Monday, June 11, 2012

Commanded to Make Pie!

I am on the board of the community choir that I sing in, and for our last meeting of the year, we were invited over to the artistic director's condo on the lake for a potluck. At first, we received no word about who was to bring what, so I decided on my Moroccan couscous salad, which appeals to most folks and is a nice option for the vegetarians among the partygoers. After I'd already decided what to make and shopped for the ingredients, THEN I got a last-minute email compelling me in no uncertain terms to make some sort of homemade fruit pie. *sigh*

Given the season, I chose to adapt a recipe that I had used before to make a couple of strawberry-rhubarb pies. The guests were nothing short of orgasmic about their dessert, and one woman who insisted she hated rhubarb, ultimately broke down and tried a piece (because everyone else was going on and on about it), and was surprised that she really liked it.

So if rhubarb and strawberries are still happening in your neck of the woods: MAKE THIS PIE NOW!

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie
(Source: The crust is from Bon App├ętit, the filling was my own concoction.)

Double Crust:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
6 tablespoons chilled solid vegetable shortening, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup (more or less) ice water

2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and halved or quartered
4 cups rhubarb, sliced
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup thickener (any combo of flour, corn starch or tapioca)
1 tablespoon butter, in small pieces
1 tablespoon cream turbinado sugar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Fit pie plate with bottom crust rolled out from half of the (chilled!) dough. Gently mix together the strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, and thickener(s). Pour into bottom crust and dot the filling with butter. Top with the other crust, cut vent holes or form a lattice. Brush with cream and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another hour, or until the middle of the pie bubbles. (Cover the top of the pie with tin foil if the crust starts to get too brown.) Cool for at least two hours to let the juices thicken before cutting and serving.

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