Friday, July 8, 2011
Our New Favorite & Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie
When I was a little girl, my grandmother brought me to the home of a family friend named Richard who lived in Canton, Ma. He had the most beautiful garden. I remember being fascinated as he walked us through his backyard to share with us all the strange and wonderful things he was growing. One of which, rhubarb, immediately caught my eye--it was so interesting and new to me. Years later I threatened to bake a pie using the vegetable I remember seeing in my childhood, but just never got around to it. Would I even like rhubarb(?)
When I learned Daph, who is French, never had pie before, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to use it. That way we'd both be trying something new. Upon peeling and cutting the vegetable I decided immediately I'd hate it because the smell wasn't very appealing.
Hours later the pie was baked and ready to be cut into and served with the vanilla ice cream I made...Well, how do you describe love at first bite? The perfect marriage of sweet and tart. The quintessential taste of summer. The essence of home baked goodness. I could on, but this pie speaks for itself. I've made Triple Berry and Peach and Green Apple and Sweet Potato, but Strawberry Rhubarb pie stands alone as the best and favorite among everyone in my home. Maybe it will come to be in yours too.
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
Recipes Courtesy and Adapted from Simply Recipes and What's Cooking America
2 & 1/2 cups red rhubarb stalks cut into 1/2 inch pieces (Trim outside stringy layer of large rhubarb stalks; make sure to trim away any and discard of the leaves which are poisonous; trim ends.)
3 & 1/2 cups strawberries, stemmed and sliced
(The ratio of strawberry and rhubarb is pretty flexiable. 6 cups total was my goal)
1 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons of quick cooking tapioca (I used corn starch and it worked out great)
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*Unbaked pastry for two-crust 10 inch pie (See below)
Method: (Start with pie crust then return to begin filling)
1. Set oven to 400 degrees F to Preheat. In large bowl, add strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, tapioca or corn starch and lemon juice. Allow to rest for 10 minutes.
2. Add filling mixture to pie crust lined pan. Add top crust and either fold edges underneath and pinch dough around or trim edges and crimp upper and bottom crust together. Make slits over top crust to allow steam to escape while baking.
3. Place pie in 400 degree preheated oven and allow to bake for 20 minutes. Lower heat to 350 degrees F. Continue to bake pie for another 30-40 minutes, or 40-50 if baking 10-inch pie. Place on cooling rack to cool. If serving warm pie, juices will definitely run, but pie will still be delicious!
2 1/2 cup all-purpose unbleached flour, plus extra for rolling
2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup Plus 1 teaspoon chilled vegetable shortening
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
6 to 8 tablespoons ice water
To Sprinkle over bottom of crust before adding fruit:
Mix together 1 tablespoon each, flour and granulated sugar. This will help prevent pie filling juices from soaking through bottom of crust.
*Serve pie with softly whipped cream or Vanilla Ice Cream.
To Make Crust:
In standard sized food processor, or large bowl, process, or mix with hand mixer, flour, salt and sugar until combined. Add in shortening and process or mix until mixture resembles coarse sand, approximately 10 seconds. Add pieces of butter over flour mixture and process in 1 second pulses, or mix, turning hand mixer on then off, until pieces of butter are no bigger than small peas. Add 6 tablespoons ice water to mixture and, using a rubber spatula or hand mixer on low, fold in, or mix until just combined. Pinch dough with fingertips to be sure it sticks together, If not, add an additional 2 tablespoons ice water. Do not process or mix more than 30 seconds.
Turn dough onto work surface and gather into ball. Divide dough in half and flatten each into a round disk-like shape. Cover each with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour before using.
After an hour, remove one round of dough from refrigerator. Measure out and lightly flour two equal pieces of wax paper. Place dough, in center, between two pieces of wax paper, begin to flatten round of dough with rolling pin. Give wax paper square a quarter turn after each roll. Roll dough two inches larger than inverted pie plate. (Place pie plate, upside down, over dough to make sure it's big enough.) Carefully remove only top layer of wax paper. Turn remaining wax paper holding dough, so that the dough is facing down, into pie pan. Make sure dough is even in pan. Carefully remove second piece of wax paper, which should be bottom side up. Brush off excess flour. Roll hanging dough under itself to crimp or cut off excess. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Reserve both pieces of wax paper and repeat process of rolling with second dough round, only this time, leave rolled out dough in wax paper and refrigerate until needed.
Immediately start making pie filling.