Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie and Crust Recipe
I've adapted both of these recipes from ones I found online. The crust is honestly the best recipe I have ever made. I prefer crust with shortening... it's just my thang, but if you like a butter-crust, well... go find your own damn recipe. Hehe. Seriously, though, everyone has their own taste for pie crust, and I'm a firm believer in trying as many recipes as you can. Flour, salt and butter/shortening are super cheap, and I love experimenting. This crust melts in your mouth, but is still flaky and is very easy to work with. Other crusts that I have made are too flaky and hard to work with or are too tough. The filling holds together nicely if you use enough cornstarch. When I say heaping tablespoon, I MEAN heaping tablespoon. I ran out last night after just four tablespoons, and my filling was quite runny. Have fun with these recipes... I have found that people are so surprised when someone makes a pie from scratch, and honestly, they're not that hard at all!
One 9-inch double pie crust
2 ½ C chopped red rhubarb, fresh
1 ½ C (or about 1 ½ pounds) de-stemmed, washed and halved strawberries
1 ¼ C sugar
6 heaping TB cornstarch
1 heaping TB all-purpose flour
½ Tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp lemon zest, ½ tsp lemon juice (optional – I tasted no difference with this addition)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, mix all filling ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes, stirring a few times. Pour into prepared pie shell. Cover with top crust, sealing edges with fingers. Cut plenty of holes in the top to let steam escape (or use a pie bird, but who the hell has one of those?). Cover edges with foil or pie crust shield. Place on parchment or foil lined baking sheet (this is important, as fruit pies tend to overflow) and bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees, and then reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake for another 40-50 minutes or until golden brown. In the last 10-15 minutes of cooking, remove foil or pie shield. Let cool completely before devouring.
9-inch Double Pie Crust
2 ½ C all-purpose flour
½ Tsp salt
1 C shortening (chilled, or not. Mine works fine at room temp)
Glass of ice water
Mix together flour and salt in a large bowl. Add shortening, and smush into flour with a fork (or a pastry blender… my pastry blender sucks, so a fork works better for me). Stop when the mixture has pieces no larger than peas - some bits will be more the size of oatmeal, while others will be smaller… lots of recipes say “resembles course meal” but since when have you ever looked at course meal? Yeah. That’s what I thought. Next, sprinkle the ice water over the flour mixture, starting with about 3 tablespoons. Then stir with the fork. Keep adding ice water, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough just holds together when you press it with your hands. You’re looking for a dough much dryer than bread dough, but you don’t want it flaking off when you try to work with it. Shape into a disk and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Cut dough in half, and form one half into a ball, smoothing out any cracks. Place on a floured piece of waxed paper large enough to cover your pie plate. Sprinkle flour on top of dough and cover with another piece of waxed paper. Roll out dough until it extends about ½ inch beyond the edge of your pie plate. Remove waxed paper and gently place dough into pie plate. Roll out the other half of the dough exactly the same, and after you have filled your pie, cover it with this piece of dough. Pinch the edges together, and if you want, you can flute the edges to make it look pretty.
I know that seems like a very long pie crust recipe... but honestly, when I was first starting out, I had no clue what "course meal" or "add iced water until crust just barely holds together" meant. I ended up with lots of pie crusts that fell apart, or didn't flake at all. I figured I'd try to take out the guesswork for those of you who haven't ever made a pie crust! Let me know what you think, or if you have any recipes that you think I should try! (Caenaan just told me that he would LOVE to taste any new recipes)
Mrs. Hatfield :)