Recipe Share: Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

12 09 2011

I finally did it, I made a pie :). Well, I cheated though. I was over at grandmas the other day and after a tour of the tomato garden, raspberries and talk of slugs eating the soska (sorrel) we started talking pie. She makes pie all year round by making and freezing pie shells, tops included. She’s made round pie top holders out of cardboard and covered with tin foil, smart lady. In the summer she just adds fresh fruit and in the winter adds frozen. She is a bit sugar savvy and doesn’t like to use a lot of sugar although in recent years she started using Splenda…whadda gonna do? Oh well. However, I notice she will always give you the full recipe (sugar and all) so you can adjust it yourself. She knows you need to know and understand the basics before experimenting, so she never filters a recipe before giving it to you.

I have said before I am not a pastry chef, but she felt that I should make a pie with all the wonderful rhubarb I have. She is not happy with her own and can be caught now and then snatching some from my garden…and doing a general inspection of my gardening skills in which she gives me a report the next time I see her (rave reviews the last time :)). So, to facilitate this pie making she sent me home with a frozen shell and top. A boost of confidence, she trusted me with a pie crust!

In a previous post, I told you about the recipe journal I got at my wedding shower, with recipes from all the ladies pasted inside. Well grandma shared Strawberry Rhubarb Pie of course. I love how my friend kept the pin in the paper. So with recipe in hand (and a few other pointers that were left out) I gave it a go on Sunday.

Honestly, I only had to call her once when the pie filling was bubbling over in a couple of spots which I placed little pieces of tin foil to catch the dribble. Here is the recipe and instructions in its entirety and my adjustments:

  • 3 cups chopped Rhubarb, 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 cup sliced Strawberries
  • 3 tbsp Tapioca flour (if using honey, up the tapioca to 4-5 tbsp)
  • 1 1/2 cups Sugar (I used 1/3 cup Honey instead)
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 9″ Pie Shell, with a top
  • 1 tbsp Cornstarch
  • 1 Egg for egg wash or water

Mix the fruit with the tapioca, sugar/honey, nutmeg and salt. Let sit for 20 min. Dust the bottom of the pie crust with the cornstarch. Add the fruit to the pie shell. Brush the edge of the pie shell with an egg wash or water, put the top on, press the edges together lightly with a fork and trim excess (some people do fancy edges, grandmas way is faster and easier). Cut 8-10 openings in the top and brush with egg wash or water. Bake at 375 F for 1 hour or until golden brown on top. Use pieces of tin foil to catch any dripping fruit. Don’t put a pan or big piece of tin foil under the pie or you disrupt the heat.

Well, it turned out pretty good. I learned I need more tapioca with the honey and I could have used a bit more honey. I have green rhubarb so it is a bit more tart. T liked it and that’s all that mattered, ah. Now, to learn to make my own crusts….

What is your favorite fruit pie?

Eat well, Be well,

Nat

Advertisements




Spring Rhubarb

1 06 2010

Even though it snowed all weekend, I was able to harvest a bunch of rhubarb from the garden. Picking rhubarb this time of year is a move in the right direction, SUMMER. I have green rhubarb, which is the same as the red, but not as pretty. Oh well.

So, what to do with all that rhubarb? So much, where do I start. I have been experimenting with it the last few years, favourites are compote and crumbles. The ultimate favourite is grandmas’s strawberry rhubarb pie. This bowl of rhubarb is a lot, it yielded 9 cups of chopped rhubarb (about 1 cm or more size pieces). I used three cups in a cobbler, three cups in a compote and I froze three cups. That’s the nice thing about rhubarb, you can freeze it.

Prepping rhubarb: I don’t even rinse it off, unless it is really dirty, but the snow and rain took care of that. I use scissors to cut the stalks off the plant and the leaf off the top (don’t eat the leaves, toxic). I use a pairing knife and peel the very outer layer of skin off the stalk, it is really easy. Chop up into the required size, use right away or freeze.

It is tough to find recipes for rhubarb that don’t include a bucket of sugar. Rhubarb is tart, cooking it brings out the sugar, but most recipes add sugar to sweeten the pot. My goal (challenge) is to find ways not to use cane sugar and only natural sweeteners. So Sunday was rhubarb sans sugar experimentation day. I made a Rhubarb Ginger Jam, which I plan on using in my Thumbprint Cookies, and a Rhubarb Strawberry Cobbler with Walnuts, yum. Here are the recipes:

Rhubarb Ginger Jam

3 cups of chopped Rhubarb, 1 cm pieces

1 tbsp of grated Ginger

Juice of 1 Lemon

1/2 cup of filtered water

2-3 tbsp Agave Nectar (based on your taste)

1 tbsp Kuzu (a Japanese starchy plant used as a thickener) or Cornstarch (optional)

Add the rhubarb and ginger to a sauce pot, saute for a couple of minutes, add the water, lemon juice and agave. Bring to boil, turn the heat down to a low boil/simmer for 20 minutes or until it softens and thickens. Stirring often. You may need more liquid, just add a bit of water, depends on the water content of your rhubarb. Use kuzu or cornstarch to thicken (mix with a small amount of water, don’t dump the thickener into the pot, or globs will form). Making jam is personal, you need to adjust to your thickness/sweetness. I ended up using 3 tbsp of Agave.

Rhubarb Strawberry Cobbler with Walnuts

Filling:

3 cups of chopped Rhubarb, 1 cm pieces

3 cups of quartered Strawberries

Juice of 1 Orange + 2 tsp chopped Orange Zest

2 tbsp of Kuzu or Cornstarch, dissolved in the orange juice

Mix everything together, pour into a buttered pan, I used a smaller casserole dish, like 9″x5″.

Topping:

1 c Rolled Oats (not instant)

1/4 c Oat Bran

1 1/2 tbsp Flax Meal

1/2 c Almond Meal or Flour

1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon

2/3 c chopped Walnuts

1/4 c liquid honey

Mix all the dry topping ingredients together first, then add the honey, blend. Spread on the top of the fruit. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until the fruit is bubbling and the top is browned, I think I baked mine for 50 min. Let sit and cool a bit, serve with ice cream, frozen yogurt (what we had with it, Chapman’s makes a good, low sugar one) or plain yogurt or almond milk (which I did yesterday, even better). If you don’t have oat bran or almond meal/flour, use spelt flour instead, just use less, using almond meal/flour creates a grainier texture as it has no gluten. Using wheat or spelt will make it more glutenous.

Eat well, Be well, Nat

(oh, look, the sun!)