PEACE, LOVE & HAP-PIE-NESS

Well it’s been quite the post-production process, but we’ve finally wrapped my first Young & Always Hungry food video! It was a fun and mouth-watering project to work on…and hopefully this is just the beginning to many more. 

That said, what I really hope though is that this post doesn’t come too late in the strawberry and rhubarb season because this pie was seriously ridiculous. If you’re looking for the perfect summer party dessert–this pie is what dreams are made of.

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PEACE, LOVE & STRAWBERRY RHUBARB HAP-PIE-NESS

ALL BUTTER, REALLY FLAKY PIE DOUGH

Source: Smitten Kitchen via Cooks Illustrated, November 2007

Makes enough for one 9-inch double-crust pie

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, very cold
  • ½ to ¾ cup of ice cold water

STRAWBERRY RHUBARB PIE FILLING

Source: Joy the Baker

  • 2 Cups ½-inch thick sliced rhubarb (about 1 pound)
  • 3  Cups hulled and sliced strawberries
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • large pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
DIRECTIONS
Crust
  1. Fill a one cup liquid measuring cup with water, and drop in a few ice cubes; set it aside. In a large bowl, whisk together 2 1/2 cups flour, 1 tablespoon of sugar and a teaspoon of salt. Dice two sticks (8 ounces or 1 cup) of very cold unsalted butter into ½-inch pieces.
  2. Sprinkle the butter cubes over the flour and begin working them into the flour. I prefer using my hands because the heat does help if your butter is ice cold, but you can also use a pastry blender or a food processor if you don’t want to get your hands dirty. But where’s the fun in that? Carefully work the butter into the flour, until the butter pieces are about the size of tiny peas. (Deb warns against over working the flour. I don’t question her.)
  3. Next, drizzle ½ cup of the ice-cold water (but not the ice cubes) over the butter and flour mixture. Using a rubber or silicon spatula, gather the dough together. You will probably need an additional ¼ cup of cold water to bring it together, but drizzle it one tablespoon as a time. Once you’re pulling large clumps with the spatula, take it out and get your hands in there. Gather the disparate damp clumps together into one mound, kneading them gently together.
  4. Divide the dough in half, and place each half on a large piece of plastic wrap. Let the dough chill in the fridge for 1-2 hours before rolling it out. You can also do this ahead and leave it in the fridge overnight or in the freezer if you are making it farther in advance. Just be sure to pull it out with enough time so that it because soft enough, but still cold and firm, to roll out. Dough will keep in the fridge for about a week, and in the freezer for much longer. To defrost your dough, move it to the fridge for one day before using it.

Strawberry Rhubarb Filling

  1. In a medium bowl, toss together rhubarb, strawberries, sugars, cornstarch, flour, salt, and lemon juice. Toss until all of the fruit is covered in a coating of sugar and cornstarch. The cornstarch will disappear and the sugars will begin to make juice with the fruit.
  2. Allow to rest while you roll out your dough and cut your lattice.

To Assemble the Pie

  1. Remember: Depending on how long your dough has been in the fridge, you may need to let it rest at room temperature for about 3-5 minutes.
  2. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Set aside.
  3. On a well-floured surface (or if you’re a neat freak :D you and use two pieces of wax paper to sandwich your dough ball), begin to roll out the first dough ball for the lattice. Once your dough is about 1/8 inch thick and about 12 inches in diameter, carefully cut 1-inch wide strips. Transfer to a cookie sheet and place in your fridge to stay cold.
  4. Roll your second ball of dough out to a similar 1/8 inch thick and about 12 inches in diameter wide circle. Fold the circle in half, and then in a quarter.
  5. Butter your pie dish. When I use up a stick of butter, I like to save them in a plastic bag and place in my freezer. These are perfect for buttering dishes or pans at a later time. Lightly flour the dish.
  6. Transfer your folded crust to your pie pan, lining up the point of your triangle with the center of your dish. Carefully unfold it and reposition as necessary.
  7. Using a fork, poke holes in the crust so that if it expands while baking, your crust won’t break.
  8. Fill your crust with the fruit filling, being careful to drain as much liquid as possible. If you’re worried, you can also add a sprinkle of cornstarch to the bottom of the crust before adding your fruit mixture to help absorb some of the fresh fruit juices.
  9. Remove your lattice strips from the fridge and begin to lay out pattern. If you want to see a diagram, Smitten Kitchen posts an easy step-by-step look…but sometimes it’s more fun to try it out on your own. Trial and error is the best way to learn! :)
  10. Curl up the excess dough around the rim of the pie to secure. Use any extra pieces from the lattice to lay on the edges if you need more.
  11. Using your forefinger, middle finger, and thumb, crimp the edges to give your pie a more finished look.
  12. Paint your masterpiece with a little egg wash and then lightly dust with white sugar.
  13. Delicately, wrap foil around the edge of your pie to prevent it from burning.

Time to bake!

  1. Bake the pie for 25 minutes at 400 degrees F, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 35 to 45 minutes, or until the pie is juicy, bubbling, and golden brown. You will want to remove the foil around the edges about 20 minutes before your pie is done. This allows it to brown like the rest of the crust.
  2. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 2 hours before serving. This is the last step to follow, and DEFINITELY the toughest, but it really is key to let the pie cool for at least 2 hours. This will help the juices mellow and thicken a bit…or else you’re serving runny pie. Still tastes delicious, so I won’t judge :) but it won’t look as good on Instagram! Haha.
  3. If you’ve prepared your pie a day or hours ahead and you’d like to reheat it (perhaps while your guests are finishing up dinner), you can leave the pie at room temperature, then warm at 350 degrees Fahrenheit  for 10 minutes. Or, even better, if you’ve already baked something in the oven, put the pie in and turn the oven off. 

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I hope you have as much fun baking this pie as I did–I made it 3 times in one week for the video! :) At one point I needed help eating it so that I could use my dish to make another one, so I went downstairs to my neighbors and knocked on their door.

“Hi! I’m sorry to interrupt if you’re working from home today too, but I’m actually making a pie video right now and I need help eating this one so that I can reuse my dish. Would you guys be interested in helping me?”

He just laughed. “Wait, are you serious?” He leaned back and said something to his (I’m assuming) colleagues inside. “She’s offering us pie.”

“I’m very serious,” I replied with a smile.

He looked back at me and laughed again, “Uhm–YES. That’s amazing. How could we say no to someone knocking on our door and asking us to help them eat freshly baked pie?”

I’m pretty sure they will gladly lend me some sugar when I need to borrow it in the future. I’m hoping this sealed the deal.

Peace, Love & Strawberry-Rhubarb-PIEness.