Friday, June 22, 2018

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie A Different Way

I love Strawberry Rhubarb pie. There is something magical about the combination of the sweet, sweet strawberries and the very tart rhubarb. I've made this pie many times, usually with a top and bottom crust.

This time I decided to only have a bottom crust and to do a streusel topping. I used the streusel recipe from the Fannie Farmer Cookbook by Marion Cunningham. It was early last week when a good friend gave me freshly cut rhubarb from her garden and when we purchased three pints of local, just picked strawberries at the farm stand. In the early evening I started cutting up the berries and rhubarb and realized that Sweetie, who had had gum surgery that afternoon, wouldn't be able to enjoy the pie (he healed well and is doing just fine).

Since Sweetie really loves pie I decided to figure out a way to make the pie later in the week. The problem was that I had already prepped the fruit and it would likely spoil if I waited. Normally I put the unbaked crust in the pie pan, put in the uncooked filling, top it with the second crust, seal the edges and flute it, cut a few vents in the top and bake the pie. This time I would need to make the pie a different way. A search of the Internet gave me the solution: cook the filling and use it later. That worked really well. I am indebted to the blogger on Bewitchin Kitchen for this cooked pie filling. You can find her post here.

We had guests on Friday from Hawaii and on Saturday I was getting ready for guests from Australia, but on Sunday morning after the local fire station pancake breakfast I was finally able to make the pie. I only made one error...I used a pie pan for a deep dish pie and only had filling for a standard depth pie. I had already blind baked the crust in the deep dish pie pan before I realized that. The solution I came up with was to put in the filling, top it with already baked streusel, bake it at 350 degrees F just long enough to finish cooking the crust and to heat up the filling, then use a sharp knife to cut the crust on the side, using the nice crisp edges to edge the pie at filling level. It looked a little bit weird, but it tasted just fine, so no one seemed to mind. When you make it, remember to do the pie shell in a shallow pie pan (unless you have doubled the filling recipe).

No only does this pie taste incredible, but the filling is really pretty. Expect raves. Use the freshest berries and rhubarb available. Because there is still some tartness to the filling, you could put a puff of freshly whipped cream on the side of each slice to tone it down...and that looks pretty, too. Alternately you could increase the sugar in the filling recipe. This is a full flavored filling. If you don't care for the flavor of rhubarb (I know some folks don't), just use more strawberries!

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Filling 
Makes enough for one shallow 8-inch pie

3 cups rhubarb, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
 2 3/4 cups strawberries, hulled and chopped or sliced
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon butter or margarine

Combine all of the ingredients in a heavy bottomed pot.
Cook over medium heat for 5-10 minutes, stirring constantly so that it doesn't scorch on the bottom of the pot.
Simmer for another 5-10 minutes until rhubarb is soft and filling has thickened.
Cool and use right away, or put into a covered container and store in the fridge for up to 3 days. Bring slowly to room temperature before using in the pie.

Blind Baked Pie Crust

Use your favorite recipe for a single crust pie, or do as I do and use a single crust from a refrigerated pie crust. I like Pillsbury ReadyCrust.

On a floured surface roll the pie out (if needed) to fit an 8-inch pie tin. Transfer the crust to the tin by draping it over your rolling pin. Fit the crust into the pie tin and crimp the edges, trimming excess crust as needed. Cut a piece of parchment paper or foil to fit the inside of the pie tin and place it loosely over the prepared crust. Fill with pie weights, or do as I do and fill it with dried lentils. Save the lentils to use the next time you need pie weights. They are very inexpensive and sit close enough to each other to do a great job of keeping the crust from getting over bubbly. Bake in a preheated 435 degree F oven for 8-10 minutes, until light golden brown. Remove from the oven and let the lentils cool before removing them carefully and either discarding them or saving them for next time. If the crust still seems a bit raw, put it back in the oven for another minute, then cool crust in pie tin on a wire rack.

1/4 pound, 1 stick, 4 oz, 8 tablespoons butter or margarine, very cold
1 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup old fashioned oats

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment,

In a large bowl mix together the flour and brown sugar. Cut in the butter until mixture forms clumps.

Put streusel on the baking sheet and break up the clumps a bit so none are bigger than bite sized. Bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes. Streusel should be medium to dark brown but not burnt. Remove baking sheet to a wire rack and let streusel cool .

Making the Pie

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
Put the pie filling, at room temperature, in the blind baked, cooled, pie shell. Level with an offset spatula. Liberally sprinkle the streusel over the filling. Bake the pie in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

Serve at room temperature or cold. Store leftovers, if any, at room temperature or in the fridge.

1 comment :

  1. You can't go wrong with the combination of strawberry and rhubarb. We always used to have this as crumble during the summer.