blueberry rhubarb pie (vegan!)

Hello, summer.

It has been hot AF down here in Maryland for a few weeks now. Every day it’s a toss-up whether Louise will join Greta and I for our afternoon walk. Some days I make the executive decision that it’s too hot for her, most days she stares at me from her post at the top of the stairs and refuses to come down.

When she does join us, I wonder what people think as they observe a big pregnant lady pushing a stroller with one hand and dragging a dog behind with the other. It’s a punishing way to get my steps in.

I suppose that’s my way of announcing that Baby #2 will be arriving in August! So while everyone else is enjoying their ice cold rosé this summer, I’m going to keep plowing my way through desserts.

I made this pie over MDW. My sister-in-law and brother-in-law were coming over so we picked up sausages from Snake Hill (they have vegan sausage) and I made a couple of vegan sides and this pie. I’ve always made my pie crust with butter but I used vegetable shortening this time and it was EXCELLENT.

I know rhubarb is more classically combined with strawberries, but I had blueberries on hand and it worked out swimmingly. So make this while the rhubarb is still in season!

Blueberry Rhubarb Pie

for the crust

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) vegetable shortening

1/2 cup ice cold water

2 tablespoons melted vegan butter & 1 tablespoon sugar

for the filling

2 cups blueberries, rinsed

2 cups chopped rhubarb

juice and zest of 1 lemon

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons corn starch

for the coconut whipped cream

1 can coconut milk, chilled overnight

1/4 cup powdered sugar

My original plan was to make this a slab pie because those seem to be very on trend right now, but because there were only 4 of us I realized I didn’t really have an appropriately sized cookie sheet to make one that would be a reasonable size. But if you’re making this for a crowd, the recipe is easily doubled and you could do a slab pie!

In the food processor, pulse the flour with the sugar and salt. Add the shortening, a couple of tablespoons at a time, and pulse to combine. Then you’ll want to let it run and slowly stream in your ice water (mine was about 1/2 cup) until the dough comes together. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes- this is easily done ahead of time.

For the filling, throw the fruit, lemon juice and zest, and brown sugar onto the stove over low heat and let it cook down for 20-25 minutes. Stir in the corn starch to thicken it up and let it cook for another 5 minutes or so. Allow to cool completely- also can do this way ahead of time.

When you’re ready to assemble your pie, roll out about 2/3 of your crust and put it into your pie dish. The other 1/3 can be rolled out and cut into some kind of design. I attempted a sort of lattice which looks very sad but it is what it is. If you have cookie cutters or something you can make this really festive- maybe stars for the 4th of July?! You’ve all been on Pinterest.

Once I had it all assembled I melted some Earth Balance and brushed the top of the crust, then sprinkled it with sugar. Bake at 375 degrees for an hour, and allow to cool completely before serving.

Now I’ve read multiple blogs about doing coconut whipped cream- you refrigerate a can of coconut milk overnight, scoop out the solids, and whip in a chilled bowl with a little powdered sugar. Mine didn’t thicken up! It tasted delicious so I still served it over top, and then I found that when I refrigerated the rest of it, it was the perfect texture the following day. So if you’re willing to make that part of it a 2 day process, go for it. Or you could just buy some Tru-Whip.

This really isn’t an overly sweet dessert and the texture of the crust is amazing. I just might have to adapt some of my Thanksgiving pies this year.

Assuming I make it to Thanksgiving. The other day when I was walking with Greta in the stroller a man said to me “Pretty soon, she’ll be pushing you!” Which I think was meant to be a (morbid?) way to say “Time flies!”

But had I also been pulling a 70 pound dog on a leash during that walk I may have interpreted it more literally. And gladly accepted a ride in a stroller/wheelchair.

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