I always thought I was a pie-hater.

Seri­ously.

Despite my rag­ing sweet tooth, I would have rather gone dessert­less than have eaten pie. On the chance that I did have to eat, so as not to offend, I would eat the fill­ing and maybe the top crust, if there was one. I just couldn’t get into it.

And then I needed to start work­ing on pie recipes for the cook­book, as not every­one is a pie hater. So I per­fected my crust, get­ting it but­tery and flakey. Then I started con­coct­ing fla­vor com­bi­na­tions, rang­ing from the famil­iar CranAp­ple to the more exotic Pear and Choco­late Cream Galette to the just plain fun Gas Sta­tion Pies. The next thing I knew I was dream­ing pie, envi­sion­ing pie, crav­ing pie. Whodathunkit?

Back up to my child­hood and my aunt, bak­ing rhubarb pie. Per­haps there was some kind of fruit in there, too, I don’t remem­ber, but I remem­ber run­ning from that pie like the plague. Rhubarb is some­thing every­one in my fam­ily baked with, it is a hearty crop that many of my fam­ily mem­bers grew. It is very bit­ter and tart raw, and it’s very stringy like cel­ery. Actu­ally, rhubarb is a veg­etable. Maybe that’s why I was scared of it.

Fast for­ward to this week­end at the farmer’s mar­ket where I bought some bril­liantly col­ored stalks of rhubarb, fly­ing home to excit­edly make a straw­berry rhubarb pie, my first one ever. What hap­pened to me, you ask? I think I finally had some sense knocked into me.

I kid you not, this was the best pie that I have ever tasted. Jim and I ate through 3/4 of the pie in less than 18 hours! When you fac­tor in that 8 of those were spent sleep­ing, there was a lot of pie con­sump­tion this week­end. The tart­ness of the rhubarb, now soft and the edge of the fla­vor mel­lowed, and the sweet­ness of the straw­ber­ries melded together in some­thing alto­gether mag­i­cal, fill­ing a deli­ciously flaky crust. I can’t even express how in love I am with this pie! If it hadn’t tasted so good, I would have been depressed to eat the last piece after din­ner this evening.

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Bot­tom crust, filled with crim­son goodness.

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Top crust on and crimped, with a sad-looking straw­berry shaped vent, ready to hit the oven!

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Beau­ti­fully browned… then it had to sit and cool com­pletely. No one wants a runny pie!

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Oh yeah, baby…

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That’s what I’m talk­ing about…

Straw­berry Rhubarb Pie
Prep time: 30 min­utes, plus 50 for bak­ing and addi­tional cool time

Best Basic Pie Crust (from 100 Best Vegan Bak­ing Recipes):
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tbsp. sugar
1/4 teas. salt
1 cup mar­garine, cold, cut into chunks
1/4 — 1/2 cup cold water

In a large food proces­sor, com­bine the flour, sugar and salt. Pulse a few times to blend. Add the mar­garine and pulse mix­ture until it becomes a course meal. Slowly add in water, 2 tbsp at a time, until a dough comes together. Divide dough in half, wrap each half in plas­tic wrap and refrig­er­ate for at least 1 hour before using. Dough can be frozen up to 1 month. Alter­na­tively, com­bine flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Using a pas­try cut­ter or fork, blend in mar­garine until mix­ture becomes a a course meal. Add water 2 tbsp at a time and rapidly mix together until a dough comes together. Yields: 2 crusts for 1 pie or 2 bot­tom crusts

Pie fill­ing:
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp. corn starch
1 vanilla bean, scraped or 1/2 teas. vanilla extract
1 lb. rhubarb, washed and cut into 1/2– 3/4 inch chunks
1 lb. straw­ber­ries, washed and cut into quarters

Pre­heat oven to 375.

In a large bowl, com­bine sugar, corn­starch and vanilla bean scrap­ings. If using extract, reserve. Mix well until there are no clumps. Add rhubarb and straw­ber­ries and mix to coat. Let fruit mix­ture mac­er­ate for 10–15 min­utes. If using extract, add at this time.

While fruit is mac­er­at­ing, roll out crusts to fit a 9 inch pie tin. Fit in bot­tom crust and pour in fruit fill­ing, scrap­ing any resid­ual sugar mix­ture into the crust. Cut out an air vent in the top crust, or make a few small slits and then cover filled crust with top crust. Pinch edges together and cut off any remain­ing crust. Brush top crust with a lit­tle water and sprin­kle on a lit­tle sugar.

Bake for 30 min­utes with a pie shield or some tin foil over­ing the edges of the crust. Remove pie shield and bake for an addi­tional 18–22 min­utes. The fill­ing should be bub­bling if you can see it and the crust should be golden. You may need to place a cookie sheet or some tin foil below the tin to catch poten­tial drips. Remove pie from oven and let cool com­pletely before serv­ing, at least 4 hours. If you cut it at this time, it may still be a lit­tle juicy, but with a cou­ple of addi­tional hours the fill­ing will be com­pletely set.

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18 Responses to dear pie, you’re the best. love, kris

  1. Tara says:

    This absolutely amaz­ing! As soon as we start get­ting good straw­ber­ries up here I will have to make it. Thank you for the recipe!

  2. Nora says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever had rhubarb! I’m excited to make this :)

  3. itstartedwithafish says:

    och, rhubarb and straw­ber­ries… a heaven-sent combo !
    The aro­mas taste-paradise must be made of (that and the occa­sional quince). Thank you for that recipe !!!!
    I am always on the look-out for rhubarb recipes ( grow­ing them in the gar­den, — the only crop that never fails me, — and being one of the strange folks that used to eat raw rhubarb as a kid, run­ning around with a stalk of rhubarb in one hand and a bowl of sugar in the other for dip­ping…), and have already baked rhubarb cakes twice this May (uhoh, sounds like a dan­ger­ous rhubarb-obsession) and this one will be made sooner than soon… rhubarb and straw­ber­ries… oh, the joy of joys !!!

  4. JD says:

    My dad used to grow rhubarb and he loved to eat it. I never got inter­ested in it. Not even in a pie. But I would eat a goose­berry pie no prob­lem, and those are more tart than the rhubard is. Of course I put about 2 Tbsp of sugar on one slice, so that might have helped.

  5. jumbleberryjam says:

    I’m ter­ri­fied of crust mak­ing! And had a sim­i­lar response to rhubarb until I had straw­berry rhubarb crumb bars at a cof­fee shop in Seat­tle. Then I was hooked. Such a great combo. But, still…I’m more of a crumb than crust girl — unless some­one else makes it for me ;-).

    • Kris says:

      Crust is really, really easy with a food proces­sor. I used to be afraid of it, too, but I swear it takes no longer than 2 min­utes in the FP. And it’s flaky and but­ter and reli­able, all things I like in my food!

  6. Wow. Those pic­tures are mes­mer­iz­ing. Will have to make.

  7. Andrea says:

    Gor­geous pic­tures and electable-sounding recipe. My rhubarb is halfway up — can’t wait.

  8. Courtney says:

    Hahaha…I am not a huge pie fan either. I don’t like the crust! I LOVE the fill­ing, though! I might make myself some of that deli­cious sound­ing fill­ing with­out the crust, though…now, THAT sounds good!

    Court­ney

  9. liz says:

    I haven’t had pie in for­ever and straw­berry rhubarb is my favourite, you’re killing me here! seri­ously, that crust looks *perfect*.

  10. Diann says:

    I love straw­ber­ries and most pies. I love to bake pies and make crusts and I’m so excited you’ve included pie recipes in your new book.

    My sis­ter is a pie hater and it’s so disappointing.

  11. Vegan Vice says:

    dear pie. we haven’t offi­cially met. but i love you too. <3

  12. Sandy says:

    mmm­m­m­m­mmm

  13. I may have to try this some­time, because I have that same his­tory of rhubarb aver­sion. Replace the aunt with mom, who put it in just about every­thing when it was har­vest time. Small doses were fine, but every­one who has ever seen rhubarb grow knows how big of a sup­ply any kind of “har­vest” would create.

  14. Sanja says:

    Yum, that looks delicious!

  15. shellyfish says:

    Oh that just looks so num­mers! I love pie — I love any­thing sweet I think!

  16. […] this Apple and Rainer Cherry Galette (inspired by this recipe with this pie crust) – this was galette #4 in the last few weeks with fil­ings rang­ing from straw­ber­ries, to mixed […]

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