Nothing says early summer like strawberry and rhubarb pie. Since starting a garden, I’ve really wanted to grow rhubarb, but it takes bloody forever to get started (like a whole year!) and it grows and grows taking up all available space. At least that’s what everyone tells me. My meagre garden may not have room for it at this house.
Fortunately, I know enough people who have their own that I can get my fill. We were going to go berry picking, but plans changed, so I got some berries from the grocery store instead.
Pies are good for their filling but great because of their crust. I’ve been focusing on pie crust this summer. I’m happy to report that with the aid of modern technology, homemade pie crust is a breeze, something for a later post. I chose to do a lattice crust for this pie, to let some of the moisture in the fruit out and because it looks really good.
- 6 oz all purpose flour
- 4 oz cold butter
- 2 tbsp icing sugar
- 2 oz cold water
- 2 cups rhubarb, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cups strawberries
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp corn starch
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 cup cream (optional)
To make the crust, put the flour and butter in a food processor and blitz until you have what looks like fine bread crumbs. Add the sugar and water. Pulse a couple of times until the dough just comes together. Mix too much and you wreck the pie. I usually pulse a few times then dump it on the counter and press it together. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least a half hour or until ready to make the pie.
For the filling, in a medium size bowl put the rhubarb in with 1/2 cup of sugar, toss to coat. Set aside. In a small bowl, put the berries, sugar, cinnamon, cloves and cornstarch. I put a splash of Pimm’s in for a little adult flavour. To extract some of the juice of the berries, I like to macerate for as long as the pie crust is in the fridge (macerate is a fancy term for sit in sugar).
Once you’re ready to make the pie, heat the oven to 400F. Get out an 8-inch pie plate. Combine the two bowls of filling. On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough to the size of the dish plus a little more for the strips on top. Put the dough in the pie plate and add the filling.
Now for the lattice crust, you’ll need two strips, maybe four, as long as the diameter of the pie plate. Even though this is a small pie, the strips should be no smaller than 3/4 inch thick, otherwise it looks weird. Lay out the horizontal strips on the pie. Peel back every second strip to the edge of the pie plate, place a vertical strip and replace the horizontal strips. Now peel back all the strips you haven’t peeled back yet, place another vertical strip. Repeat until you run out of vertical strips or pie.
Put that beauty in the oven until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbling, around 35 minutes in my oven. Allow to cool on a rack for at least an hour. Everyone says to cool it right down, but I can never wait that long.
Whip the cream if using. Savour that blast of sour.