Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Gets its Day

June 9th is National Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Day. The best way to celebrate? Pie, duh.  

Hand Picked, Homemade Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with FroYo

Ever since I moved to DC (in the late Spring) everything has been strawberry rhubarb, from popsicles to gelato to tea to macarons.  Strawberry rhubarb's blend of tangy and sweet is a seasonal, East Coast staple — thanks to a revolutionary American beginning.

Just like the bifocal and the lightning rod, we can thank Uncle Ben for this summer treat.  In the late 1700s, Benjamin Franklin introduced rhubarb to the East Coast. This fruit and veggie pie — yes, rhubarb is a vegetable — later came into vogue during the early 19th century.

And as a recent convert to strawberry rhubarb, I am definitely on board to celebrate the holiday with fresh, local East Coast produce. On Sunday, my friend Leah did just that.  She used locally grown rhubarb from the farmers market and fresh strawberries she picked the day before at Hollin Farms to make one delicious strawberry rhubarb pie.  

Leah strawberry picking according to her instagram. 

Leah used Smitten Kitchen's famous strawberry rhubarb pie recipe, with only a couple of tweaks.  See the recipe below from Smitten Kitchen.

1 recipe butter pie dough or double-crust pie dough of your choice (see my crust recipe here)
3 1/2 cups (about 1 1/2 pounds, untrimmed) rhubarb, in 1/2-inch thick slices
3 1/2 cups (about 1 pound) strawberries, hulled and sliced if big, halved if tiny
1/8 cup granulated sugar (Leah adjusted this to 1/8 because of the strawberries' freshness)
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup quick-cooking tapioca
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 large egg yolk beaten to blend with 1 teaspoon water (for glaze)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a well-floured counter, roll half of pie dough into a 12-inch circle and carefully transfer to a 9-inch pie plate. (I like to fold my gently into quarters, to transfer it more easily, then unfold it in the pie plate.)
Stir together rhubarb, strawberries, sugars, lemon, salt and tapioca in a large bowl. Mound filling inside bottom pie crust and dot with bits of unsalted butter. Roll second half of pie dough into an 11-inch circle and cut decorative slits in it. Transfer it to center over the pie filling. Trim top and bottom pie dough so that their overhang beyond the pie plate lip is only 1/2-inch. Tuck rim of dough underneath itself and crimp it decoratively.
Transfer pie to a baking sheet and brush egg yolk mixture over dough. Bake for 20 minutes then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 25 to 30 minutes, until the pie is golden and the juices bubble visibly.
Transfer pie to wire rack to cool. When full cool (several hours later) the juices gel.

Once again, thank you Smitten Kitchen

When Leah served the pie, she had a fan club.
 You all know Rasco, and Oscar is Leah's little  guy. 

The people enjoyed it too! 

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