Our beliefs about who we are and how things will turn out often change as a result of life. Today I’m presenting a recipe that I’m quite thrilled and proud of, but it has a touch of the heart heaviness I’ve been experiencing lately.
Just over a week ago, Brian’s high school closest friend mysteriously passed away at the age of 30. (all we know is that she had an enlarged heart). The loss is startling and heartbreaking because she was a lively individual who was full of life, generosity, and love for everyone in her vicinity. She visited us in college and in Chicago, and she attended our wedding, so I was familiar with her. Although I recognise how fortunate I am to be experiencing the loss of someone my age for the first time at the age of 30, it nevertheless hits me like a tonne of bricks. At her funeral today, I considered all the plans she had for her future: she had recently purchased a home, was engaged to be married, had recently received a promotion at work, wanted to travel, had a dog, and was dedicated to her niece and nephew. That entire future vanished in the flash of an eye, and now we’re all left to pick up the pieces. Why did this happen to her? I (and Brian, to a much greater extent) am both outraged and perplexed. Why now? What took place? What more might we have done? Now, what can we do? How does life just carry on without her around any more?
It’s still too new and raw for me to know what this new viewpoint will entail for us. However, I am aware that one of the ways I show people I care about them is by baking for them, and I foresee doing this much more in the future. I would make this strawberry rhubarb pie right now if I could bake it for you.
You’re not alone if baking pies intimidates you if you’ve never done it before. I spent many years in that camp until just a few years ago, when I realised I was being ridiculous and needed to move over it on a fall day with plenty of apples nearby. I looked through a lot of pie crust recipes before coming up with my own all-butter, buttermilk hybrid. After rolling it out, cooking the apple filling, and placing everything in the oven while crossing my fingers, I soon realised that making handmade pies is among the most satisfying things you can do. This slab pie with apple crumble is a variation of that first triumph.
The same crust is used in this strawberry rhubarb pie, which also has the perfectly complementary flavours of sweet strawberries and tangy rhubarb. Even though I was concerned about the wetness, I didn’t cook the filling because I knew it would cause the rhubarb to degrade too soon. The answer, which I learned from the all-knowing Sally of Sally’s Baking Addiction, is to use a slotted spoon to scoop the filling into the crust so the juices stay behind and don’t make your pie soggy. Along with cornstarch to thicken, this. keeping your pie dough chilled as well. and letting the baked pie cool and harden the next day. I promise that these crucial success steps are worth your time and work.
Please attempt this pie while rhubarb is still in season to make the most of it. Serve it to those you care about. I want you to understand how happy I am that you are here.
- Makes enough pie crust for the top and bottom layers.
- 1 cup cold unsalted butter (2 sticks)
- All-purpose flour, 2 1/2 cups
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- 1 salt shakerful
- One-half cup buttermilk
- 3 cups of sliced (1/2-inch) rhubarb
- 2 1/2 cups of strawberries, chopped
- granulated sugar, 2/3 cup
- quarter cup cornstarch
- 14 teaspoon of salt
- For pie assembly:
- 1 large egg, 2 tablespoons of diced unsalted butter,
- 1 tablespoon of cream or milk
- sugar, coarse, to sprinkle
creating the crust
Place all ingredients in the food processor’s bowl, excluding the buttermilk. Pulse the ingredients until the butter and flour are well blended and the texture resembles sand. When a dough develops and begins to ball up in the bowl, add buttermilk and pulse several times.
The dough should be turned out onto a clean surface, divided in half, and then formed into flat discs. While you make the filling, wrap each disc in plastic and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes (and up to 5 days, if making ahead).
Creating the filling
In a sizable bowl, combine the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Stir until the fruit is evenly coated. While you roll out the bottom crust and the oven is heating, set aside. During this time, juices will gather at the bottom of the bowl.
Put the pie together:
Set the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Take one of the refrigerated pie dough discs out of the refrigerator (keep the other one there), and roll it out until it is 12 inches in diameter on a lightly dusted surface. Make sure it is flush with the bottom and edges of the dish before placing it carefully in the bottom of a 9-inch pie dish. It’s okay if there is some overhang on the pie dish’s edge.
If you don’t do this, your pie can end up mushy. Scoop the filling into the crust using a slotted spoon, leaving the juices behind. Throw away the liquids.
Over the filling, smear the cubed butter. While you roll out the second crust, put the pie in the refrigerator.
Roll out the second disc of dough until it is 12 inches in diameter after removing it from the refrigerator. To make 1-inch-wide strips out of the dough, use a knife or pizza cutter.
After removing the pie from the refrigerator, place the strips on top in a lattice design, weaving them in and out. Bring the extra bottom crust overhang up over the edges of the strips after the lattice is complete, then crimp the pie crust with your fingers or a fork.
In a big bowl, whisk the egg with the milk or cream. Over the crust, brush the mixture. If preferred, add a sprinkle of the coarse sugar.
After 20 minutes at 400 degrees, reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake the pie for an additional 35 to 40 minutes. Once I lower the temperature, I like to cover the crust’s outer rim with a pie shield (aluminium foil works excellent for this). This keeps the crust from burning. When the filling is boiling and the crust is golden brown, pie is finished.
Let the pie cool completely for AT LEAST 4 hours, and ideally overnight, before serving. This is an important step. The filling can set as a result. Your filling may be soupy if you hurry. nonetheless delicious. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream!
*If you don’t have buttermilk, you can substitute buttermilk powder or 1/2 teaspoon vinegar with 1/2 cup ordinary milk (Saco brand is in most stores). When the dry ingredients call for buttermilk, you just add the powder to the dry components before adding the cold water. Great results!
Pie can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days when covered. Each piece of remaining pie should be heated in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds or until hot before being served with vanilla ice cream, in my opinion.
Once baked, this strawberry rhubarb pie can also be frozen, then heated in the oven or microwave to serve. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat in the freezer for 2-3 months.