This weekend I went to pick up my haul from my CSA  as usual and I got an unexpected treat: a bundle of Rhubarb! So, being the resourceful person I am, I thought to myself, “what should I make with this?” Of course, by that time I already had a cart full of strawberries and ingredients for pie dough (apparently the rest of me had already decided). So, looks like today we’ll be having pie  (I used that as my base recipe)… sneak peak below!
A common question people have when it comes to Strawberry-Rhubarb pie is, what in the world is rhubarb? Well, let’s let the ol’ internet  shed some light on it for you:
Rhubarb is an intensely sour vegetable in the genus Rheum which is popular with many people in a cooked and heavily sweetened form as part of a dessert. Traditionally, rhubarb is paired with things like strawberries or ginger, and abundantly sweetened. The result is a tart, sweet, complex flavor which is quite distinctive. The plant has been grown in many parts of the world for thousands of years, and comes into season between April and June. In some regions, it is classified as a fruit, because of how it is used, although this is technically incorrect. […]
The leaves have a high oxalic acid content, and are potentially toxic to both humans and animals. For this reason, the leaves are trimmed and discarded before rhubarb is cooked. Most commonly, the sour stalks are used in a pie, but rhubarb is also used to make preserves and wines.
There you go! It’s a tart tasting veggie that rocks as pie filling and has killer leaves. The most important thing is that it tastes good in a pie, so what are we waiting for?
- 2 1/2 c All Purpose Flour
- 1/2 c Cake Flour
- 2 1/2 tsp Powdered Sugar
- 3/4 tsp Salt
- 2/3 c Solid Vegetable Shortening (chilled and cut into pieces)
- 1/2 c plus 2 Tbs (1 1/4 sticks) Unsalted Butter (chilled and cut into pieces)
- 10 Tbs (give or take) Ice Water
Now the filling:
- 3 1/2 c Trimmed Rhubarb (cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices)
- 16 oz Strawberries (hulled, halved or quartered, depending on size)
- 3/4 c (packed) Light Brown Sugar
- 3/4 c Sugar
- 1/2 c Powdered Sugar
- 1/4 c (heaping) Cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 tsp Lemon Zest
- 1/2 tsp Lemon Juice
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1 Egg Yolk beaten with 1 tsp Water
- Granulated sugar for sprinkling
First the pie dough (this can be made the night before, that’s what I did):
- Combine the flours, sugar and salt in a large food processor. Using on/off turns, cut in shortening and butter until coarse meal forms (Note, this can all be done by hand the traditional way as well).
- Blend in ice water (2 tablespoons at a time) until it forms moistened clumps.
- Gather the dough, form into ball and then split it in half.
- Flatten each half into disk, then wrap separately in plastic and refrigerate until firm, at least an hour. Be sure to let dough soften slightly at room temperature before rolling, just don’t let it soften to the point it gets too sticky to work with.
When you’re ready to get baking, it’s time to get the insides ready (don’t do this too early):
- Preheat your oven to 400°F.
- Combine all the filling ingredients in large bowl and toss or stir gently to blend Set aside.
- Roll out one of your disks of dough disk on a floured work surface until it is around 13″ in diameter.
- Place this into your 9″ glass pie dish. Go ahead and trim any excess dough, making sure to leave abut 3/4-inch hanging over.
- Roll out second dough disk on lightly floured surface the same as the first, but this time cut it into strips so that you can make a lattice top. Here is a video showing you how:
- Brush glaze over crust and sprinkle with sugar.
- Move the pie to a baking sheet covered with tin foil and bake for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, check the pie… if the top is beginning to brown, tent a piece of foil over it to prevent burning. Either way, reduce the oven temp down to 350°F.
- Bake pie until golden brown and filling thickens, usually about 1 hour 25 minutes.
- Transfer to a cooling rack and do not eat it until it cools. No. Bad! Don’t do it!
Here are some photos of the various stages so you can have an idea of what you should be seeing along the way:
And here’s the end result (before the cutting):
Yum!! One quick note… this may be too tart for some people (not myself, but everyone is different), so feel free to up the sugar a little or serve with ice cream if you’re one of those people with an insane sweet tooth like Jess.
Well, I hope this encouraged all of you to go out and bake a pie rather than pick one up from your local super market! Please share any advice you have to novice pie makers like myself!