Tag Archives: strawberry rhubarb

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Perfected

29 Jun

Rhubarb

Strawberry rhubarb pie is MY pie.  The one that I would choose over all others.  The one that I wait 10 months out of the year for and spend the other two hoarding rhubarb as if the apocalypse is upon us. I grow it, I buy it, I steal it from neighbors’ yards.  Nothing stands between me and rhubarb in these late spring and early summer months.

Strawberry rhubarb is also the pie that carries the most memories for me.  My grandmother made it and my recipe is a variation of hers.  For some reason, pie gets more street credit if it comes from a grandmother.  Add to that a Hungarian immigrant grandmother (though strawberry rhubarb has nothing to do with Hungary) and you have a legit legacy happening there. It’s become my mission to perfect this pie.

Truth be told, the original recipe was better in my memories.  It needed a little enhancement, so I have spent the past few years adjusting the recipe in the hopes of perfection.  The one thing standing in my way was the inevitable juice factor – my pie was delicious but habitually runny.  I had almost resigned to the fact that it was just going to be this way until a happy little accident happened to me last week.

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I was preparing a dessert that called for rhubarb to be coated in sugar. Somewhere along the way I didn’t get past this step and bailed on my plans for that particular dessert.  A couple of hours later I decided to make a pie and found that the sugar had helped release much of the water from the rhubarb.  I proceeded with my pie to find that it was PERFECT.  I’m not kidding – compact, beautiful and not runny at all!  This was too good to be true.

I made pie again my usual way.  Delicious but runny.

I made pie again the new way letting the rhubarb sit in sugar ahead of time. Delicious and NOT RUNNY!

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People, I have put the final piece of the puzzle together and I give you the best strawberry rhubarb pie recipe. Continue reading

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Straight Up Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

27 May

One pie that everyone needs to have in their back pocket is a full-on strawberry rhubarb pie.  I’m starting to bore myself with so many posts that mention rhubarb, but whether you like this flavor or not, it’s a show stopper in the late spring and early summer months.  So, I figured I should put an official recipe on here for an actual pie – not just the mini pies or the pie in a jar.

The pie filling is exactly the same as the mini pies and the jar pies, just prepared differently.  For the non-traditional pies, you need to pre-cook the filling, but for a full pie, you keep your filling uncooked.  This is an adaptation of my grandmother’s recipe, and in my humble opinion, I think it’s the best one you’ll find.

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Pie-in-a-Jar: Strawberry Rhubarb

6 May

Pie is my zen. Time and again, I’m always surprised by the random thoughts that enter my mind as I clear my head and focus on making pie.  Over the past few weeks, my pietifications have centered around a funny phenomenon that I now affectionately call the Disappearing Mommy.

I’ve been seeing articles recently about how social media – Facebook specifically – can lower your self esteem and influence your self perception in more negative than positive ways (thank GOODNESS Facebook did not exist when I was a teenager).  While I’m sure these articles make very good points, I just usually shrug them off and feel grateful that I would never allow something as trite as Facebook to influence how I feel about myself.

As usual, I’m a walking contradiction and have realized that Facebook has actually begun to affect the way I see my life as told through photos.   Not a day goes by that I don’t see a beautiful picture posted of a friend in my newsfeed. In the age of Instagram and Hipstamatic i phone apps, beautiful, artsy pictures are being posted left and right.

These women post new profile pictures of themselves more frequently than I can come up with something witty to say in my status update.  The photos are cool – maybe a profile of her staring off in the distance, or a sassy head tilt accompanied by some sun glasses.  Or they are with their children, lost in a gaze or walking in the shadows.  These are not the same pictures that I have of myself – mostly in the middle of talking, chewing or eyes shut.  That’s when I even come across a picture of myself.  See, I wonder who is taking pictures of these women?  Do they take them themselves?  Do they have husbands or partners who fawn over them and carry a camera at all times? Is there a well kept secret that families are hiring professional photographers on a regular basis much like the revelation I just had that a majority of my friends hire housekeepers?

The reality is, even if I wanted to post pictures of myself, I don’t have many to choose from.  And to make matters worse, I don’t have many pictures of me with my children.  I discovered this when my son had an assignment to bring a picture of himself and his Mom to show and tell.  As I was tearing the house apart looking for a picture, I realized that photos of him and his Dad were in abundance, but other than the “just born” photos, the pictures of the two of us were slim.  I finally found one from three years ago, but at least it was the two of us.

And so the photos of my friends and their children flood my Facebook news feed and I wonder what my photo legacy has become.  If something happened to me tomorrow, what snapshots would tell the story of my life with them?

I’ve become the disappearing mommy whose time behind the lens has had the unintended consequence of cheating her out of the opportunity to document her life.  Will they remember how I buried my face under their ear to kiss their necks and smell them?  Will they remember our dance parties in the living room before dinner?  Will they remember that I liked to jump on trampolines and sing karaoke?  I don’t know – no one is taking pictures of that stuff.

I do not have many photos of me and my own Mom.  I have a few family photos, but I honestly don’t know if I have a photo of just the two of us.  Has she always been the one behind the camera?  And if not behind it, avoiding it?  My family is facing generations of disappearing mommies.  Mothers who have created countless photos of the life that happens around them, yet appear all too infrequently on the other side of the lens.

To remedy the disappearing mommy syndrome, I decided that I just need to start asking people to take my picture when the situation warrants.  So, for the past couple of weeks, I have done just that and, you guessed it… posted the pictures on Facebook.

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Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Bites

17 Oct

My parents came to town this weekend, so I wanted to knock their socks off with all this pie I’ve been ranting about (plus, if we’re being honest here,  I knew they would play with the boys and I could bake!).  I planned a pie-a-palooza of a weekend – dough experiments, mini pies, whole pies.

Staring out my kitchen window at the soggy leaves and rainy sky, I wanted just one more taste of warm weather before the winter suffocated me in the northeast Ohio snowbelt.  I knew I had the perfect solution to both a flavor my parents would love and one that would lift my spirits – strawberry rhubarb!  Lucky me, I had the last of the farmer’s market rhubarb frozen in my freezer along side some strawberries.

I had done a trial run a while back, so I set out to perfect my recipe.  I ended up crafting my own filling recipe from a hybrid of Smitten Kitchen and my Hungarian Grandmother’s.  The result: pure spring in every bite!  Love, love, love.

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