Saturday, May 24, 2014

RECIPE: Mini Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

I was inspired by the pie I had at Savor, and I was interested in seeing if I could rise to the challenge of making my first pie.  When I went grocery shopping the week after getting back from DC, I happened to run into Rhubarb on sale.  I bought two big stalks, realized that the recipe called for 5, and ended up having to go back to the store the next day for more.  These were giant stalks, though, and actually, 2 ended up being like twice as many as I needed, so I really could've done with just 1.  I've never worked with Rhubarb before and wasn't even sure what it looked like, prior to encountering it at Savor.  I did what cooks do - try it before cooking with it.  It was super sour, like a fibrous star fruit, except even more sour.  Looking back, I wonder if Rhubarb is something that needs to ripen, or if it's always like that.  I couldn't wait to bake it all week, but I wanted to do it with my sister, who was visiting on a Thursday night before we went down to Charleston.


For the Crust
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 Earth Balance vegan butter, cut up
6 tablespoons ice water
Olive Oil for coating the muffin tin
1 large egg, for egg wash
For the Strawberry-Rhubarb Filling
2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and cut into a tiny dice
1 stalk rhubarb, trimmed, and cut into a tiny dice
1 tablespoon orange zest
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 tbsp of Brandy

1. To make the crust, mix the flour, salt, sugar, and vegan butter.  Add the water, and mix.  Add a bit more water if you need to... I'm notorious for not measuring stuff.
2. Ball it up and roll it out into two disks that you refrigerate for an hour.
3. Flour a cutting board, and roll out the dough, so that it's about 1/8-1/6 of an inch thick. As you roll it out, dash a bunch of cinnamon on it.
4. Cut circles that are about 3.5-4 in across, cookie-cutter-style.  If you don't have a cookie cutter, improvise by using a knife around something circular.  Don't use up all the dough.  You need to save some for the lattices.
5. Stick the circles in a muffin tin greased with olive oil.

6. Cut up the strawberries and the rhubarb stalk.  Add orange zest, orange juice, and brandy (I couldn't taste it, so no need, probably).

7. Stick the filling in the pies... be generous and stuff it, because the heat will dehydrate it and leave the pie a bit cavernous.  I wish I had filled in more than I did.  I ended up using only half of the filling that you see in the picture above.
8. Hope you saved your dough.  Roll it out, and cut long strips that you can weave over the filling.
9. Cover the crust that shows, with egg wash.
10. Bake for about an hour, at 350 degrees.

Pair with a strawberry beer that's not too sweet.

It's flaky and nice with Yogurt, too.

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