Sunday, April 10, 2011

Raspberry Rhubarb Pie

A first real spring weekend with sun enough to wear t-shirts, go into the yard, and root around! The garlic has sprouted in surprisingly neat little rows, the chives are long enough to cut, the herbs are coming back to life, and the weeds are really quite happy. OK, the rhubarb is just a cluster of little red nubs, but when I look at it the back of my tongue gets warm and the tip curls up just like when I put them fresh cooked in my mouth. And we really have a few bags of raspberries left from last fall’s freezing frenzy. Raspberry and rhubarb have that same perfect blend of tart and sweet that do strawberry and rhubarb, then add the slightly deeper red look and taste of raspberries, and, mmmmmm. We meant to save the raspberry juice and make raspberry whipped cream for the top, but we forgot. It’s in the back of the fridge for raspberry rhubarb royale later in the week!

Raspberry rhubarb pie

3 c. frozen raspberries. 15-20 min till well melted. Strain and save juice,
Mix with:
1 cup sugar
4 big stalks rhubarb chopped into 1/4 inch pieces.
Pour into a pie crust (recipe follows).

Cover with full or lattice top.

Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.

This is by far the flakiest, most tender crust ever.  It's basically the Joy of Cooking recipe, with the special technique that (serendipity?) both our moms used:

For a top and bottom crust:
2 cups flour
2 sticks cold butter
1/3 cup ice water

Put the flour in a large bowl.  Slice the butter as thinly as you can and drop it into the flour.  Using two butter knives, slice crosswise so the flat sides of the knives rub against each other, until the butter is cut into about 1/8" pieces.  Then very quickly, pull up small amounts of the mixture between flat palms that you rub against each other.  DO this 5-10 times.  The butter should NOT be all perfectly mixed in.  Pour the ice water into the middle of the bowl and again very quickly use the tips of your fingers to just barely mix it all the way through.  Flour a thin dish rag.  Put half of the dough into the center.  Pull the edged of the rag up to form a tight ball of dough.  Flatten it slightly with the palm of your hand.  Open the rag, lightly fout the top of the dough, and roll to just a little larger than the size of your pan.  Lift the dough using the rag and flop it over the pan.  Pull the rag off.  Repeat for top crust, or after rolled cut into strips and weave a lattice, starting with one strip in each direction and slowly building out both directions at once.  Let the strips hang over the edge.  Once the lattice is totally built, roll the edges of the bottom crust over the edges of the strips.