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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Strawberry-rhubarb pie

I know spring has really arrived when the rhubarb in my garden gets ready for it's first harvest.  The rhubarb was just in time for Mother's Day this year, so I made strawberry-rhubarb pie for my mom.  The rest of the family got to have some too.  I used a recipe from the cookbook "Pie" by Ken Haedrich, although I don't use all the steps he does (he refrigerates or freezes his pastry dough, but I skip these steps because I don't think it's necessary if you handle the dough with care).  This pie got high marks from the 10 people I served on Mother's Day.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumb Pie

1 unbaked deep dish pie crust
3 cups fresh rhubarb stalks sliced 1/2 inch thick
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 cups hulled and halved fresh strawberries
1/4 cup quick-cooking tapioca

Cornmeal Crumb Topping
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup fine yellow cornmeal
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter, cut into chunks

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Combine the rhubarb, sugar and lemon juice in a large bowl.  Toss well to mix, then set aside for 10 minutes.
  • Add the strawberries and tapioca to the bowl and toss well.  Scrape the filling into the pie shell.  Bake for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, make the topping.  Combine the topping ingredients in a bowl and mix with a pastry blender (or pulse in a food processor).  Once the mixture resembles fine crumbs, rub between your fingers to make large buttery crumbs.  Refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Remove the pie from the oven and reduce the temperature to 375 degrees.  Carefully dump the crumbs in the center of the pie, spreading them evenly over the surface with your hands.  Tamp them down gently.  Return the pie to the oven and bake until the juices bubble thickly around the edge, 30 - 40 minutes.
  • Let cool for at least 1 hour before serving.  This pie is great served slightly warm with vanilla ice cream.
  • It's a good idea to put a large aluminum baking sheet under this pie while baking, as it is beautifully juicy and sometimes bubbles over.

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