You know you have good friends when they send a quick text and then leave a bag of fresh rhubarb on your doorstep. Kathy recently did just that. When I got home, there sat a brown paper bag full of rhubarb.
I planted a couple of rhubarb crowns in my garden, but so far, nothing is happening. Also, it takes a couple of years for the crowns to get established.
And did you know that rhubarb is actually a vegetable even though it’s usually served as a sweet?
Today, I drove past Sparrow Bakery which is known for their heavenly Ocean Roll. In fact, when I first moved back to Central Oregon, everyone said you absolutely have to have an Ocean Roll. Quite simply, it’s a pastry that’s a fabulous mix of croissant and cinnamon roll which is infused with pungent, warm cardamom. While I did resist the urge to stop, I could taste the cardamom and vanilla.
Another bakery favorite are fruit muffins topped with big, fat crumbs that are spiced up with cinnamon or ginger. So, of course my bag of rhubarb options began to take form. In fact, as I’m trying desperately to get this post banged out, a pie is baking and the aroma is absolutely divine.
Rhubarb Pie with Cardamom Spiced Crumbs
One single pie crust
- 6 cups sliced rhubarb
- 1 1/4 cups sugar, more or less to taste
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- A pinch of salt
- A splash of water
- 2 – 3 tablespoons of cornstarch
- 1/3 cup each white and brown sugar
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 1 teaspoon each cardamom and cinnamon
- 1 3/4 cups flour
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Place all of the pie filling ingredients in a large sauce pan. Bring to a gentle boil, reduce heat and simmer until the rhubarb is breaking apart and soft. Mix the cornstarch with a small amount of water. Add to the rhubarb mixture to thicken. Add more sugar if desired. Set aside to cool.
- While pie filling is simmering, whisk the sugars, spices and salt into the melted butter. Stir in the flour. It will make a fairly solid dough. Set it aside.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Fit a deep dish pie pan with a single crust. Carefully pour the rhubarb filling into the crust. Using your fingers, break topping mixture into big crumbs, about ½ inch to ¾ inch in size. Pile crumbs over pie.
- Put the pie on a cookie sheet, place in the hot oven and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and continue baking for another 45 minutes, or until crumbs are browned and filling is bubbling.
I picked up vanilla ice cream to plop on top of the pie, but a dash of cream or just plain straight up would be a beautiful thing.
Cheers, and happy eating my friends –