These pies are kinda awesome. Not only do they look adorable, but they’re also single serving, portable and can be devoured straight outta the jar. The combination of strawberries and rhubarb is classic, but I put a little bit of a twist on this by adding some orange and ginger. I love this pie because its the perfect combination of sweet and tart.
A couple of fun facts about rhubarb…
1.) Although technically a vegetable, in 1947 a United States court declared rhubarb a fruit due to its common use in sweet desserts. This also lowered imported rhubarb tariffs since vegetables were more expensive than fruit.
2.) The leaves are toxic.
3.) It has also been used for thousands of years as a laxative. Whatch out now!
I’ve been listening to Metric a lot recently. A couple of their songs were featured in the documentary Miss Representation (which you should totally watch!) Check out the song“Gold Guns Girls”
Pie Crust Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for rolling out dough)
1/4 cup granulated vegan sugar **
4 ounces vegetable shortening
2 ounces soy butter
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup ice water
** So…up until this point I had been using beet sugar for my granulated sugar for a couple of reasons. First off, its cheap. Second, cane sugar is typically not vegan (unless stated otherwise) due to the purification process, which uses animal bone char. Since I am trying to also make better decisions to support sustainability, I’m opting for alternative sugar sources when possible. Mostly maple syrup, sorghum, etc. However, for granulated sugar I am now buying brands labeled organic vegan. There is a lot wrong with the way our government subsidizes certain crops, and major corporations like Monsanto have the monopoly on beets. Since I don’t care to support Monsanto and their GMO beets, I try not to buy granulated beet sugar (which is half of the sugar in the US!) With that said…alternative sources can get pricey so…if sticking with vegan is your top priority, go with beet sugar. Here is a link to read more about this: GMO Sugar Beet Deregulation.
Pie Filling Ingredients:
3 cups strawberries, sliced
1 1/2 cups rhubarb, chopped
1/4 cup crystalized ginger, finely chopped
1/3 cup granulated vegan sugar
2 tbsp arrowroot powder
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tsp orange zest
Crumb Topping Ingredients:
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of sea salt
3 tbsp soy butter, chilled and cubed
Mason jars! I used wide-mouth 4 ounce jars. They were the easiest to work with. The filling amount should be enough for about 8 jars. I did a combination of regular pie crust as well as crumb topping.
First, make your pie crust. It’s going to need to sit in the fridge for at least 1 hour prior to using, so you can make this ahead of time.
Combine the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed. Slowly add the chilled vegetable shortening and butter, then mix for about a minute or so (until the mixture begins to resemble small beads.) Gradually add in the ice water and mix until the dough just starts to come together. Don’t over mix! You’ll want some of the shortening to remain in little tiny clumps. Remove the dough from the mixer and briefly knead so that it comes together. Pat into a disc shape, cover with plastic wrap and stick in the fridge for at least an hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Prepare your mason jars by spraying with a little non-stick spray or greasing with some additional vegetable shortening. Vegetable shortening tends to work a bit better than soy butter because its less easily absorbed.
To make the filling, just combine all of the filling ingredients into a large bowl and mix together.
Lightly flour a surface to roll out the dough. Depending on the size of the mason jars you’re using, roll out circular pieces of dough that will be large enough to line the inside of the jar. Trim the dough, leaving enough to hang slightly over the top edge of the jar. Spoon in some filling to the top of the jar. Roll out another circular piece of dough that is large enough to cover the top of the jar. Pinch together the edges of the dough, then cut a few slits in the center to allow steam to vent. I also kind of like the way the pies look when some of the juice spills out the top, so I tend to fill the jars with extra juice from the mixing bowl and I cut slightly larger slits in the dough.
I also tried a crumb topping, which tastes great as well. Just combine the topping ingredients into a food processor and pulse until well combined, but still crumbly. Fill the mason jars, leaving about a 1/2 inch or so at the top. Fill the rest of the way with the crumb topping. For a third version, fill the bottom of the jar with about a 1/2 inch or so of crumb topping, as opposed to lining the inside with pie dough. Spoon in some filling, followed by more crumb topping. I really like the presentation of all three variations combined.
Place all of the jars into a baking dish and fill with water. You’ll want the water to come about halfway up the side of the jars. Bake for about 45 min to 1 hour, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. The crumb topping usually takes slightly less time than the regular crust. Since these pies are served in their baking vessels, make sure that they are fully cooled before serving!