Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Ridiculously Tasty Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

So, I know it may not look like much, but this really is a super delicious strawberry rhubarb pie. I got the original recipe here, but changed it just slightly. I added half a cup more strawberries than called for (making about 4 cups) and half a cup less rhubarb than listed (about 3 cups). I also used about 3/4 cups brown sugar (the granulated kind, not the packed kind), and 1/4 cup regular white sugar, instead of using 1/2 cup each. Fruit pie recipes are more like guidelines than rules anyway...

To see some pictures of our rhubarb plant, and the process of harvesting rhubarb, keep reading. My slightly altered version of the recipe is also listed below. Bon app├ętit!

Super Tasty Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Recipe

For crust

3 cups all purpose flour

2 1/2 teaspoons sugar

3/4 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening, cut into pieces; I used Crisco, but if you prefer to eat organic, you could always try

Spectrum Naturals vegetable shortening

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces; You may be able to use Earth Balance here to make this vegan, or you could probably substitute another vegan pie crust recipe here; Keep in mind though that the recipe below makes a 9" pie, and the fruit below is proportioned to fit a 9" pie; And the cook times reflect a 9" pie also

10 tablespoons (about) ice water

For filling

3 cups rhubarb, trimmed to about 1/2" lengths

Just over 1 16-ounce container strawberries, hulled, halved (about 4 cups)

3/4 cup granulated brown sugar (please see note immediately below)

1/4 cup sugar ( I am sure if you put in 1 cup total of demerara sugar - or another sugar of your choice - that it would not adversely affect the recipe, as long as you use no more than 1 cup total sugar in the filling

1/4 cup cornstarch

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 large egg yolk beaten to blend with 1 teaspoon water (for glaze); I am sure you could find a vegan substitute for this also


Make crust.

Combine flour, sugar and salt in processor. Pulsing the food processor on and off, cut in shortening and butter. Do not overmix. Mixture will resemble wet sand when ready. Next, blend in the ice water 2 Tablespoons at a time, until the dough starts to hold together in clumps. You may not need to use all of the water for this to happen. Gather dough into ball and cut in half. Flatten each half into disk. Wrap separately in plastic, and chill about 1 hour. The dough can be made 1 day ahead, but just keep it chilled until you are ready to use it. Let dough soften slightly at room temperature before rolling.)

Make filling:

Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine first 7 filling ingredients in large bowl, and toss gently to blend.

Flour your work surface, and roll out 1 dough disk to 13-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Trim excess dough, leaving 3/4-inch overhang.

Roll out second dough disk on lightly floured surface to 13-inch round. Cut into fourteen 1/2-inch-wide strips. Spoon filling into crust. Arrange 7 dough strips atop filling, spacing evenly. Form lattice by placing remaining dough strips in opposite direction atop filling. Trim ends of dough strips even with overhang of bottom crust. Fold strip ends and overhang under, pressing to seal. Crimp edges decoratively if you like.

When finished, brush your egg glaze over the crust. Transfer pie to baking sheet (Very important! The baking sheet will catch drips before they become a burnt mess on your oven floor!). Bake at

400°F for

20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Bake pie until crust is golden and filling has thickened, about 1 hour 25 minutes. Transfer pie to a rack to cool for 30-60 minutes.

Enjoy the deliciousness. :-)

The above is the green rhubarb I used when I made this pie. Note that not all species of rhubarb get completely ruby red why ready to harvest.

When you harvest rhubarb, you are supposed to grasp the stalk as close to the ground as you can, and twist the rhubarb away from the rest of the plant. It is not good to cut or break the rhubarb stalks to pick them, as it can make the rest of the plant susceptible to rot or pests. You should also shake all of the rhubarb that you harvest before bringing it in the house, just in case any little critters decide to come along for the ride...

If all goes well, you will end up with a stalk of rhubarb that looks like this at the end; You'll want to use this rhubarb rather quickly if you can, to ensure the most possible freshness. But if you can't make your pie right away, you can wrap your bunch of rhubarb in paper towels, and store in the fridge for a few days.

This giant prehistoric-looking leaf is a rhubarb leaf. Rhubarb leaves should be trimmed off before you use your rhubarb. They are not to be eaten. I trim them off and leave them in the compost pile and don't even bring them in the house for safety's sake. Rhubarb leaves contain a substance called "oxalic acid," which is definitely not good for you, and I am sure not good for your pets or inquisitive children. In fact oxalic acid is poisonous. So please take care in preparing your rhubarb. The stalks of the rhubarb plant are more than safe to eat. Just avoid the leaves.

Well, I hope that you have enjoyed my pictures, and that you have a wonderful and tasty June! If you make this pie, please tell us about it and comment here. Thanks guys!

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