Lattice Topped Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
I can’t believe that it’s been months since I last did a blog post! No, the unthinkable hasn’t happened and I haven’t stopped cooking…egads, just the thought of such a sad and terrible thing makes me feel weird in my stomach! No, I’ve actually still continued to cook and take pictures, but I never got around to the posting part. I blame Alex, you see, because he went and did something utterly amazing and wonderful! He proposed! He came to realize that he just simply couldn’t live without all those dishes of jambalaya, spaetzle, and udon! So while I’m still cooking and whipping things up, I’ve learned that nothing puts the brakes on blogging like preparing for a DIY wedding! Which, on a side, makes me wonder if I shouldn’t start blogging about some of our wedding projects? hmmm…
At any rate, I decided to finally put down the glue gun, floral tape, and embossing powder to sit down and tell you guys about this particularly fabulous pie that I made over the summer. Rhubarb was always one of those strange ingredients that I always remember people talking about and that I’d see in the supermarket, but that I never really knew what it was or how to cook it. I mean, people put this stuff in pies and make all kinds of sweet delicious sounding things out of it, but it all it looked like to me was a boring, nondescript reddish stalk. That’s not fruity or sweet right? Right! When I was in my 20′s, one of my friend’s mom finally sat me down and had me make rhubarb pies with her and showed me the true path to rhubarb heaven. Sour and tangy with just enough power to make your lips pucker and tongue start to salivate, rhubarb is a great backdrop to other sweet fruity flavors, lending a complex sweet/sour twist and guaranteeing a never too cloyingly sweet dessert. Now that’s my kind of dessert!
One of the more common pairings you’ll see with rhubarb is strawberry, either in a fruit bar or pies or whatever your creative heart decides to whip up. I decided to try my hand at a strawberry-rhubarb pie and kicked it up a notch with a lattice top. This was my first foray in a few areas…rhubarb pie, lattice pie tops, and a pie crust utilizing BOTH butter and vegetable shortening. Usually, I’m an all butter kind of gal, but this recipe sounded pretty interesting so I gave it a go. I’m so glad that I did. This pie crust came together in a snap, browned up beautifully, and smelled D-I-V-I-N-E. So good that even before the pie was done, Alex came into the kitchen asking what was cooking, when it was going to be done, and when he could “quality control test it”
Preparing rhubarb is relatively easy, just make sure you peel the outer “skin” off of each stalk and then cut/trim to required lengths. As far as preparation goes, this is one of the easiest! The rest of the pie comes together very quickly, nothing more than mixing all of the ingredients together and adding to the pie crust. Once baked and cooled, we dug in, and it was every bit as delicious as I had hoped it would be…sweet with a bit of tang that was refreshing and unique.
Lattice Topped Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
Adapted from Bon Appétit | April 1997
3 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup chilled butter flavored solid vegetable shortening, cut into pieces
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
10 tablespoons (about) ice water
3 1/2 cups 1/2-inch-thick slices trimmed rhubarb (about 1 1/2 pounds untrimmed)
1 16-ounce container strawberries, hulled, halved
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg yolk beaten to blend with 1 teaspoon water (for glaze)
In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour and salt. Using a fork or pastry blender, cut in butter and shortening until a coarse meal forms. Add in and blend 2 tablespoons of ice water at a time until moist clumps form. Gather up all of the bits and pieces of dough into a ball and cut in half. Flatten each half into a dish and wrap separately in plastic. Refrigerate for about 1 hour, or until firm. Can be made up to 1 day ahead and kept chilled in fridge until ready to use. Let dough soften slightly to room temperature before rolling.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine all 7 ingredients for filling in a large bowl and toss gently to blend.
On a floured work surface, roll out 1 disk of dough to 13″ round. Transfer to a 9 or 9.5″ glass pie dish, leaving 3/4″ overhand and trimming any excess.
Roll out 2nd dough disk on lightly floured surface to 13″ round. Cut into qty 14 1/2″ wide strips. Spoon filling into the crust…there will be juices that have formed, do not pour into the crust. Arrange 7 dough strips atop filling, spacing evenly. Form lattice by placing remaining strips perpendicular to previous strips, weaving if you wish. Trim ends of dough even to overhang of bottom crust. Fold strips ends and overhand under and press to seal. Crimp edges.
Transfer prepared pie dish to a baking sheet. Brush glaze over crust and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce oven temp to 350 degrees and continue baking until pie is golden and filling thickens, about another 1 hour and 25 minutes. Prepare to have your house smell like butter heaven. Transfer pie to rack and cool completely before serving.