Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

After weeks of falsely warm weather and then cold rain, it seems summer is here at last! Spring was right out, skip directly to 90 degrees, do not pass cardigans, do not soak in 70 degrees. There are certain foods that go with each season, naturally, and specific ones that go with that nostalgic childhood feeling. For me, those summer wonders include the popsicle icy things in plastic, orange Julius's (which I thought my mom invented until about a year ago), and strawberry rhubarb pie.

I'm pretty sure this pie entered my life late in childhood aka adulthood. My mom started making it and it is now a high demand summer food. And I've finally learned how to make it! This pie is so important that my mom prepares the rhubarb for a year (okay she freezes it year over year but it apparently gives a different effect). 

For this recipe, splurge on the good strawberries at the farm stand. So worth it. So you take a pint of those (the precise measurement of one basket thing) and cut the leafy part off and halve the strawberries (also you should wash them). Set them aside and prepare your rhubarb. If you're using fresh rhubarb, slice and chop the stalks to make 5 cups. The pieces should resemble chopped celery. If you're using frozen rhubarb, measure 5 cups before you freeze it. Thaw the rhubarb and drain the liquid. Keep the juices in a bowl to the side just in case the pie is too dry.

Combine the strawberries and rhubarb in a bowl with 1.5 cups of sugar, 1/4 cup of cornstarch and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Let sit for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 and roll out your pie crust (go ahead, use the boxed ones or be overly ambitious--we were not and used Pillsbury) and with a fork, poke holes around the dough to prevent bubbling. 

Pour the filling into the prepared pie pan. Lay the second pie crust overtop and pinch the crusts together to get a nice edge. Lastly wash with milk (just like an egg wash but with milk instead). Sprinkle with sugar for an added touch! Then poke holes in the top of the pie crust and place in the oven.

Set your timer for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, reduce the heat to 350 and place the pie pan on a cookie sheet for another 30 minutes. Bake to perfection. 

While I would like to say this is an old family recipe, it's adapted from Joy of Cooking (the other source of food joy, Mrs. Joy). Rhubarb and strawberries aren't in season all year so make the most of these summer months. And don't let any rhubarb go to waste, freeze them in a ziplock bag for those cold winter days when you crave a taste of summer!

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