Sunday, April 26, 2009

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Although it's still chilly here on the northern California coast, flowers are blooming, leaves are greening, swallows are nesting, and our local food co-op is bursting with strawberries and rhubarb. What's a girl to do?

It took some years before I attempted to make strawberry-rhubarb pie. Something about rhubarb. . . Peel it first? Cook it before combining with strawberries? Look at a recipe for guidance?

You're kidding, right?

That's like a guy asking for directions.

Doesn't happen.

So I simply didn't make one.

I guess with age comes the desire to be more daring (she says wryly): Yesterday, after bringing home super-sweet strawberries and ruby-red rhubarb, I just plunged right in. I must say, for a first time it's a pretty tasty pie. And yeah, I did look up how to deal with rhubarb. And I'm not too awfully embarrassed about it. I've never claimed to be the baker in the family, although I swear I could feel my mother, the pie baker extraordinnaire, smiling as she looked over my shoulder during this process.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
Christine's original recipe (with help about rhubarb from my old Joy of Cooking)
Enough crust to make a double-crust pie, divided in half (post will be is linked here)
3 and 1/2 cups strawberries, washed, hulled and cut in half
3 and 1/2 cups rhubarb, washed and cut into 1/2-inch slices
1/2 cup Splenda granular
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon Meyer lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon or cardamom
3 tablespoons Minute Tapioca
pinch kosher salt
1 egg white, beaten
2 teaspoons sugar for the top crust of the pie
Pre-heat the oven to 400-degrees.
In a large bowl, using clean hands, mix together the berries, rhubarb, sugar, Splenda, lemon juice, spice, salt and tapioca.
Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes to allow juices to form and the tapioca to soften.
Meanwhile, roll out 1/2 of the pie dough into a 13-inch round. Fit into an 11-inch glass pie plate and trim crust to a 1-inch overhang all around the edges.
Pour the fruit mixture into the bottom crust, allowing it to mound in the center.
Roll out the second half of dough in the same dimensions and gently place over the fruit mixture.
Tuck under both bottom and top crusts together all around the pie plate and pinch or crimp to your liking.
Here is a good place to start if you don't know how to do it.
Cut slits in the top crust then brush the beaten egg white all over the top, including the crimping. Sprinkle with the 2 teaspoons sugar.
Place the pie on rack in the middle of the 400-degree oven and bake for 1/2 hour. Immediately lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 25 minutes more or until the crust is golden brown and the juices are bubbling out.
Remove from the oven and place the pie on a rack until cooled.

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