I love pies because they're both a science and an art form. And whenever I watch a film or miniseries about a strong woman who turns her life around with the help of her famous pie making skills, I always wish I could bake more of them. So, Ms Mildred Pierce, this one's for you!
First up, Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, thanks to a recipe from smittenkitchen.com. The recipe is below, as are some pictures of how mine turned out. Not too shabby for a first attempt.
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
1 recipe All Butter, Really Flaky Pie Dough or double-crust pie dough of your choice
3 ½ cups (about 1 ½ pounds, untrimmed) rhubarb, in ½ inch think slices
3 ½ cups (about 1 pound) strawberries, hulled and slice if big, halved if tiny
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ 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 ½ 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.
OK, so my pie came out a little runny, even after sitting overnight. Maybe it was the generic brand tapioca? Who knows. But I really had so much fun, and the pie tasted, well…
May this be the start of a new tradition! Take a breath. Make a pie.