Monday, May 16, 2011

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Spring has finally arrived! I'm not sure it's made up it's mind that it wants to stay, as the weather keeps changing back and forth, but it certainly is here! You know what that means... more fruit-centric desserts. It's no secret that I much prefer making fruit based delights over the heavier chocolate or butter laden ones and now that the season is changing and the best that nature has to offer has arrived, there is simply no reason not to. When I went to the shuk last week, I noticed that the rhubarb was back and I couldn't resist buying a bundle. Sadly, strawberries are on their way out, but there are still some to be had at a bargain. Once I scooped up a bundle of rhubarb, I quickly snatched up a kilo of strawberries and headed home, pie very much on the brain. Strawberry and rhubarb is a classic combination; the sweetness of the berries mellows out the tartness of the rhubarb resulting in pie heaven. Even though it's my idea of heaven, I wasn't sure how the girls would take it, some having never heard of rhubarb before. I decided I didn't care- the pie was going to get made! I opened my copy of Luscious Berry Desserts to find a simple, straightforward recipe and got to work. I omitted the lemon juice as I didn't have it on hand, but be sure to add the cinnamon. It's just a slight amount and although you might think it has no place in a pie like this, it works. In the end, I needn't have worried because the pie tasted delicious and the girls loved it. My roommate, who had never before had rhubarb, kept going back to the pie, concluding that it was amazing. I'm sure you all have your own tried and true recipes for Strawberry Rhubarb Pie but might this post encourage you to get into the kitchen and start baking? I hope so. Happy Spring!

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
adapted slightly from Luscious Berry Desserts

Pastry: (or use your favorite pie dough)
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup vegetable shortening
5-6 tbsp ice water

1 pound fresh rhubarb, trimmed and cut into half inch pieces
2 cups strawberries, hulled and halved
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch salt
2 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Prepare your pie pastry. Chill for an hour before using. Roll 3/4 of the disk into a circle and line a 9 inch pie pan with the dough. Trim the edges. Chill the shell. Reserve the remaining dough to form the lattice. Preheat your oven to 425.
Place the strawberries and rhubarb in a medium sized bowl.
Add all of the remaining ingredients, except the butter,
and stir with a spatula to thoroughly coat all of the fruit.
Here is my shell.
Pour the fruit into the chilled shell and smooth as best as you can. Dot the top with the butter.
Roll out the remaining pastry dough and cut it into strips. Form a lattice on top of the fruit filling.
Place the pie on a baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake for fifteen minutes and then turn the heat down to 350. Continue baking until the crust is golden brown and the fruit is thick and bubbly. Cool completely on a wire rack before serving. 

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