Every year, I make a pie for my husband’s birthday. (I usually only make this one pie a year.) It’s at the beginning of June, so rhubarb and strawberries are in season. My dad grows rhubarb, plus, this year we joined a CSA, so we have loads of rhubarb. So the past three years I’ve used someone’s homegrown rhubarb to make a pie. Every year I make it differently. But this year’s was the best. Let me share my recipe.
Ingredients:First, let me explain what to do with the rhubarb. Take about 10-12 stalks of rhubarb. It looks a little bit like celery but is reddish.
10-12 stalks of rhubarb
2.5 cups sliced strawberries (1 pint should be enough)
1/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of nutmeg
two pie crusts
Rinse it and then chip it into slices.
I cook it for about 10 minutes just covered with water. (The cookbooks never say you have to cook it. But I don’t slice it all that thinly, so I’m afraid not pre-cooking it will lead to a crunchy rhubab pie. Not tasty.)
Then strain it to remove as much water as possible.
Ok, next you’ll add this cooked rhubarb to about 2.5 cups of sliced, uncooked strawberries. Toss these strawberries with the 1/4 cup cornstarch and 3/4 cup of sugar and a pinch of ground nutmeg. Let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes.
While the rhubarb and strawberry mixture is sitting, roll or press one of the piecrusts into a 9” pie plate. Add the mixture. Then top with the second pie crust.
To bake: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. I start out by covering the whole pie loosely with foil. The pie will brown too much at the edges if you leave the whole thing uncovered for the duration of the cook time; covering just the edges halfway through cooking is kind of hard due to the heat factor.
Bake the pie at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Then reduce heat and remove foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 more minutes. Remove and cook on wire rack.
Since this post is about birthday food, here’s the cake I made my dear little four year old for his birthday this year. Compare with last year’s blue near-disaster cake. I cannot claim that baking/cake decorating is a talent, but I think this year’s effort was an improvement.
Without the sign:
The cake was from a box, but the icing was homemade. And very tasty.
Make a rhubarb-strawberry pie this weekend. I recommend making the crust with lard (a friend gave me some; he rendered the lard himself. Which sounds like a lot of work.) The lard makes the crust taste SO much better than butter. And my friend said the lard has minerals in it that butter does not have. So there. It’s healthier.