A little more than a week ago Artizone, an online artisanal food shopping and delivery service here in Chicago (and Dallas) hosted a quiz on Twitter where you could win a small bag of food from them, sourced from local shops like Gepperth’s Meat Market and Green Grocer Chicago. It wasn’t a very difficult quiz (there was no math involved), mostly questions about items on their website. Somehow, along with a couple other participants, I won a small gift bag which they delivered to me. I received some organic mushrooms, popcorn, microgreens, oregano, apples, and stalks of rhubarb. While I’ve eaten rhubarb before I’d never worked with it, but I knew where to go to find some inspiration: my mom’s recipe books. Sure enough, there was a recipe for strawberry rhubarb pie.
Of course a quick scan of the internet reveals this recipe to be one of the most popular uses of rhubarb. Both complement each other well, sweet and tart, and are abundant in the late spring/early summer. So, with recipe in hand I purchased the required amount of strawberries and set to work making the pie, once again use the 3-2-1 pie dough recipe. You can’t go wrong with it. My mom’s recipe also called for orange zest but I substituted lemon zest and thought it turned out fine. There was just a hint of lemon in the background behind the strawberries and rhubarb.
Remember a few posts ago when I said pies are my baking strong suit? I think it’s because all you really need is some pie dough, fruit, and sugar. A very simple preparation and difficult to screw up. Not impossible of course since a good pie is dependent on the crust and a poorly made crust can ruin your efforts. That said, you also need to get the sugar-fruit combo correct in order to make a good filling. My mom’s recipe called for a lot of sugar, 1 ½ C to be exact. I think this is excessive and you should be able to halve it and not suffer too much. Also, after making this pie I think you can increase your filling to 3 C each of rhubarb and strawberries. 2 C of each gives you good filling that levels out at the edge of the bottom crust. Looks great when it comes out of the oven but the fruit loses some volume when cooked and settles down so your pie ends up with a sunken look (see photo above). Doesn’t affect the taste of course! Next time I’m going to add more fruit.
- 3-2-1 pie dough for two crusts (12 oz flour-8 oz butter-4 oz water)
- 2 C diced rhubarb
- 2 C sliced strawberries
- ¼ C four
- ¾-1 C sugar
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 Tbs butter
Mix the butter and the flour together until pea sized balls form, add the water, knead a bit, and form into two balls. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 30-45 minutes.
Pre-heat the over to 450°F. Take out one ball and roll it out the dough into a round big enough for a 9-9 ½ inch pie plate. Leave the other one in the refrigerator.
Add the flour, sugar, and lemon zest to the rhubarb and strawberries. Toss and mix well. Pour the mix into the pie shell. Dot the filling with small bits of butter.
Take the other dough ball out of the refrigerator and roll out. Place on top, trim any excess dough, and crimp the edges together. Poke holes in the top with a fork or knife tip.
Bake at 450°F for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temp to 350°F and bake for another 45-50 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack. Cut and serve! Do I need to tell you vanilla ice cream goes well with this?