Oh yes. It's pie season. For those who have been living under a rock for the past couple of weeks, it seems like every single food blog out there has had rhubarb, in some form or another, grace its pages. I on the other hand, am still working at the basics. No shame in that, I suppose. While Deb is making rhubarb cream cheese hand pies, I'm still trying to master the basic strawberry rhubarb. And it's been absolutely lovely. Because even a less-than-perfect strawberry rhubarb pie is still delicious, amirite?
Not much has changed in this iteration of the recipe from the previous version here. The crust is the same, although I've subbed quick cook tapioca for cornstarch in the filling. The result is an infinitely better consistency.
For the crust:
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 cup ice water
I've posted instructions on how to get a nice buttery crusty pie dough before. The great thing is, it only gets better with practice.
In a very large mixing bowl, combine your dry ingredients, and whisk together. Get the butter out from the refrigerator and dice into small 1cm pieces. Dump these cubes into the bowl (see first picture) and begin working them into the flour with the pastry blender (see second picture). You’ll know when to stop when the butter pieces are pea-sized, but don’t fret if they are not completely even.
Take your cup of very cold water and throw two ice cubes in, so it remains very cold. Pour about 1/4 a cup of this water into your bowl and work with the pastry blender again. You’ll start to notice little shags of dough forming. Pour another 1/4 a cup in, mix, repeat one more time. When the mixture looks like it could start to stick together on it’s own, stick your hand in and start to work the dough together, but try not to knead! The warmth from your hand will melt the butter, which is what we don’t want, so work quickly. Pack the dough into a ball. Divide into two even balls. Wrap with plastic wrap, and stick it in the freezer for at least half an hour. What we want to achieve is visible butter bits (fourth picture) when it gets rolled out.
For the filling:
- 2 cups trimmed, cubed rhubarb (I used 4 stalks)
- 2 cups hulled halved strawberries
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup quick cook tapioca
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
While the dough is chilling, gather your filling ingredients and mix together.
Preheat the oven to 400. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and roll it out on a well floured surface. I find it best to keep one dough in the freezer while you roll out the other. Carefully transfer to your pie dish. Dump in the filling, along with the juices. Roll out the top of the pie crust. Lay it on top, trim the edges with scissors, and press together. Cut some vents into the top. Brush with an egg beaten with some water.
Place, on a baking rack in case juices overflow, on the middle rack of your oven. Bake at 400 for the first 25 minutes, then dial the oven down to 350 for the last 25 minutes, or until the juices start bubbling over. I found that it actually took my pie a little longer to finish - around 1 hour and 20 minutes, but lucky me, my pie pan is just a tad bigger than the usual ones.
Let it cool for at least a full hour so that the inside solidifies a bit. Eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner.