tis the season

Posted on Posted in book reviews/events, food and garden

with weekend guests arriving today, i set out early to prepare a few things ahead of time—the better to spend time with them instead of in the kitchen. i had it in my head all week that what we needed for memorial day weekend was a strawberry rhubarb pie; berries are just coming into season here and my friend susan gifted me a beautiful bunch of rhubarb.

i can’t even remember the last time i made this pie filling; it may have been when i was still a youngster, living with my parents. i know it’s easy to put together, but i wanted to be sure of what i remember to be the ingredients, so i had a look around my cookbook shelf and found a recipe i liked in this book (which is a very good baking book, BTW).

first i steamed the rhubarb in syrup as directed. i hulled and cut the berries while that cooked and rolled out the pie crust, too.

i couldn’t help myself.

ever since i can remember i have wanted to put together a lattice pie crust, but i never have. when i opened the book and saw yet another illustration showing how to do it, i said, that’s it—what better opportunity than when baking a jewel-tone pie?? luckily, the one crust i had originally planned rendered plenty of leftovers to accomplish the work.

i think this method is very clever—you assemble to whole thing on a plate or flat metal pan, then refrigerate. when you are ready to put it on the pie, you can slide or flip it right over without damaging it. brilliant. and it only took a few minutes, i swear.

once i had the two crusts rolled, i stuck them back in the fridge. it’s hot here today for one thing, but also, i wanted to bake the pie closer to dinner time, so it would be very fresh. at this point i was just getting all the parts ready.

once the rhubarb was out of the skillet, i added a couple more ingredients to thicken the juices into a sauce, then mixed it with the fruits.

mmmm, at this point, it tasted great—just what i wanted. this filling has a fresh, summery taste—not sour at all, but not too sweet (i dislike it when strawberries get cloyingly sweet). i love the juxtaposition of strawberries and rhubarb; they keep each other from being too much themselves.

once all these parts were together, i went back to work at my desk for a few more hours until afternoon. i took a short nap at the height of the heat, then got back to work in the kitchen.

i got the pie crust out of the fridge and filled it, then flipped the lattice from the plate to the top of the pie—after several hours in the fridge it stiffens up, making this very easy to do.

into the oven it goes for  a total of about forty-five minutes and whatever magic happens in there, the result is worth the heat and the wait.

it comes out a ruby jewel, mmm.

now we wait—by the time dessert rolls around, it should be just right for eating; the crust still crisp and the filling cooled, with maybe a hint of warmth still in it. perfect with ice cream—ooops, we might have to get some.

mmmm, the perfect way to kick of the weekend.

we’re probably on our way to the wool show as you read this, with a day full of friends, fun, and our favorite pastime. check back in a couple of days for a review of the show.

18 thoughts on “tis the season

  1. This is a beautiful pie. I know it must taste as good as it looks.
    Have fun at the wool show.

  2. Your pie is beautiful and looks delicious, even though I’m not a rhubarb fan. I make lattice tops when I make cherry pie and chicken pot pies. You’re right, they’re not that hard and the results are great.

  3. Yum! We were out in Wayne/Holmes county yesterday and saw some little Amish girls selling strawberries, which was the first I was aware the season was started. Need to get some…

    Have fun at Wooster! Mom & I aren’t going it this year as we have, oops, too much yarn (I found some I don’t even remember buying!) + tight budgets, but I look forward to hearing all about it!

  4. Anne, Your pie is just beautiful. I know it will be gone in minutes.

    This receipe is an old family choice.
    Rhubarb Custard

    Mix 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1/4 cup All purpose flour, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, and dash salt.
    Add to 3 beaten eggs; beat smooth. Stir in 4 cups (1 inch slices) rhubarb.

    Prepare pastry as you already do; Fill with rhubarb mixture, Dot with butter.

    Bake @ 500 for 50 minutes.
    We always have calls for more!

  5. Brings back memories of growing up in Iowa. Had fresh rhubarb & strawberries growing on the farm. Enjoy & thanks for sharing.

  6. Oh yum! I love rhubarb. My neighbor mowed over mine and it hasn’t recovered well. Fortunately, my across the street neighbor has some that she said I could have. That pie looks amazing…

  7. I made my first one last Sunday. I use an egg for the filling. Full crust top. One of my favorites.

  8. Pat, I’m going to keep your recipe for rhubarb custard pie. It is my favorite. My Mother made a great one & would always have a few ready when I made my annual visit. I seldom bake, but I’m going to make a rhubarb custard pie soon.

  9. Wow, that looks fantastic! It’s 92 here today and I worked on my Plain Jayhnes on the boat while we were fishing this morning. Love the pattern!

  10. Rhubarb, and especially in combination with strawberries, always reminds me of my grandma. She grew (and froze) both, and would make strawberry-rhubarb pie frequently. Sometimes, she would just make the filling, and we would have it for dessert in little bowls – strawberry-rhubarb sauce.

    Your pie is gorgeous!

  11. Oh Anne. Dang it! I HATE when you post wonderful food pictures! It makes me instantly want some!!! Me and Sam will be over in 20 minutes.

  12. That pie looks delicious. My Mum used to make a lovely dessert using rhubarb and orange, with a ginger sponge baked over the top.

  13. Stellar pie! And that plate-the-lattice trick? Yes; brilliant!! Can’t wait to give it a try! Thanks, Anne, for making my day!

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