Monday, June 16, 2008

Rhubarb & Strawberry Crumb Pie

Ever since I was a very small child, I have been intrigued by the taste of Rhubarb. My grandmother grew it in her backyard and every spring we would always break pieces off and laugh as the sour taste made us have what seemed like lock jaw. We never made anything fancy with it, just ate it raw (from what I can remember). So, when grandma sold her home a few years back, I inherited half of the plants for my home. Last year I found a Rhubarb Strawberry Crisp recipe that I thought wasn't worthy of my "heirloom" Rhubarb. I have been on a mission to find that perfect recipe and this Crumb Pie was given the thumbs up by everyone that was given given the privilege to have a piece. (Arrogant, huh? Yeah, we are talking about my precious rhubarb!) My brother-in-law actually hinted that he would like to see another full pie like that again soon! This recipe is very simple to make and everyone that is privileged enough to have a piece or your pie will think that you have slaved away for hours! Without further ado, here is the recipe that I found in my new recipe book, "Pie" by Ken Haedrich and tweaked a little by moi!

Skillet Crust:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a medium size bowl. Set aside. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium to low heat. Stir in the vanilla. Add the dry mixture and turn off the hear. Stir the flour and butter with a whisk (it worked GREAT). It will be a little clumpy, but just keep working it. Set the crumbs aside to cool for several minutes. When the crumbs are cool enough to handle, transfer about 2/3 of them to a buttered 9 1/2 inch deep-dish pie pan. Press them into the bottom and up the side of the pan.

4 cups (1 1/2 pounds) fresh rhubarb sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 cups sliced strawberries
3/4 cup sugar
Juice & Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cardamom (if you have it, if not it is alright.)
In a large bowl, combine the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, lemon juice & zest, flour and cardamom. Set aside for 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Turn the filling into the pie shell, smoothing the top with a spoon. Crumble the reserved crust mixture evenly over the pie, pressing down on it gently. Place the pie in the center of the oven rack and bake for 30 minutes @ 350 degrees. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees and rotate the pie 180 degrees. Just in case of spills, slide a foil lined baking sheet below the pie to avoid a huge mess. Continue to bake until the top is golden brown and the juices bubble thickly around the edges, 40 to 50 minutes. If the top starts to get too dark, cover with loosely tented foil during the last 15 minutes. LET COOL FOR AT LEAST 2 HOURS BEFORE SERVING, while cooling the pie will thicken.