Another first for Fork1: Rhubarb. Yes, in all of my grits and collar-green making life, I have never made rhubarb. However, in my lonesome state without Mr. F last weekend, I slowly gave in to its usual unappealing nature in the form of a Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie. Rhubarb by itself..um, I'm working up to that. Rhubarb baked with strawberries between 2 layers of flaky pie crust, sure!
I went in search of the red, stalky fruit at my local grocers to be told that they didnt have any because it was seasonal (figure that one out); however, they did carry it year round frozen. So I went home to my pie making attempt to be hit in the face with a heavy mass of warm, stale air. I soon realized that our AC had decided to stop working... in Florida! So let me catch you up: its now 80 degrees in my home and I have decided to make a pie. A baked pie which requires the use of a hot oven. Did I mention I had also decided to make my own pie crusts? These pie crusts also consisted of butter and lard which needed to stay cold in order to be rolled. How grand! No matter, I was determined. I had bought the damn ingredients, this pie was going to be made!
So standing in my sweltering kitchen, melting pie dough with my bare hands, I rolled and refrigerated, rolled and refrigerated till the dough was solid enough to transfer to the pan. The filling was so simple to cut and throw together. And the crown and glory of the entire thing...cornstarch. Don't scratch your head yet, I'll explain. The cornstarch is the perfect ingredient to keep the filling from being runny. The pie can stand on its own! Your impressed, I know.
Let me just say, as far as Strawberry-Rhubarb Pies go, this one is definitely a keeper.
Recipe adapted from Food Network
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional flour as needed, up to 1/4 cup
- 1/2 cup cake flour
- 3 teaspoons sifted powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1/4 cup salted butter
- Pinch salt
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons vinegar
- 1/4 cup ice cold water
- 2 1/2 cups chopped red rhubarb, fresh
- 2 1/2 cups de-stemmed, washed and cut strawberries (in larger pieces)
- 1 1/2 cups sugar (1 1/4 cups for high altitude)
- 6 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons butter, cubed small
- 1 egg white beaten with 1 teaspoon water
- sugar (to sprinkle on top)
Using a pastry blender, blend the flours, sugar, shortening, butter and salt. Whisk the egg, vinegar and water 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.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Mix the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, cornstarch, flour, 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 a sprinkle of sugar. Collar with foil and bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes. Decrease temperature to 375 degrees F and bake for an additional 45 to 50 minutes, or until the filling starts bubbling. Higher altitude will take 450 degrees F and 400 degrees F respectively. Let cool before serving, approx. 2-3 hours.