A friend and Saveur Days reader recently posted a comment on my last blog post and asked if I planned to post any summer recipes. She and her husband tried the mixed berry pie recipe I posted a while back.
She couldn’t have lit a more encouraging fire under my ass: she reads my blogs and she actually tried a recipe. And liked it!
I’ve been putting up recipes for food and drink (up until I started baking a figurative pie in my oven), about two dozen in all, right up until the end of March never knowing if anyone is actually convinced that any of it is worth trying on their own, preferring instead to salivate over the phood porn, or reading the posts at all.
Readership of the recipes is not what motivated me in the past. I enjoyed the process, the cooking and the eating. But once I started to slide into pregnancy blues one of the other things to slide with me was my enthusiasm for the culinary arts. Even eating became perfunctory. My enthusiasm for everything really became ho hum.
Not that I haven’t been cooking or baking (or eating; I’ve been doing plenty of that with mechanical enthusiasm) but my flurries over the stove had become a chore, a purely practical matter, devoid of pleasure. The prospect of sharing the goings-on in my kitchen just seemed mind numbingly tedious and trivial. Who cares? I thought. Are any of my readers (I’m assuming, hoping, that I can use the plural of reader) even noticing the two months absence of recipes on the blog?
Yes! One had! Talk about stroking my prego ego. The baby just kicked in salute. Oof.
So I’m back with my first Prego Phood recipe after a two and a half month hiatus. And in salutation of summer, I chose the seasonal strawberry as my star ingredient. Now this is important: the mixed berry pie worked perfectly well with the frozen stuff. But with this pie, get the freshest, sweetest strawberries you can get your hands on. And don’t use canned rhubarb. Just get the fresh stuff. It has a totally different texture, that is, it has texture.
And don’t be conservative with amount of fruit. I got this recipe online, but I upped the amount of fruit it calls for by nearly a cup. It’ll fit. Or, if you’re like me, you’ll make it fit. Like this boy in my belly. Oof.
Strawberry & Rhubarb Pie (Adapted from Food Network)
For the crust:
2-1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour, plus additional flour as needed, up to 1/4 cup
3 teaspoons sifted powdered sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 tsp of salt
2 teaspoons vinegar
1/4 cup ice cold water
For the filling:
2 cups thinly sliced rhubarb
3 cups de-stemmed, washed, and cut strawberries; pieces larger than the rhubarb
1 1/2 cups sugar (1 1/4 cups for high altitude)
3 tbsp minute tapioca
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 tbsp butter, cubed small
1 egg white beaten with 1 teaspoon water
Sugar for upper crust
To make the crust: (Do this at least 1 hour before putting the pie together.)
Using a pastry cutter, blend the flours, sugar, butter, and salt.
Whisk the egg, vinegar and water in a 2-cup measure and pour over the dry ingredients incorporating all the liquid without overworking the dough.
Toss the additional flour over the ball of dough and chill if possible. Divide the dough into 2 disks.
Roll out 1 piece of dough to make a bottom crust. Place into a pie dish. Put dish in refrigerator to chill.
To make the filling and pie:
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Mix the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, tapioca, flour, zest and juice of lemon, dash of cinnamon, and vanilla. Mix well in a large bowl and pour out into chilled crust.
Dot the top of the filling with the butter. Brush edges of pie crust with egg white wash. Roll out the other piece of dough and place over filling. Crimp to seal edges. Brush with egg white wash and garnish with large granule sugar.
Collar with foil. This is important. The filling or the the butter or the filling and the butter will bubble over the rim of the pie dish, landing on the bottom of your oven and burn and create a mess. Avoid this by using a foil collar.
Bake at 425°F for 15 minutes. Decrease temperature to 375°F and bake for an additional 45 to 50 minutes, or until the filling starts bubbling. Let cool before serving about 2 hours. Now if you’re like me, you’ll cut into after 30 impatient minutes and the pie filling and juice will ooze out and make a mess. Delicious but messy. If you’re not like me, let it cool and you’re pie will set and look as delicious as it tastes.
For more photos, go to Flickr.