Week 28: Rhubarb

15 Jul

We spent last weekend on a Cape with an awesome group of friends. We ate like kings and drank like fish. And we ate pie. Because I’d never had strawberry rhubarb pie and one of our friends, Kari, is an amazing baker and was willing to teach me.

Rhubarb is a vegetable (but, funny story, is considered a fruit in the US because “a New York court decided in 1947 that since it was used in the United States as a fruit it was to be counted as a fruit for the purposes of regulations and duties” – wikipedia). The leaves are toxic but other parts of the plant are used for both medicinal and culinary purposes. Rhubarb stalks are look very much like celery, but have a strong tart taste. Most often, rhubarb stalks are cooked and used in pies and other foods for their tart flavor.

Kari didn’t even need a recipe to make the pie! I was incredibly impressed. We used store-bought crusts because, come on, I was on vacation and I wasn’t about to be rolling out pie dough with a cocktail in my hand.

Step 1 is to cut up the strawberries and rhubarbs, which kind of look like reddish-green celery, but in this picture actually look like sausage, don’t they?

Kari mixed together sugar, corn starch, and salt and added the mixture to the diced fruit:

This mixture is amazing because it starts breaking down the strawberries and rhubarbs and making a syrupy, sweet sauce. We let it sit for a while, stirring it occasionally to make sure it was doing its job. Then we poured the fruit and syrupy mixture into the ready pie crust and topped it with another top crust. We brushed the top crust with milk and added some sugar.

Beautiful, isn't it?

Then we baked it for 20 mins at 425 degrees, checking on it often to make sure it wasn’t burning. Then we lowered the temperature to 350 and baked for another 30 minutes or so. This was the most beautiful pie I’ve ever baked*.

Perfection

* This is the only pie I’ve ever baked

Then we let it cool and topped each slice with ice cream.

The strawberries are sweet and the rhubarbs are tart and this pie is like their beautiful, magical marriage. Simply delicious. And now that I know how to make pies, I am so all over this. Watch out friends, we are all gaining ten pounds.

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