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Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

May 28, 2013

finished pie

Happy belated Memorial Day! I’ve written before about how much I love summer in New England. It really is magical. And as it should, Memorial Day this year truly marked the beginning of the season. It was rainy and cold Saturday and Sunday, but Monday….well Monday was gorgeous! In celebration of the beginning of summer and the wonderful season of fruit pies, I decided to make a strawberry rhubarb pie. Pie-making has always been something that scared me a bit.  I think the fear stems partially from the endless butter vs. shortening debate, but I also just think I haven’t gotten enough practice. So this summer I’m determined to master the pie. On the agenda is blueberry, cherry, and peach. So keep your eyes peeled for those in future posts.

But back to THIS pie. I had never purchased rhubarb before. Heck, I hadn’t even tasted it. So of all pies, this was an especially scary one with which to start. For those who don’t know, rhubarb is that random thing in the grocery store that sort of looks like magenta celery. In case you’re curious like I was (so I totally wikipedia-ed it), rhubarb is technically a vegetable, but for the purposes of tariffs, the United States recognizes it as a fruit, since that is how it is most often used. Just a little fun fact for you.

gathering ingredients

I actually took care of the hard part of the pie on Sunday, putting together the dough and letting in sit in the fridge overnight. Then all I had to do on Monday morning was chop up the fruit, toss it with the sugar, constarch, and spices, then roll out the dough. I decided to go the extra mile and create a lattice top to the pie. It doesn’t affect the flavor at all, but I definitely think it looked prettier.

pie ready to go into the oven

So once the beautiful pie was baked and the fruit was bubbly. The pie sat. Sad. Without any place to go. I didn’t know anyone throwing a Memorial Day party, and the thought of digging in fork-first alone just seemed wrong. Fortunately, I happen to know a certain gentleman with a few roommates who was happy to give the pie a home…. at least for the few hours before it was devoured.

slice of juicy pie

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie, recipe courtesy of Smitten Kitchen

serves 8 (or 3 ravenous boys)

For crust
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon table salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, very cold

For filling
3 1/2 cups 1/2-inch-thick slices trimmed rhubarb (1 1/2 pounds untrimmed)
1 16-ounce container strawberries, hulled, halved (about 3 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 large egg yolk beaten to blend with 1 teaspoon water, raw sugar (for glaze)

Make crust: Fill a one cup liquid measuring cup with water, and drop in a few ice cubes; set it aside. In a large bowl whisk together 2 1/2 cups flour, 1 tablespoon of sugar and a teaspoon of salt. Dice two sticks (8 ounces or 1 cup) of very cold unsalted butter into 1/2-inch pieces. Sprinkle the butter cubes over the flour and begin working them in with the pastry blender. Work the dough until all of the butter pieces are the size of small peas. Be careful not to overdo it! Start by drizzling 1/2 cup of the ice-cold water over the butter and flour mixture. Using a rubber spatula (or your hands!), gather the dough together. You may need a few additional tablespoons of cold water to bring it together, just add it a tablespoon as a time so you don’t add too much. Gather the disparate damp clumps together into one mound, kneading them gently together. Divide the dough in half and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Set in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Dough can also be left in the fridge overnight or frozen for longer.

Make filling: Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine first 7 ingredients in large bowl. Toss gently to blend.

Assemble Pie: Roll out 1 dough disk on floured work surface to 13-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Trim excess dough, leaving about an inch overhang.

Roll out second dough disk on lightly floured surface to 13-inch round. Cut into 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. Pinch edges decoratively.

Brush glaze over crust and sprinkle with raw sugar transfer pie to baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Bake pie until golden and filling thickens, about another 25 minutes. Transfer pie to rack and cool completely.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. June 10, 2013 7:48 pm

    favorite pie of all time. nice to see you baking again, MB!

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