May 8, 2011

Cherry Rhubarb Pie ~ Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day!

We're headed to Rachel's for the afternoon.  I like it when we get together for a meal.  It's a very relaxing spot out on an island not too far from here on the Columbia River. It's very peaceful out there, she's got a nice spot.  She's a whole foods cook and we really don't know what we're making until we make it.  I usually come up with some kind of salad and a dessert. Most the time we don't even discuss the meal, but no matter what we each make, it usually blends together quite nicely. In the summer, I'll show up with a cooler.  I just throw in a lot of fruit and vegetables and some favorite cooking essentials and figure it out when I get there.  We both like to cook 'in season' and local when we can, so we tend to come up with the same base dishes many times without talking about it.  For instance, I'll post a blueberry cheesecake and later she'll post the blueberry coffee cake she made. It happens a lot.

While looking through the items in my kitchen looking for the inspiration yesterday, I came up with the idea of a cherry rhubarb pie.  I picked up some fresh rhubarb at the farmer's market yesterday and still have some sweet cherries I put up in the freezer last summer.  Cherry Rhubarb pie it is.  Her husband is borderline diabetic so I made this with no sugar.  I used the finely ground dried stevia leaves from the stevia I grew last season.  I also added 1 tablespoon of local honey and the juice of one orange.  This could be omitted or replaced with Agave for a vegan pie. I wanted to mask the potential after taste of the stevia. Stevia is a great sweetener, but it only takes 1 teaspoon to replace a cup of sugar.  It's easy to get a little too much. I'm still not comfortable with the measurements with the dried leaves. I tossed the rhubarb, cherries, stevia, honey, and juice with 3 tablespoons of tapioca.  I tossed in a handful of slivered raw almonds and a half teaspoon almond extract. Baked about an hour at 400º. Very simple.

I made the crust with date sugar instead of sugar.  Date sugar is the best, it's just ground dates.  But, it doesn't dissolve, so it's not a great sugar replacement for everything.  It worked just fine for the crust. I brushed the crust with some hemp milk and sprinkled date sugar on top the last 15 minutes of baking.

And as usual, we think alike.  I sent her a text with a picture of this pie and she returned a picture of her pie.  We did not discuss fruit pies. She returned a picture of the marionberry, raspberry, strawberry pie she just took out of the oven.

Now we will be eating some veggies and grains too.  I cooked up some spelt berries and black rice yesterday.  Not sure what they will be blended with, I'm thinking some cucumbers, red bell pepper, a little jalepeño pepper, some lamb's quarters, and chopped pineapple.  I'll add a little raspberry balsamic vinegar too.  I'll let you know how that works out. I have a couple sweet potatoes. I'll throw those in my bag too.  I'm thinking braised sweet potatoes.

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