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MY COOKBOOK
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29.5.12

STRAWBERRY RHUBARB PIE


This was my first rhubarb harvest a couple of weeks ago, tender rhubarb and just enough for two medium-large pies.



I took photos and finally I got around doing the write up too. You know you have been blogging a long time when you start duplicating your own recipes. And this wasn’t the first time either… However, this is not entirely true, because instead of the usual tapioca thickener, I used cornstarch [I was out of tapioca]. You can use flour, cornstarch or tapioca for thickening rhubarb pie. Here I used cornstarch and I was able to cut the first slice within three hours. There was still a bit of pooling after three hours [you can see it on the photo], but by next morning all was well and the pie was actually servable. However it is a good thing my good friend, Ann supplied me with several years’ worth of quick cooking tapioca the following day, because really, the tapioca works much better than flour or cornstarch. In a few hours, the tapioca jells enough to serve the pie. The amount does not vary; flour, cornstarch and quick cooking tapioca are interchangeable in rhubarb pie recipes. Resting and chilling should work as well as adding 2-3 Tbsp of the thickening agent to the bottom crust before piling in the fruit. Rhubarb is notorious for being a runny pie and cookbooks fail to mention the long wait, sometimes an overnight rest in the fridge before the pie can be served. For the same reason a substantially rich and thick pie crust is necessary.

1-1/2 batch of my pie crust and this filling is just enough to make two 10 inch pies. If you have one of those deep-dish pie plates, you will get a single pie. The lattice pattern requires more dough than a flat top pie, but it is worth the effort, because the large vents help the moisture bake off and true lattice top will stay intact when you serve the pie. Watch the instructional video. I sprinkled a tiny amount of nutmeg on the fruit, it is not even detectable, I don’t think rhubarb needs a flavour boost and so I would never add cinnamon.

The following recipe makes two 10 inch pies or one large deep dish pie:

1-1/2 batch of pie pastry

Filling:
4 cups chopped rhubarb
4 cups chopped strawberries
1-1/2 cups yellow sugar
1 pinch of nutmeg
1/3 cup quick cooking tapioca
1/4 tsp salt

Added to filling later:
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup butter

Topping:
1 lightly beaten egg for glazing the lattice top
1-1/2 Tbsp sugar for sprinkling the lattice top

• Place a baking pan with a rim preferably on the lower rack of your oven, provided you have two racks. If not, place the catch tray on the rack anyway. This will catch the overflow. The catch tray saves you having to clean the oven the day after you made the pie. Beware, never place a catch tray on the very bottom of an electric stove! This can blow out your bottom element.
• After the catch tray is in the oven, preheat to 400F.
• Wash and clean up the fruits.
• Cut and discard the ends and chop the rhubarb into small pieces [huge chunks of rhubarb are unappetizing]
• Cut and discard the top the strawberries and chop trying to match the rhubarb pieces in circumference.
• Combine the filling ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.
• Before rolling out the pastry, keep in mind you will need more dough for the lattice pattern than for the bottom layer. The bottom layer has to be thick about 3/8-inch thick and large enough for 1 inch of overhang.
• On a floured board, roll out the bottom pastry into a circle.
• Place the dough circle into the pie plate.
• Pat the dough into the pie plate.
• Fold the overhang back into the plate rim. This will form a ridge on the rim. Pat it down.
• Sprinkle 1/4 cup of cornstarch around the bottom.
• Add the prepared filling and arrange it neatly into a small dome.
• Dot the top with small chunks of butter.
• On the floured board, roll the dough 3/8-inch thick.
• Using a ruler for guide cut the rolled out dough into 1-inch wide strips. I used a ravioli cutter, but a pizza cutter or a sharp knife will work as well.
• To make the lattice pattern
• Start at the center with the longest strip and work outwards.
• Place half the strips, spacing about 1 inch apart, on top of the filling.
• Then, gently fold back, about halfway, every other strip.
• Take another strip of pastry and place it perpendicular on top of the first strips.
• Unfold the bottom strips and then fold back the strips that were not folded back the first time.
• Lay another strip of pastry perpendicular on top of the filling and then continue with the remaining strips.
• Trim the edges of the strips, leaving a 1-inch overhang.
• Seal the edges by folding them under the bottom pastry crust and flute the edges of the pastry.
• Brush the entire lattice pastry with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
• Bake for 20 minutes at 400°.
• Then, reduce heat to 350° and bake for another hour or longer as needed.
• Remove from heat and place pie[s] on a wire rack to cool.
• Chill thoroughly in the fridge before slicing. If the juices have not jelled, refrigerate overnight.

Watch this video how to lattice a pie:


 

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It began with posting a few recipes on line for my family. "zsuzsa is in the kitchen" has more than 1000 Hungarian and International recipes. What started out as a private project turned into a well visited blog. The number of visitors long passed the two million mark. I organized my recipes into an on-line cookbook. On top of the page click on the cookbook to access the recipes. I am not profiting from my blog, so my visitors will not be harassed with advertising or flashy gadgets. Feel free to cut and paste my recipes for your own use. Publication is permitted as long as it is in your own words and with your own photographs. However, I would ask you for an acknowledgement and link-back to my blog. Happy cooking!

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