Tuesday, May 22, 2007

rhubarbed wire kisses

Last night was The Jesus and Mary Chain at Webster Hall. I admit the show didn't blow me away, and it took a few songs for them to get their shit together, but it was still worth it to see them live. Strange crowd, though. And what's with the wandering beer guy? Are we at a baseball game? God, Webster hall sux.

Anyway, on to more important issues: Strawberry Rhubarb Pie.

Or, as it has now become known, "The Mildly Disastrous Fruit-Plant Pie Incident". Perhaps I'm being too hard on myself, but the rundown of mistakes is a little disheartening. First, I totally didn't get enough rhubarb. How the hell should I know? I've never cooked the weird plant before. That led to the most annoying disaster, the top of the pie caved in.

There it is off to the right. Okay, so I tried to take the photo so that you couldn't see the extent of the cave-in. But it's there. I made the mistake of using the deep-dish pie plate for a pie that didn't have enough filling for a deep-dish pie because I didn't get enough rhubarb, so I couldn't make a decent edge on the pie and there was not enough filling to hold up the top crust. It was a sad little pie in that deep-dish plate.

I also put too much orange rind in it. One recipe did say to use orange rind in a Rhubarb Pie, but omit it for a Strawberry Rhubarb Pie. But another recipe had it, so I went with it, and totally didn't measure. I just zested directly into the bowl of fruit/vegetable. If you didn't know, rhubarb is already pretty tart, so it really doesn't need a lot of orange zest. And oh yeah, I initially cut the pieces way too big, got nervous about the potential stringiness of the rhubarb, and ended up cutting everything smaller after I had already let it sit in the sugar/tapioca mixture. Thus, a big mess. I should have anticipated disaster when the box of tapioca spilled all over my apartment. It was doomed from the beginning. But actually, it was still pretty good. J-Cat ate two big pieces and didn't find it tart at all. I think the reason things went wrong is that I read many many different recipes and cobbled together different elements and maybe I just got confused? Yeah, I'll blame it on that. But hey, it's a learning experience, and I think that next time it will work much better. My (amended, but still cobbled together) recipe after the jump:


2 1/2 cups rhubarb (approx 4-5 stalks), ends trimmed and all leaves removed, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 1/2 cups strawberries, hulled and halved
1 1/4 cups sugar (this can be adjusted depending on how sweet the strawberries are, mine were not that sweet)
3 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tsp grated orange zest, optional
2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 egg white
additional sugar for sprinkling
pie crust recipe of your choice, for a 2-crust 9-inch pie

Preheat oven to 400º. In a large mixing bowl, combine rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, tapioca, salt and orange zest. Let sit for 15 minutes.

Line a pie plate with the bottom crust. Fill with the strawberry-rhubarb mixture. Dot the top with the butter pieces.

Lay the top crust over, using egg white to seal if desired, crimp edges. Brush egg white over the top crust and sprinkle lightly with sugar. Cut slits for steam vents.

Place on middle rack of oven and bake for 20 minutes, then lower heat to 350º and bake an additional 30-40 minutes until the crust is browned and the filling is bubbling. Can be served warm or cold, with whipped cream or ice cream.


B said...

We had an office potluck brunch for a coworker's birthday today. One person made an awesome hash with pork sausage, potatos, and apples. And the cake our boss bought was stuffed - with a CHEESECAKE filling. can't...move...falling...aslee-zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

faycat said...

Whoever came up with the idea of stuffing anything with cheesecake is a genius.

faycat said...

Wait, weird, I didn't even post about the cheesecake/chocolate cake that my coworker's got me for my birthday on Monday. Are you psychic? It was a giant cake with three layers - cheesecake, chocolate ganache, and devil's food cake, and the whole thing was covered with a chocolate fudge fondant. Whoa.