Spring Fever Recipes
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, very cold
- ¼ cup vegetable shortening, very cold
- 4 - 7 tablespoons ice water
- Pastry for a 9-inch Double Crust Pie
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 cups chopped fresh rhubarb, cut into ½-inch chunks
- 2 cups hulled and chopped fresh strawberries, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small bits
Double Crust Pie
1. Pulse flour and salt in a food processor until combined, about 3 or 4 times. Add cubed butter and shortening, and pulse until butter and shortening break down into pea-sized bits and flakes.
2. With machine running, add 4 tablespoons ice water. Stop and pulse 4 times. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons water and pulse a few times more, until dough just begins to clump together.
3. Spread 2 layers of parchment paper or waxed paper on countertop. Turn piecrust dough out onto paper. Gather edges of paper up and use them to pull dough into a big lump. Open paper and divide lump in two. Wrap each half in plastic and gently shape into a flat plump disk. Chill 2 hours or up to 2 days.
3. To bake a pie, place one lump of chilled dough on a floured surface. Dust a rolling pin with flour and roll out the piecrust. Starting from the center, roll outward, up and down, and on the diagonal, stopping to move the crust clockwise as you roll, so that it doesn’t stick to the surface.
Add more flour as needed and keep moving around the crust to make a big circle.
4. When the crust is at least an inch larger than the rim of the pie pan, gently roll it onto your rolling pin and transfer it to the pie pan. Unroll it to line the pan, moving it around gently, to center it with even edges.
Trim edges to 1 inch from the edge of the pan overhang. Push and tuck gently to place the pastry --- avoid stretching and pulling it to make it fit. If time, chill the pastry lined pie pan for an hour or longer.
5. When ready to bake, fill the crust, place top crust over filling, tuck it in, trim and crimp the edges to seal well, cut vents in the top, and bake as directed.
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
Makes 1 9-inch pie
1. Heat the oven to 425° degrees F. Line a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan with crust, leaving a 1-inch overhang.
2. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Use a fork or a whisk to stir them together well. Add the rhubarb, strawberries, and lemon juice, and mix very gently using a large spoon.
3. Scrape the mixture into the piecrust and distribute the butter bits evenly over the strawberry-rhubarb filling.
4. Gently place the top crust over the filled pie, and center it. Tuck the crust in at the edges of the filling, without stretching it. Trim away extra crust and press the edges together well. Fold the crust edge in and over, pressing it down around the edges of the filled pie. Crimp it, pinch it, or use the back of a fork to press it to the pie pan, letting the lines of the fork make a design on the edge.
Use a sharp knife to make slits in the top all around the edge of the pie. (These allow the juicy filling to bubble up as it heats up and thickens and lets steam escape during baking. (See Notes if you want to finish the crust with an egg-wash for color: optional).
4. Place the pie on a baking sheet to catch any spills and place it on the bottom rack of the oven. Bake at 425° degrees F for 15 minutes, and then lower the temperature to 350 degrees.
Continue baking, until the pink filling bubbles up through the vents in the top crust, and the pastry is golden brown, 45 to 50 minutes more.
5. Place the pie on a cooling rack or a folded kitchen towel and let it cool for at least 15 minutes. Serve it warm or at room temperature.
To enhance the beauty of your piecrust, you can add an egg-wash to the unbaked crust just before you place it in the oven for baking. Using a fork, beat one egg and a teaspoon of water well in a small bowl. Use a pastry brush to coat the entire surface of the piecrust with this egg mixture, keeping the coating thin and even. If the egg pools around the crust area, brush or blot it so that it is absorbed into the crust. Bake as directed.
If the crust browns fully before the pie is completely done, cover it loosely with a sheet of aluminum foil. Remove the foil and let it continue baking for 5 minutes uncovered, once the pie is done.
Vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or heavy cream make lovely accompaniments to this juicy and beautiful pie. Think of this as a very nice bonus, but not necessary.