Thursday, July 1, 2010

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Besides the obvious benefits of the CSA share, there's a bonus that I've been enjoying-making me think inside the box. Rhubarb? I'd never buy rhubarb on my own. Rhubarb? Playoffs? Playoffs?? What the hell to do with that? Well, apparently desserts and rhubarb are like Michael Jackson and Kiddieland. Which is to say, they like each other.

The easiest pie dough ever
3.5 C rhubarb, chopped into 1/2" slices (about 3 stalks, or 1.5 lb)
3.5 C strawberries, sliced if large, halved if small (1 lb)
1/2 C sugar
1/4 C light brown sugar, packed of course
1/4 ts salt
1 TB lemon juice plus half a large lemon's zest
1/4 C tapioca pearls (might be labeled quick-cooking tapioca)
2 TB butter, small dice
1 large egg yolk, beaten with 1 ts water

Fire up the hotbox to four honey, rack in middle-lower region. Preheat with a baking sheet large enough to cover any pie filling making an attempt to coat the bottom of your oven. Preheating will ensure the bottom crust bakes and keeps the liquid in.

Roll out both dough pieces to a 12" round for a 9" pie pan. A perfect circle is not necessary, although they were a decent band. Being only the third pie dough I've rolled out, and I don't have a pastry cloth thing, it's a work in progress. Unlike my mother, I cannot three- dimensionally encompass a pie filling in 80 seconds.

Stir together all ingredients except the butter, egg/water mixture. Mix well to incorporate all the sugars and tapioca and get things nice and friendly. With your bottom layer transferred to the baking dish, evenly pour the mixture on top, then scatter in the butter pieces. Dice the fat frozen, so it will be much easier to handle, and you already need some frozen to make the dough, so one-stop shop there.

Using your rolling pin again to transport the dough, add the top layer of dough. Remove any dough hanging longer than 1/2", then crimp the edges with thumb and finger to make it look real pretty.

Brush the top and edges with the egg wash, then make some slits in the top for steam to escape. Bake for 25 minutes and then decrease the heat to tree fifty, for about 27-33 minutes. The pie should be all bubbly inside and golden brown and tasty looking.

The most difficult part of the process- you need to let cool on a wire rack for a few hours, otherwise you're having pie soup. I recommend doing the baking around lunchtime, enabling you to do the eating right around dinnertime. Bon appetit.

Kind of looks like red celery. Certainly doesn't taste like it though. Celery pie would be nasty.

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