I know many bakers who scorn the idea of baking in the heat. Let’s be real: in California’s 110 degree summers, who the heck cares?
You’re going to be sweating whether you bake or not. You might as well sweat while indulging in a buttery, tangy piece of pie.
Besides, why would all of the best pie fruits (peaches, cherries, strawberries, blueberries, plums, etc.) be in season in the middle of summer if they weren’t destined for pastry?
This pie recipe combines bits and pieces of strawberry rhubarb recipes from some of my favorite baking bloggers and cookbooks. Strawberry rhubarb pie is hailed as the king of summer baking for its combination of the caramelized sweetness of roasted strawberries with the tart bite of rhubarb. From my experience, the addition of ginger adds a third dimension–one that is slightly spicy and fragrant– to a dessert already complex in flavor.
One of my favorite baking instruments is this pie pan. It makes a big and beautiful pie that almost seems twice the size of a pie made in a standard tin.
For real. I love this pie pan so much that I bought three of them incase they ever stop making them.
Anyway, this recipe is a beauty that is guaranteed to steep its patrons in blissful and summery strawberry rhubarb nostalgia.
Butter pie crust
From the Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup cold butter, cubed
1 tbsp refined sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup ice water
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
Mix ice water and apple cider vinegar in a glass or measuring cup. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, whisk together flour, salt and sugar.
Add cubed butter. The dough will begin to cut together.
When the mixture forms pea sized crumbles, sprinkle in three tbsp of the ice water and apple cider vinegar mixture, one at a time. Allow the dough to come together until shaggy. Add an additional tbsp if dough still appears dry and crumbly.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface and bring together with hands. Form two discs. Wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Strawberry Rhubarb filling
2 lb fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
1 lb fresh rhubarb, diced
1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground allspice
Zest of one lemon
Juice of one lemon
Toss the quartered strawberries and the diced rhubarb in 3 tbsp granulated sugar and the lemon juice. Set aside to macerate for one hour.
In a separate bowl, combine the remaining granulated sugar, brown sugar, cornstarch, spices, and zest.
Drain the macerated fruit of excess liquid. Gently fold in the sugar mixture.
[Pro-tip: you can save the juices and reduce them on the stove with a bit of sugar. It makes a thick and tangy sauce that you can either fold in with your pie or put on ice cream!]
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Roll out one pie dough disk on a floured surface. The resulting circle of dough should be about 12 inches in diameter Gently line a 9 inch pie pain, allowing the edge of the dough to hang off the sides.
[Pro-tip: dust the bottom of your pie shell with corn starch to avoid a soggy bottom.]
Fill the prepared pie crust with the fruit mixture.
Roll out the second round of dough. Now you can do what you want! Both lattice and traditionally topped pies are lovely. If pie crust isn’t your thing, halve the butter pie crust recipe and top the pie with a crumble or leave it open-faced. I used these Wilton cookie cutters. I also own these from Fox Run, which are perfect for a fall themed or an apple pie.
Brush exposed pie crust with the egg wash. Don’t let it get too goopy or your pie will turn into an omelet.
Refrigerate assembled pie for 10 minutes before baking.
Bake pie for 50 minutes until rhubarb is tender and juices are bubbling. If the outside edges of the crust begin to brown halfway before the middle, wrap the edges with thin strips of tinfoil, leaving the middle exposed.
Allow to cool for several hours before serving.
(I will not pretend to be able to cut a piece of pie with any grace.)