I am the Proud Mama of a grown up rhubarb patch! I planted it with no idea how to grow rhubarb and little did I know that there are RULES!
The following spring after the rhubarb crown plant is planted, do not pick any rhubarb. The following season after that, you may harvest just a very few stalks (I actually left mine alone year two also, just to make sure it would be healthy). The third year of growth you may finally take a full harvest - although leave at least one-third of the plant after each harvest to regenerate new growth. Be sure to cut off any flower stalks that grow! After the last harvest, in early July, allow the plants to grow without picking any more stalks until killed by frost in the fall.
Do you think I was ready after three years to have some rhubarb? Oh yes! The very first thing I made were these rhubarb-strawberry hand pies.
Here is my little rhubarb patch. My rhubarb was very happy this year and I and have large bags of cut rhubarb in my freezer from my harvesting so I can continue to enjoy rhubarb sauce or these delicious rhubarb hand pies when the mood strikes.
I had never made hand pies before. I love the single serving size and, obviously, being able to eat with your hands. Perfect for big and little boys or girls and picnics in the back yard :)
Feel free to substitute your favorite pie filling if you don't care for rhubarb!
Garden Update ~ Day lily time! My favorite melon yellow day lily was a gift from a garden forum friend Kim, in Canada who even got all of the necessary horticulture certificates to send it to me years ago. If you look closely, you can see my rhubarb patch from the other side of the fence :) Summer's bounty - never ceases to thrill me.
Rhubarb-Strawberry Hand Pies
Strawberry-Rhubarb Hand PiesAdapted from Bay Area Bites and King Arthur Flour
Yield – 8 hand pies
2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup cold unsalted butter
1/2 cup cold sour cream
To make the dough: Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Add the butter, working it in to make a coarse/crumbly mixture. Leave most of the butter in large, pea-sized pieces.
Stir in the sour cream; the dough won't be cohesive. Turn it out onto a floured work surface, and bring it together with a few quick kneads.
Pat the dough into a rough log, and roll it into an 8" x 10" rectangle. Dust both sides of the dough with flour, and starting with a shorter end, fold it in three like a business letter. Flip the dough over, give it a 90° turn on your work surface, and roll it again into an 8" x 10" rectangle. Fold it in three again.
Wrap the dough, and chill for at least 30 minutes before using.
2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
2 cups rhubarb, washed, trimmed and cut into ½ inch pieces (about 3-4 stalks of rhubarb)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 large egg (whisked with 1 Tablespoon of cold water)
3 tablespoons coarse sugar
In a large, heavy saucepan, combine the strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, honey and cornstarch and stir to mix well. Place over medium heat and cook until thickened and bubbly, stirring frequently, about 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and chill along with dough until ready to use.
To assemble and bake:
Preheat the oven to 425 F.
Roll the chilled dough into a 14″ x 14″ square, and cut it into 16 squares, about 3 1/2″ each. Cut the centers out of eight of the pieces (I used the tip of a small funnel).
Place generous tablespoons of filling on the remaining 8 squares. Spread the filling out a bit, but leave a good 1/2″ border for sealing the pies. Brush the border with some of the egg wash – or use your finger to spread it around the edge. Place the cut out square over the top and press around the border. Use a fork to crimp and seal.
Brush the top of each pie with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sanding sugar.
Bake for about 12-15 minutes – depending on your oven – start checking after 10 minutes. Remove with the pies are golden brown on top.