For as popular as rhubarb is on the internet (it might be up there with ramps), I've never cooked with them before. Actually, I've only ever eaten rhubarb once before this and it was a sad, soggy mush. The stalks were on sale at the market and I thought, why not? I already had strawberries in the fridge and knew that would be a safe pairing to start with.
Not only was this my first time using rhubarb, but it was also my first time making hand pies and I had a lot of fun! The crust is made of rye, whole wheat pastry flour, and regular all purpose flour. Gary was a huge fan of the crust and I have to admit, I loved it too. The filling is comprised of one part rhubarb and two parts strawberries, tossed with honey and tapioca starch.
This mini recipe made three little hand pies and I experimented with some additional flavors. One was left plain, another included a sprinkling of black pepper, and the last one had crushed lavender buds; my favorite was the lavender. I also tried out some different crimping techniques as you can see above. I'm partial to the pinched edged on the left.
I ate half of each and gave the rest to Gary. It was promptly eaten up in 3 minutes flat. Pretty good for something that doesn't have any refined sugar, right? Next time I'm going to try making the crust gluten free too.
Strawberry Rhubarb Hand Pies whole grain, sugar free. makes 3-4 mini hand pies.
Crust: 1/4 c dark rye flour 1/4 c whole wheat pastry flour 1/8 c all purpose flour, plus more for dusting 2 Tbsp butter, cold 2-3 Tbsp water, iced pinch of salt
Filling: 1/3 c strawberries, chopped 1 stalk rhubarb, chopped honey, to taste (I used 2 tsp) 1 tsp tapioca starch (or other starch, such as corn or arrowroot)
egg yolk or cream for brushing pastry sucanat or raw sugar to garnish dried lavender (optional)
Whisk together flours and salt and cut in butter. Gradually add water (you might not need all of it) and mix together until a shaggy dough comes together. I used a small spatula to mix and press the liquid into the flour. (Here is a good tutorial). Form into a flattened disc, wrap with plastic, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400° F. Make the filling by mixing all ingredients together. Add crushed, dried lavender if you like. Roll out your chilled dough to about 1/8" and cut out a 4" circle or so and add filling. Be sure not to over fill the crust or else you won't be able to close it properly. Fold over one half of the circle and press or crimp the edges together with a fork. Using a small sharp knife, cut vent holes on top.
Move assembled hand pies to a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush tops with egg yolk or cream. Top off with a sprinkling of sucanat or turbinado sugar. Bake for 20 minutes or until crust has turned golden brown. Enjoy!