Don’t be intimidated about pie making. I made my first pie when I was fairly young with my mother’s help. Since then with practice I can quickly whip out a pie in an hour. My grandmother made fresh homemade pie for our annual summer picnic and thanksgiving but it was considered a fuss to make. Once I learned how to bake pies, I became the family pie maker and I really enjoy it. If you make your pies with fresh ingredients you can’t go wrong.
Pie is something that just makes a special occasion better. This past mother’s day I made my mom a strawberry rhubarb pie. I used a recipe from Fanny Farmer. Mid spring is a great season for strawberries and rhubarb. The local strawberries around our area have not yet ripened but the stores have them arriving from California. I had bought a bunch of strawberries and they were starting to go bad, over ripened and a few spots of mold. I just cut off the bad pieces and they are great to bake in a pie. The price of rhubarb recently went down so I know it is in season. The tartness of the rhubarb complements the sweetness of the berries well.
I decided to make this pie unique by cutting out pieces of the top crust into heart shapes with cookie cutters. For something I have never done before it turned out wonderfully. It is like the lattice top I usually put on berry pies.
The pie was very delicious and was a good treat for my Mom on Mother’s day.
Sweetheart Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
9-inch Pie crust:
2 ½ cups flour
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup shortening or cold butter
3-4 tablespoons cold water
Mix together the flour and salt. Then mix in the shortening with a fork or pastry blender by cutting it into small pea sized pieces. Add water mixing after each addition until dough holds together. Be sure not to add too much water as this will cause the dough to be too sticky. Divide the dough into two balls. Roll out one with a rolling pin on a floured surface and place it in a pie pan, or press it into a pan until it is mostly even. Crimp the edges to make the crust edge and set aside. Roll out the second ball and cut out the shapes for the top crust. The extra pieces can be re-rolled and used again for more shapes.
1 ¼ cup sugar
4 tablespoons flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups rhubarb, cut into ¼ inch pieces
3 cups strawberries cut into 1/4ths
2 tablespoons butter
First mix the sugar, flour, and salt in a medium sized bowl. Add cut rhubarb and strawberries to the bowl and mix until all pieces are coated. Put filling in the pie shell. Then sprinkle the remaining sugar mix on top. Be sure not to pile the filling higher than the rim. Scatter small pieces of butter around top of the pie. Arrange pie top crust shapes. Bake for 10 minutes at 450˚F then lower the temperature to 350˚F for 30 to 40 minutes. Pie should be done when crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling. Place on a cooling rack and serve warm or chilled with vanilla ice cream.