If you manage to refrain from gobbling up all of your strawberries that first day (or in the car on the way home from the farm stand), try my family’s favorite spring treat, this strawberry rhubarb pie recipe from The Joy of Cooking. The sweetness of the strawberries perfectly complements the tartness of the rhubarb. And they are both in season at the same time.
My family—like yours, I’m sure—prefers to eat all of our strawberries right out of the basket. But if you can buy extra, or were able to make it to one of the farm’s U-Pick days, stocking up on strawberries gives you the chance to enjoy the desserts that really elevate this wonderful fruit. It is also a great use for strawberries that are either a little green or just a bit past their prime, should you ever let that happen!
For the sweetest flavor, choose young rhubarb that is no thicker than your thumb and a lighter pink in color. The thicker, darker pink rhubarb is much more tart, although I prefer it that way. I added the extra squirt of lemon juice to make it even more tart. Like everything, this pie tastes best warm with ice cream.
Makes one 9-inch double-crust pie
1 recipe of My Basic All-Butter Dough
For a spelt crust, replace half the all-purpose flour with whole or white spelt flour. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Combine in a large bowl:
- 2 1/2 cups roughly chopped rhubarb
- 2 1/2 cups hulled, halved strawberries (quartered for larger berries)
- 3/4 to 1 cup sugar, depending on tartness of fruit
- 1/4 cup quick-cooking tapioca or cornstarch
- 1 to 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Let stand for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Line a 9-inch pie pan with half the dough (see my tutorial on rolling dough).
Pour the filling into the bottom crust and dot with:
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Cover with a pricked or vented top crust or a lattice.
For a lattice, roll the second half of the dough into a 13-inch circle. Cut the dough into 3/4-inch strips (you should have about 17 to 18 strips). Place half (8 or 9) of the dough strips ½ inch apart on a lightly floured cookie sheet, then weave the remaining dough strips through these, either on a diagonal or in a perpendicular crisscross pattern. It's a basic weaving technique--over, under, over, under. Gently slide the lattice off the cookie sheet directly onto the top of the pie. Don't freak out--it'll be okay. Trim the lattice strips, leaving at least a ¼-inch overhang at each end. Press the strips against the bottom crust. Fold the edge of the bottom crust up, covering the ends of the lattice strips, then crimp or flute the edge.
Lightly brush the top of the pie with milk or cream.
Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons sugar.
Bake for 30 minutes, then lower the heat to 350°F and bake for 25 to 30 minutes more, until the juices are thick and bubbling. Cool completely on a rack.
This recipe originally appeared in The Joy of Cooking.