I have had a hankering for pie lately. I made a peach crisp two weeks ago, but this hankering was for a real two-crust pie. Cherry pie is my favorite, but a good Strawberry-Rhubarb will do in a pinch. Considering the fact that we don't have canned pie filling in Sweden, there is also considerably less pitting involved in a Strawberry-Rhubarb pie. The proliferation of strawberries in our little patch in the yard was the kick in the pants I needed to make it happen. The toddler just wants to eat the wild strawberries called smultron that grow in the woods and along our road, and the big kid has a general aversion to red food items. So I had to do something with the berries amassing in my refrigerator.
We had to stop at the store to pick up butter, flour, sugar and eggs, which the girls and I did after I had picked them up. The toddler decided that she wanted to escape as soon as we were in the checkout line, and I had to assign toddler-chasing duty to the big girl. This is why my children are six years apart. Whew.
So once we got home, I made the Pate Brisee. There probably should be accents in there somewhere, because it is French for all-butter pastry. We don't have shortening in Sweden either, so this is my standby where pies are concerned. I had always used Martha Stewart's recipe, but had been checking out a blog called Smitten Kitchen lately, and hers was basically the same with extra sugar. I liked the result better. I am sticking to my food processor, however, because hey, who makes more work than they need to?
After a complaint-free dinner of tacos whilst my dough chilled in the fridge, I rolled it out and made the filling.
We took a vote, and decided to go for a lattice top rather than a plain one. My husband's vote was "What's that mean?" and Big girl's vote was "Lettuce?" and the toddler said "Googie."
It is good to dampen the edge of the bottom crust before you assemble the lattice so that it adheres. Then you just weave by folding back every-other strip in turns.
Once done, you trim with a good sized overhang, about two inches, then go around the pie and fold it under. If anything seems loose, moisten it with a little water. If any spot around the edge is too thin, use your scraps and a little water to thicken it from underneath.
Then you flute it. There are many ways to flute a pie crust. This time, I just took a good pinch and a slight twist and there you go. Slightly moistening the edge, if need be, makes it more pliable.
Then using an egg-wash made of 1 yolk beaten with 1 tsp. water, brush the top. Sprinkle with a touch of white sugar for show.
Bake at 400 F/200 C for 20-25 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350 F/165 C for another 30 or until the crust is golden and the fruit tender. Baking at two temperatures meant I didn't even have to do the "tricky foil edge during the middle of baking whilst burning myself in the hot oven to avoid a burnt crust" maneuver.
The end result:
My kids probably won't eat it, but do I care? What are treats for, if not to be consumed after the kids' bedtime?
Enough for two single-crust pies or a double-crust pie. Freezes well!
2 1/2 cups (315 grams) flour1 tablespoon (15 grams) sugar
1 teaspoon (5 grams) table salt
1 c. (225 grams) butter, very cold
1/2 c. cold water with ice in it
Put the flour in your food processor (or do it by hand if your are an overachiever). Cube the butter and place it on top, add sugar and salt. Then pulse it until the butter and flour are slightly combined. Trickle the water around, not the ice, then pulse a bit more. Add water and pulse a couple of times alternately until the mealy mass just barely starts to become dough-like. Then dump it out on a prepared surface and divide in two, squishing it into 2 discs. The less you work with it, the better. Wrap the discs in plastic wrap and chill.
Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie filling
Generally you would use more rhubarb and less strawberries than I did, but you use what you have available.
Combine in large bowl:
1 c. chopped rhubarb
4 c. strawberries, halved
1/2 c. brown sugar, scant
1/4 c. white sugar
2 t. vanilla
a dash of salt
1/4 c. + 3 T. corn starch
For egg wash:
1 egg yolk + 1 tsp. cold water, beaten.
Arrange in prepared bottom crust, placed in glass pie plate. Cover with top crust or lattice-top, flute edge, and brush with egg wash. Sprinkle with a little sugar and bake in preheated oven at 400 F for the first 25 minutes and then turn down to 350 F for the next 30 or so. Let cool so the juices thicken a bit. Real foodies add tapioca to their filling to thicken it, but guess what else we don't have in Sweden?