Thursday, June 05, 2008


Isn't this a good time for a nice piece of pie?

Summer is always a good time for a nice piece of pie - especially when the rhubarb is in season! So even though we've hit the days when it's hot even at night, I baked a rhubarb-strawberry pie.

I had my first taste of rhubarb pie when we visited friends of my mother's in Peoria, and have been on the quest for the perfect rhubarb recipe ever since. I developed this one, which doesn't at all remember that Platonic Pie I had so long ago, but I'm pretty happy with it.

Quantities of everything are pretty vague, depending on how big your pie pan is, and how much rhubarb you can get. But here's what I did last night:

Rhubarb (1#, for this pie)
Strawberries (also 1#)
Sugar (1/4 cup, and I like to use Sugar in the Raw)

Eggs (3)
Cream (1 pint)
Sugar (just a little)
Saffron (a pinch)

A pie or tart shell, unbaked or blind-baked, depending on your pastry choice

Cut up the rhubarb and the strawberries (I like to cut the rhubarb VERY fine, and the strawberries a little bigger), mix with sugar to taste, and let sit for a few hours on the counter, or overnight in the refrigerator.

Using a fork, fill the pie shell with the rhubarb/strawberry mixture. The idea here is to leave the juice behind. Save the juice and use it for a lovely summer cocktail!

Grind the saffron with a pinch of sugar. Whisk together the cream, eggs, saffron, and as much sugar as you think you need. Gently pour it over the fruit in the pie shell. You want it to ooze around and fill up the shell - but not overflow!

Bake at 400 for about 30 minutes, until a knife stuck in the center comes out clean.

You don't have to be picky with anything on this recipe. Shift the strawberry/rhubarb balance as you like. You want the shell to be full of the egg/liquid mix, but I've made it with 2 eggs instead of 3 before. If you haven't made enough of the egg mix, you can just pour more whipping cream into the pie shell to fill it - everything will percolate together as it bakes. And keep a light hand with the saffron - I've found out the hard way that there is such a thing as too much saffron!

So while I'm working all day, I know I have something yummy to come home to. It's summer in Indiana, and the farmers' markets are full of all sorts of goodies.



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