Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Rhubarb and Strawberry Pie

Rhubarb and strawberry pie is really a pie of transition. There is a small overlap at the end of the rhubarb season when the first strawberries start coming out, and that's about now. So it's time to get cooking. I was inspired to this pie filling by the wonderful people at joyofbaking.com. If you are not familiar with that page but like baking, bookmark it now. You will come back, I guarantee that. I just made a few spice adjustments to their version. But really, it's a straight forward recipe, so I doubt anyone can really patent it. And then I made my regular pie dough.  To make the dough, make sure all the ingredients are well chilled. If you have a food processor, this is the easiest way to do it. Just whiz the butter and cold flour together until it has the consistency of wet sand. The slowly pour in the water while the machine is on. As soon as it forms to a ball stop, divide the portion in two two pieces (on which is 1/3 and one which is 2/3). Shape like a ball and wrap them in cling film and put the in the fridge for at least an hour before. Alternatively, make the dough with a fork and some elbow grease. Just make sure the butter never gets too warm. You'll need:
Pie dough:
280g flour
1tsp salt
150g cold butter
5-6 tbsp ice cold water
500g Strawberries
500g Rhubarb stalks
150g Sugar
3-4 tbsp cornstarch (sifted)
1 tsp Chinese five spice
1 tsp vanilla powder
1 tsp orange flower water (optional)

Wash the stalks and cut them in equally sized pieces of about 2 cm long. Half the strawberries. Sprinkle the orange flower water over.

 In a separate bowl, sift the corn starch and mix in the sugar, five spice and vanilla. Mix well, reserve 2 tbsp and sprinkle the rest over the strawberries and rhubarb and give it a good toss. Set it aside in the fridge while preparing the dough.
Roll out the bigger ball until it's big enough to fit inside the pie form and go up the sides. I usually do it between a piece of oven paper and some clingfilm lightly dusted with flower. this makes it easier to lift it up into the pie form. Dust the base with the remaining two tablespoons of the sugar mix. 
 Put in the strawberry and rhubarb filling. Roll out the smaller ball of dough. Cut it into strips and start getting creative with your weaving. Turn on the oven at 200ÂșC. While the oven is getting hot, place the pie in the fridge. Brush the top with milk and then bake for about 45 minutes. Let cool down completely before cutting into it. And by completely, I almost mean over night.
As it's such brilliant weather I decided to add a scoop of my homemade ice cream on top and splashed it with some of the juices from the pie. Just heavenly, I have to say.