Project Pie: Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Pie (Whole Wheat + Vegan)

Project Pie: I'll be baking 24 pies before Pi Day 2016 to get over my fear of baking pies. And to eat delicious things. You can join me by posting about your pies in the comments or tagging your twitter, instagram, or facebook posts with #projectpie. Make something scrumptious and gooey!

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie sounds like the perfect dessert for a Southern luncheon on a summer afternoon, but I didn't have a slice until I was an adult living in New England. I'm not sure I'd ever even heard of rhubarb before a few years ago. 

The notion that this reddish, greenish stalk that looks a lot like celery can, when mixed with sugar, turn into a deliciously sweet confection is a bit magical to me. And when I decided to bake 24 pies, there was absolutely no question that a strawberry rhubarb would be in the mix. 

We haven't grown rhubarb in the garden because apparently it takes over everything, but I do think it would be a good problem to have - Ugh. I have sooo. much. rhubarb. I guess I'll have to make ANOTHER batch of rhubarb jam.  Damn.

You see what I'm saying? 

Instead, I hunted rhubarb this year like a hungry animal, asking everyone I saw with a rhubarb-based treat where they'd gotten theirs. Person after person told me it was from their garden, and it was all gone. I despaired that perhaps there would be no strawberry rhubarb pie for me. 

And then a couple weeks ago my wife called from the co-op and told me there was rhubarb - should she get some? Oh, I despaired. I was leaving for BlogHer in New York that week and wouldn't have time to bake a pie. But would it last while I was gone? Buying rhubarb and having it go bad in my refrigerator would be deeply depressing. I took a gamble and told her not to buy any, hoping there would still be rhubarb at the store when I returned. 

And glory of glories, there was. 

I even have a little left over. Ugh. So much rhubarb. I guess I'll have to make a little rhubarb compote this week. 

Darn.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Pie (Whole Wheat)
Adapted from Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Crust

1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold Earth Balance (or other non-dairy butter)
1/4 cup shortening, room temperature
1/4 cup ice water

1. Quickly mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl. 
2. Break the shortening into large chunks and cut your butter (from the freezer) into small pieces. Add the butter and shortening to the flour mixture. Cut it into the dry ingredients by chopping vigorously with a pastry blender or cutting it with two knives. Work quickly so the butter does not melt. Make sure you are getting all the flour off the bottom of the bowl. Stop when the mixture has some pea-sized pieces and is mostly a consistency of dry, coarse crumbs, like cornmeal. 
3. Drizzle the ice water over the top. Using the blade side of a rubber spatula, cut into the mixture until it is evenly moistened and small balls begin to form. If balls of dough stick together, you're done. If they don't, drizzle 1-2 more tablespoons of water over the top. 
4. Press the dough together until it forms a ball. It should be rough, not smooth. Press into a flat, round disk. Wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. You can refrigerate for up to several days. 

Filling

3-4 cups rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3-4 cups strawberries, halved
3/4 cup coconut palm sugar (or sub cane sugar)
3 tablespoons whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons Earth Balance (or sub butter), cut into small chunks

1. Mix together the sugar and flour and set aside. 
2. Mix together the rhubarb, strawberries, lemon juice, and Earth Balance and set aside.

Crumb Topping

1/2 cup whole wheat flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar (or sub brown sugar)
1/4 cup Earth Balance (or sub butter), melted

1. Mix flour, sugar, and Earth Balance together until crumbly. 

Putting it Together:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 
2. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface, beginning in the center and rolling out from all directions. Roll the dough about 3-4 inches wider than your pie pan.
3. Transfer the dough into your pie pan by rolling it loosely around your rolling pin and then unrolling it into the pie pan. Press the dough over the bottom and into the corners of your pan. Trim the edges of the dough, leaving a 3/4 inch overhang, and then tuck that overhang underneath itself.  
4. Sprinkle the crust with about 1 tablespoon of the sugar and flour mixture.
5. Mix the remaining sugar and flour mixture with the strawberry rhubarb mixture and pour into the pie crust. 
6. Top with the crumble mixture, and place the pie pan on a large baking sheet and into the oven. Bake for 30 minutes.
7. Let cool for 10-15 minutes on a rack. Slice and enjoy.

 p.s. Remember my strawberry basil pie? Yum. 

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