Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

When I was growing up, my stepfather’s favorite pie was strawberry rhubarb. I often made it for him when I was in town for Father’s Day. I grew to love it myself.
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It is the perfect combination of sweet and tart tastes; right up there with my other favorite sweet and tart combo, Ricotta and Lemon Cookies.
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Rhubarb is a perennial vegetable that has crimson red stalks and poisonous green leaves. It looks very similar to Swiss chard.

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Because the stalks are most often used in desserts, specifically pies, you will sometimes see rhubarb referred to as “pie plant” in older cookbooks.

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This is my time-honored recipe for making this scrumptious dessert.

Yield: Makes one deep-dish 9″ pie

Ingredients:

6 cups hulled and quartered strawberries (2 pounds after hulling)
4 cups sliced rhubarb (1 pound, maybe 8 stems)
Zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
½ teaspoon salt
1  9-inch double pie crust
1 egg and a little sugar for the egg wash

Mise en Place:
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Instructions:
Preheat oven to 425º

Prep the strawberries and rhubarb as shown.
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Prepare the pie crust: I like to use Trader Joe’s frozen pie crusts. Once the crusts come to room temperature, which takes about 90 minutes, unroll one crust leaving it in its plastic packaging as you do.  You’ll find that the dough breaks up into wide strips as you unroll it. Not a problem, just use a rolling pin to lightly rejoin the cracks while the dough is still sandwiched between the plastic. Next, remove the plastic covering from one side of the crust. Using the corners of the remaining plastic square, lift the crust, turn it over and plop it into the pie plate. Continue to leave the plastic on as you then press the pie crust down into the pie plate. Remove the plastic and the bottom crust is now ready for filling.
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Put the strawberries, rhubarb, lemon zest and vanilla in one bowl and mix gently. Put the flour, cornstarch and salt in another bowl and mix.
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Gently mix the contents of both bowls together for about ten seconds.You don’t want it to become soupy. Pour mixture into the pie plate.
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Roll out the second pie crust in the same way as described above. Remove one of the plastic coverings and use the corners of the remaining covering to position the top crust centrally over the bottom crust. There should be an overhang of dough. Next, remove the last plastic square and go around the rim of the pie and tuck the top crust edges in between the pie plate and the bottom crust. This should create a nice seal to keep the filling in the pie.
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Flute the two crust edges together, using your fingers as shown in the pictures below, to make a pretty edge for your pie.
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Using a fork, beat one egg in a small bowl. Use a pastry brush to spread the egg wash over the top of the pie all the way to the edge. If the egg wash puddles in the dimples in the crust, use a paper towel to mop them up. Lightly sprinkle sugar over the top.
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Using a knife, cut small slits into the top crust to allow steam to escape as the filling cooks. Place the pie on a baking sheet to collect any juices that bubble out. Bake pie at 425º for twenty minutes on the middle oven rack. Best to set a timer. Lower oven heat to 350º and cook for about 45 – 50 minutes longer until crust starts to turn golden brown and you can see the juices bubbling.
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This pie was so gorgeous, I started humming You’re just too good to be true, can’t take my eyes off of you …
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Cool slightly and serve. Vanilla ice cream would be great with it. If you want the inside of the pie to be firm, you’ll need to refrigerate it until the filling cools down and sets.
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Related Posts on Cooking with Strawberries
Oven-Roasted Strawberry and Rosemary Jam
Very Berry Clafoutis

Related Pie Posts
Mom’s Apple Pie with a Cheddar Streusel Topping
Mrs. Walker’s Cranberry Nut Pie
Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie
Mom’s Pumpkin Pie

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© 2014-2017 Judy Wright. All rights reserved. Photos and text may only be used with written consent.

Mom’s Pumpkin Pie

It is not Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie.

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A few years ago, when my son was a student at Vanderbilt, I asked him if he wanted to invite friends over from school who couldn’t get home for Thanksgiving. About ten friends joined us. He asked me if his friends needed to bring any food. I told him we had the meal covered, but if anyone enjoyed holiday cooking and wanted to bring something, they should feel welcome to do so. A few days later, he sent me an email with the final head count and told me his friends would bring all the desserts. Wonderful. As I scrolled through the email thread, I noticed a letter he had written to his friends earlier in the week. It said, “My mother said if it’s part of your wellness to cook during the holidays, feel free to bring a dessert, otherwise just bring yourselves.”  Part of your wellness, how nicely put. Cooking is part of MY wellness. I like that.

On Thanksgiving day, everyone arrived, and the desserts were dropped off in the kitchen. Everyone brought their favorite desserts — coconut cake, brownies, chocolate chip cookies. There was no pumpkin pie. So now we get to the point of the story. My mother’s recipe for pumpkin pie is so easy to make, I was able to prep it, with the ingredients I had on hand, in the amount of time it took the oven to preheat. The pie cooked while we ate dinner. No one was the wiser.

Like for many of you, a lot of my favorite recipes have been passed down to me by my mother, my grandmother and others in my extended family. Thanksgiving is the time to share those recipes.

Yield: Makes one 10-inch pie, or one 9-inch deep-dish pie.

Ingredients:

Pumpkin Pie

3 large eggs
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1¾ cups pumpkin purée (15-ounce can)
1½ cups warm milk (heat for one minute in microwave)

Instructions:

1) Preheat oven to 450º

2) Prepare pie crust. If you are using a 10-inch pie pan, you may need to roll the crust a little more to stretch it and make it fit. I like to use Trader Joe’s Pie Crusts.

Technique Time: How to arrange a homemade or store-bought pie crust into a pie pan:

Once the crust comes to room temperature, which takes about 90 minutes, unroll it retaining the plastic sheets as you do.  You’ll find that the dough breaks up into wide strips as you unroll it. Not a problem, just use a rolling pin to rejoin the cracks while the dough is still sandwiched between the plastic sheets. Next, remove the plastic covering from one side of the crust. Using the corners of the remaining plastic square, lift the crust, turn it over, and plop it into the pie plate. Continue to leave the plastic on the dough as you then press the pie crust into the pie plate. Remove the top layer of plastic. 

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Fold edges in and crimp to make pretty.

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3) Prepare Filling: Blend all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl for about 1 minute on medium-low speed. Be sure to scrape the batter that settles into the base of the mixing bowl with a spatula and then mix the batter for a few more seconds after doing so. Pour the filling into the prepared pie crust.

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4) Bake for 10 minutes at 450º. Turn the oven down to 350º and cook for 45 minutes more. To check for doneness, prick the center of the pie with the tip of a knife. It should come out clean. If not, let it cook for five more minutes and test again. If you are using a deep-dish pie pan, you may need to cook for an additional 10 minutes because of the added thickness of the filling.

About Nutmeg: I grind my own because it is so much more fragrant. You can buy nutmeg grinders online. Ground nutmeg from a jar works just as well.

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This pie is delicious served warm from the oven or cold from the refrigerator. It is great with fresh whipped cream on top.

My friend, Renée, skips the pie crust all together and pours the pumpkin batter into small ramekins for individual-serving, pumpkin custard desserts.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Other Desserts for Thanksgiving:
Mrs. Walker’s Cranberry Nut Pie
Mom’s Apple Pie (with a cheddar streusel topping)
Pumpkin Bread Pudding (with caramel sauce and whipped cream on top!)
Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie
Marion’s Crazy Good Pumpkin Bread with Chocolate Chips

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© 2014 Judy Wright. All rights reserved. Photos and text may only be used with written consent.