Monday, February 10, 2014

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie


 My last pregnancy was spent in the kitchen, learning to make pie. I had such a happy time, and learned to make all kinds of delicious desserts, even though I'm not particularly a fan of sweets.  Maybe that's why rhubarb pie is my favorite. It's easy to make, sweet but not overly so, and has a nice tartness.

I have made so many failures in the process of learning: burnt pie, runny pie, pie that is too sweet, pie that is too bland.

Now that I'm over the learning curve, I find that pie making can be much quicker than expected. So there are a few key steps to make sure that your dessert comes out perfect:

1. Buy or make a good quality pie crust. I always make my own and the flavor really does make a difference. I opt to make a crust with about 1/2 the butter of a traditional pie, and the result is a chewier, more rustic crust. You can try all sorts of varieties, and I hear coconut oil is a great vegan substitute for butter. I haven't tried that yet.

2. After you sugar your fruit, let it sit for 20 minutes and then DRAIN before continuing on with the recipe. This will ensure your pie is not runny.

3. Let your pie set for a few hours after cooking, so that it has the chance to thicken. You can always reheat it if you want it warm.

Now let's get cooking!

Pie Crust Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups of flour
1 stick of butter, cut into small chunks
1 tsp each salt and sugar
8 Tbsp of  ice water

Mix the salt and sugar into the flour. Cut the butter into the flour with a pastry cutter or two knives.  Add the water in, little by little, until your dough just sticks together. Divide in half, wrap each ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. When ready to fill the pie, roll each ball out to form flat disks (the top and bottom of your pie).

Pie Filling

3 cups rhubarb, chopped
1  lb of strawberries, green parts removed, quartered
1/4 and 1/2 cup of sugar, divided
3 tbsp corn starch

Place the rhubarb and strawberries into a large bowl and stir in 1/4 cup of sugar. Let sit 20 minutes. Drain the liquid from the fruit. Next, stir  the cornstarch and reserved 1/2 cup of sugar into the fruit.

Pour the fruit mixture into the pie pan/crust and top with the second crust, using a fork to crimp the edges together. Brush the top of the pie with a little milk or egg wash if you want that shiny effect (below).

**Bake at 450 for 15 minutes then reduce heat to 350 and cook another 40 minutes.

 Cool for 3 hours or so, then serve!

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