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    Though Rhubarb is a vegetable, from species of plants called Polygonaceae, it is more often used as a fruit in cooking, mainly in pies, crumbles, and other desserts. In traditional Chinese medicine, the bright red slightly spicy plant has been use as a laxative for several millennia, because of it high fiber. This vegan recipe combines pineapple, ginger and rhubarb for a mini pie that you, your friends and family will enjoy for years to come. Because, I am making small mini filled pies, my recipe works backwards with most pie recipes, making the filling first and the crust second. 

    Ingredients:

    • 1 ½cups of chopped fresh pineapple (you can use canned but drain off the liquid, if you use fresh it about a quarter of the pineapple)
    • 2 stalks of rhubarb split and chopped into small cubes  (you can use frozen, about 2 cups)
    • 1 inch ginger root, chopped
    • ½ cup raw organic sugar 
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon 
    • 2 Tablespoons tapioca flour 
    • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    • ¼ cup cold water 

    Directions:

    1. Combine the pineapple, rhubarb, sugar and ginger into on saucepan on the stove top, on medium heat, you can add a couple of Tablespoons of water to the fruit to help it break down. The pineapple will sweat and release it juices, stir regular to insure that it heats even and does not burn. 
    2. Add the cinnamon, stir. After about 10 mins the  fruit will start to break down, continue to stir.
    3. Take the remaining cold water and add the tapioca flour, mix into until there are no lumps and the tapioca is dissolved. Add this to the fruit and stir, add the lemon juice. The mixture will start to set and become like a thickened pie filling. Do not overcook it, but you want it to hold together.
    4. Place in a glass bowl and let cool, you can cover with cling wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight, making the pies the next day. You want the filling to be cold, when you add it to be pie crust.

     

    Pie crust 

     

    Ingredients:

    • 2 cups all-purpose flour 
    • 1 teaspoon salt 
    • ¾ cup vegan shortening, chilled
    • ½  cup powder sugar 
    • 4 to 8 Tablespoons of ice water 

    Directions: 

    1. Blend the flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Cut in the shortening into the flour with a pastry blender or a fork until coarse and crumbs form. Add enough water with a fork until dough holds together.
    2. Divide into two halves. Shape into ½ inch thick disks. Wrap in cling wrap and chill 30 mins.
    3. Pre-heat the oven to 425ºF.
    4. Roll out the disk and with a 4” heart shaped cookie cutter cut and even number of hearts. Place on a baking sheet with parchment paper.
    5. Add a 1 ½ tablespoons of the cold filling to the bottom center pastry heart disk. Place a heart on top and crimp together the edges of the pasty, (I used a chop stick, this gave the pies a fluted edge) continue until all the pasty is used. You will get about 6 to 8 pies. With a small paring knife, make a small slit in the top pasty heart to allow steam to escape.
    6. Place in the hot oven, bake until the pastry is brown on the edges about 30 mins. The pasty must be fully cooked because you want the pie to be able to hold its shape when picked up. ENJOY!