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strawberry rhubarb ginger pie

May 5, 2012

This weekend marks one month since A and I moved into our new home. HALLELUJAH. Nothing like a homemade pie to celebrate.

After work on Friday, I walked myself over to Petworth’s first farmers market of the year. And you better believe I snatched up the last of the rhubarb before any man, woman, or beast could get their grubby paws on those babies.

As I picked all of the bright green and red stalks out of the bucket, the farmer came up to me and said, “You’re a wise one for getting those. The crop’s been poor this year. Don’t think there’ll be much more rhubarb this year.” Did you get that? These beautiful, mystical, magical gems are precious and fleeting. Apparently, the heat this year and the deluge of rain last year killed off the elusive rhubarb unicorns, so catch ‘em while you can.

I’ve tried several strawberry rhubarb pies in the past, and while always delicious, they are always soupy. So I decided to hedge my bets and try a new recipe, one from BI-RITE Market’s Eat Good Food cookbook. Hoo-boy, if this sucker isn’t worthy of mystical rhubarb unicorns, I don’t know what is. The crumb topping soaks up all the juices and still provides a delightful golden crunch on the top. The recipe also calls for ground ginger in the crumb topping, but I wanted to up the ante a bit and threw some minced crystalized ginger into the filling too, to give it a lil’ kick.

To prep in advance, you can chop up the rhubarb and store it in the freezer until ready to use. You can also prepare the pie crust ahead of time, then prep the filling and crumble, and pop it in the oven.

strawberry rhubarb ginger pie

adapted from BI-RITE Market’s Eat Good Food
pastry adapted fromRustic Fruit Desserts

PIE PASTRY (makes two 9-inch pie shells)
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 T sugar
1/2 t salt
1 cup cold, unsalted butter
1/2 cup ice water mixed with juice from half a lemon

Combine flour, sugar, and salt, and stick in the fridge or freezer for 15+ minutes until very cold.

Cut butter into 1/2 inch cubes, and cut into the flour mixture until the butter is the size of peas and the dough looks shaggy. Slowly drizzle the cold water and lemon juice mixture over the flour, and combine with a spoon. You want the dough to be shaggy and dry, but will hold together if you squeeze it in the palm of your hand. When it’s starting to come together, dump it onto the counter and quickly knead it a few times until it forms a ball. Divide into two balls, flatten them into disks, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Store in the fridge at least an hour, or up to 3 days (3 months in the freezer).

When ready to use, roll out the dough on a floured counter, place in your pie pan, and chill in the fridge for another 30 minutes while preparing the pie filling.

PIE FILLING
2 1/2 cups rhubarb, sliced 1/4 inch thick on the diagonal
2 1/2 cups hulled and halved strawberries (quartered if they’re large)
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
pinch of cinnamon
2 T minced crystalized ginger

CRUMB TOPPING
2/3 cup flour
5 T cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup sugar
3 T brown sugar
3/4 t ground ginger

Preheat the oven to 375. Combine the filling and crumb topping in separate bowls. Take the unbaked crust out of the refrigerator, spoon the rhubarb mixture into the pie crust, and sprinkle the crumb topping over the filling. The crumb topping will be very dry and floury – this is okay. Put the pie on a baking sheet and bake in the center of the oven for about an hour, until the top is dark golden.

Note: The recipe says to bake the pie at 350 for 1 hour 15 minutes, but I baked it at 350 for 1 hour 30 minutes until I decided to raise the temperature to 375, at which it took an additional 30 minutes to bake all the way. That’s right – my darlin’ pie was in the oven for two hours. Bake at whatever temperature you prefer, but keep an eye on it to make sure it’s cooking evenly.

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