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Frugal Recipe: Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

By Helen Chin Lui of The Healing Place in Medfield, MA

This pie is so delicious. Yes, it takes a lot of time to make, but it is worth the time. I have made this pie only once in 40 years, but waiting for a cooler day to make my second one. I still have some leftover rhubarb from my last pie that I froze. Good for the Lui Family. We promise we will work on a gluten free pie recipe. It’s that time thing.

Prep Time: 60 minutes
Bake Time: 60 minutes
Makes 9” pie
Serves: 8-10 people

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons white sugar
3/4 cup of cold butter cut in chunks
1/4 cup ice cold shortening, cut in chunks
1 egg
5 tablespoons ice water or enough for crumbs to form a ball.

In a food processor mix all the dry ingredients for 30 seconds. Add cold butter and shortening, Pulse (off and on) until mixture resembles coarse meal. (1-2 minutes)
In another small bowl, mix egg, and 4 tablespoons of water. Add liquids to dry mixture – With the food processor on, gradually add fluids to flour mixture. Mix until dough forms a ball or moist crumbs. Add one more tablespoon of water if necessary. Make two balls, one bigger than the other. Wrap dough and refrigerate for one hour.

Note: If you do not have a food processor: in a large stainless steel bowl and combine all the dry ingredients. Then cut butter, shortening and lemon peel using either a pastry blender or 2 knives until it resembles coarse meal. Add lemon juice and mix until large crumbs are moist. Turn dough onto a work area and using both hands push the dough crumbs together into two balls, one ball a little bigger for the bottom of the pie pan. Refrigerate for an hour.

Note: Do not over mix otherwise the dough will be tough.

Turn the loose dough onto a work area (covered work area with wax paper.)
Using both hands gently compress coarse crumbs gently into two balls, (you may want to follow rolling out instructions on the Lemon Peel Blueberry Pie recipe.) one ball a little bigger for the bottom piecrust, see pix B below.) Do not overwork the dough otherwise it will be tough. The dough must rest to quiet the gluten in the dough. Refrigerate for an hour.

In the meantime prepare your filling and set aside and let sit for 15 minutes. We love the Strawberry Rhubarb recipe on the Kraft Minute Tapioca box.

2 1/2 cups of washed, fresh, sliced strawberries
2 1/2 cups of washed and sliced rhubarb (freeze left over rhubarb or make a relish. (Another recipe for another time.)
1/4 cup of Minute Tapioca
1 1/4 cups of sugar
1/8 teaspoon of grated nutmeg, preferably fresh

Direction for rolling out piecrust:
Take dough out of refrigerator. For easier rolling, leave dough on counter for 5 minutes.
On a floured surface, roll out the bigger dough and place on the bottom of pan

Note 1: So the dough does not stick to the rolling pan, roll out my dough between two pieces of floured wax paper.

Note 2: Try to roll the edges evenly in thickness. You may have to move some of the crust edge to another location; otherwise you may end up with over-baked areas. You can “glue” loose dough together by using a little egg wash or water.

Note 3: If you want a crispy bottom crust you may bake the crust by “blind baking”. To do this, line the pan with one of the crusts. With a fork prick the entire bottom surface. Cover the crust with a piece of aluminum foil, weighted down with 16 oz of dry beans. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes and take the aluminum foil w/bean off. (Cool beans and store in bag for future use.) If any part of the crust is puffy, prick with fork and push back into the pan. Continue baking for another 10 minutes at 375 degrees. The crust should be golden brown. Cool for about 15 minutes.

Roll out the second piece of dough and place on top of pie.

Fill pan with Strawberry Rhubarb mixture and dot top with butter.

Because we love piecrust, we do not trim the edges but roll the edges so that it sit on top of the pie.
Note: Of course you may trim the edges, just imagine how many calories you will be saving.) Crimp the edges by using your thumb and first finger and pinch the edges together.
If you want a shiny surface pie, you can make an egg wash by beating one egg with a tablespoon of water. With a pastry brush, brush eggs wash lightly all over the pie including the crimp edges.

Note 1: If you do not want to use an egg wash, you can brush the surface with whole milk or half and half.

Note 2: Some people like a crunchy pie crust, if desire, sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar on top of the egg wash surface.

Prick the top in a few places with a fork for ventilation; otherwise your pie may burst while baking from steam built up.

Place pie on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes and then lower temperature to 350 degrees. Bake for another 45-50 minutes until golden brown. You know your pie is done when the filling starts to bubbling through the ventilation holes and you can smell the pie. During the baking time if you notice that the edges are getting too dark, cover with strips of aluminum foil. Or you can cover the entire surface of the pie with aluminum foil and make large slits in the foil and pull it back to expose the center part of the pie.

Cool on a cooling rack for an hour or two. We always serve our pie with vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!

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