked for 45 minutes at 375º, until the pie dish could barely contain all the goodness within.
Garnished with lemon slices and festive lemon zest confetti.
Served on vibrant red glass plates.
My not-so-humble opinion? It's brilliant. I've never eaten a pie so delicious. It has none of the nasty bite that I'd associated with rhubarb. It's tart, to be sure, but the addition of the lemon creates a multi-tonal sour flavor that seems to sparkle across the palate. It tastes uncannily like strawberry lemonade! As for the crumble topping... it's light but satisfyingly crunchy (thanks to that weird healthy cereal), and the array of spices play well with the sweet-tart fruits.
A wholesome, happy pie.
Adam gives the pie 8 stars, and I (very modestly) say 9- because this pie will change your mind about rhubarb.