Let Them Eat Pie

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Every year about this time, rhubarb rolls back into our consciousness and the urge to enjoy that tart, earthy flavor before it fades seizes me. Rhubarb begins to pop up on seasonal menus; Sunset starts to feature it heavily; and recipes pop up on Foodgawker every other minute with enough pies, cakes, and compotes to make a girl swoon. Usually appearing in your store or local market in early spring, the powerfully tart stalks range in appearance from pale green to a lovely crimson. I don’t notice a strong difference in flavor between shades along this gradient (and the internet will back me up on that, so it’s not just my weird palate); however, the two can be linked when it’s a question of separate varieties (whether you’ve gotten your hands on picturesque Sunset, romantic Timperley Early, blunt Redstick, etc.). In the case that you’re trying to impress someone, go ahead and hunt down the reddest stalks you can find. If flavor is all that matters, take your rhubarb as it comes.

When called upon to produce a pie for a work event, it was decided that strawberry-rhubarb would be both appropriate for the spring weather and a (nearly) universally well-received choice. Using a time-tested, easy-as-pie recipe (sorry), my blogging partner crafted the marvel you see above. For weeknight pies, we fully support the use of pre-made crust. While a standard pie crust comes together easily, there’s something particularly maddening about having to wash a food processor blade when your foremost thought is the alarm that will be going off at 6:30 the next morning. So go ahead, pull that frozen crust out to thaw, and get to work!

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Strawberry Rhubarb Pie (First We Eat)
makes one pie

  • 1 Packet Pie Crust (We got the packaged kind that comes with two rolled up pie crusts from Pillsbury. They work great if you don’t have the time to make your own crust)
  • 4 cups Rhubarb, sliced
  • 4 cups Strawberries, sliced
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Lemon, squeezed
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 2 Tbsp Butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 Egg Yolk plus a Tbsp of warm water combined for a wash

Note: I would normally add about 1 tsp of cinnamon as well, but one of our office mates has a cinnamon allergy, so it was omitted this time. For the record, it’s still just as delicious without the cinnamon!

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. While the oven is heating, combine the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, and salt in a bowl and mix to combine. Butter you pie dish and roll out the two crusts. Place one into the bottom of the pie dish, making sure to push it into all the edges. Fill your pie dish with the strawberry rhubarb filling, it should make a big delicious heap! Place the cut up cubes of butter right on top of your pie filling and top with the second rolled out pie dough. If you wish you may make slits before putting it on top, or you can get  creative with cookie cutter designs! Once your second pie dough is on top of the filling, pinch the edges of the two crusts together and create a nice pie edge.

Whisk your egg yolk and water together and add an even layer of this to your pie crust with a pastry brush – this will give your pie a nice shine as it bakes. Put your pie dish on a cookie sheet (in case your fruit decides to bubble over a bit) and into the oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes have passed, reduce your oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for another 20-25 minutes until done. Place pie on a cooling rack and wait for it to completely cool before serving. This allows for all the fruit and juices to settle a bit. Enjoy!

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