- There’s a bit of dissension in my family about whether rhubarb pie should be made with or without strawberries. I happen to like it both ways. I grew up with just regular rhubarb pie; it was a tradition at our family cabins in Indian River, Michigan. I don’t find the plain rhubarb pie to be too tart (but I do use extra sugar when making it – see note below), but some people do. I like to make the pie with a lattice crust, but you could certainly use a plain top crust which is well vented. I also use store bought refrigerated pie crust (Pillsbury has a great one) – don’t buy the frozen pie shells, because you won’t have a top. My logic for “cheating” and using store bought crust is that I’m simply more likely to make a pie if I don’t have to fuss with a crust – particularly in the summer when the crusts are more temperamental. However, I do have a tried and true pie crust recipe which I have included for those of you who are purists and have the time and patience to make you own.
- 2 1/2 Cups Chopped Rhubarb (not totally peeled, but remove any stringy sections that become evident after you chop it) *
- 2 1/2 Cups Sliced Fresh Strawberries (do not substitute frozen strawberries)*
- 1 Cup Sugar + 1-2 tsp. extra for sprinkling on crust
- 1/4 Cup Flour + extra for work surface
- 2 TBS. Corn Starch
- 1 TBS. Butter
- Approx. 2 tsp. Milk (for browning the crust)
- Prepared Pie Crust (two sheets)- found in refrigerated section *for homemade crust, see recipe that follows*
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. To a medium non-reactive bowl (glass or plastic), add all ingredients except butter, milk and pie crust. Gently combine ingredients until well coated. Allow mixture to sit for 15 minutes (fruit will release some of its juices). (This would be a good time to make the crust if you’re making homemade). Remove crust from package and allow to sit for about 5 minutes, so that it is workable, but not warm. Unroll the crust and place one sheet in a deep dish pie plate and form base crust (do not remove extra crust from overhang, as you will use it to “crimp”). Sprinkle a work surface with flour and place the other crust on the floured surface. Using a pastry wheel/cutter, or just a knife, cut crust into strips (about 1/2 – 3/4 inch wide). Add fruit mixture to bottom crust. Cut butter into small pieces and place evenly atop the filling. Lay the shortest lattice strip vertically at one edge of pie, continue adding lattice strips of appropriate lengths about 1/2 inch apart until you reach the other side. Beginning at the top of the pie, “weave” the shortest remaining lattice strip into the vertical strip. Repeat this process until you reach the bottom edge. Using your thumb and forefinger of one hand, and your thumb from the other, go around the edge of the pie and “crimp” the lattice to the bottom crust (if you have excessive overhang in any one area, trim it). Brush the top of the pie (but not the outer crust – because it will darken too much) with milk, and sprinkle with sugar (if desired). Place pie plate on a baking tray (I cover mine in aluminium foil because the pie will bubble over and it is messy to clean off the baking sheet). Place pie in oven and cook for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and cook for another 35-40 minutes. Allow pie to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving, and longer if you plan to cover it. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream and garnish with a mint leaf if desired.
* For plain rhubarb pie, use 4 1/2 Cups Chopped Rhubarb and use 1 1/2- 2 Cups Sugar (depending on how sweet or tart you like your pie).
Pate Brise (Pie Crust):
- 2 1/2 Cups All Purpose flour
- 1 tsp. Salt
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 2 Sticks ( 1 Cup) Unsalted Butter – well chilled and cut into small pieces
- 1/4 – 1/2 Cup Ice Water
The key to a good flaky crust is to use very cold ingredients and don’t overwork the dough.
Add flour, salt and sugar to a food processor and mix until combined. Add butter and pulse for 7-10 seconds until flour mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add water in a steady stream through processor tube, pulsing while adding. Continue pulsing and adding water just until dough holds together. Dough should not be wet or mushy, but must hold together enough to roll out – if it doesn’t hold together to form a ball, slowly add a little more water until it does. Divide dough into two equal parts and form into balls, slightly flatten balls (they will chill faster and be easier to roll out). Cover in plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour. Remove 1 dough disc from refrigerator and place on a floured work surface. Flour a rolling pin, and roll dough out to desired thickness or size necessary to fit in pie plate. Repeat process for top crust after filling bottom crust.