I’m way behind. I posted a teaser on Facebook a week ago about this. Last week completely ran away from me! Anyway, believe me when I say that the wait is worth it for this baby.
As I mentioned on FB, I bought some delicious looking strawberries and rhubarb at the store last weekend. One of my favorite flavor combinations, especially in the summertime, is strawberry and rhubarb. The tartness of the rhubarb complements and the sweet strawberries so well! I’ve also been dying to make a pie. The last time I made a pie was probably Christmas. Pies are hard to bring to social gatherings. They’re usually kind of messy (as opposed to a cake or cupcake that can be cut and served cleanly). You have to use a utensil. And they can really only feed up to 12 people, unless your giving out slivers, which is just mean.
I found a way around this dilemma because Smitten Kitchen had just posted a new recipe for strawberry rhubarb crisp bars. I made them for a get-together my friends were throwing to celebrate their SO’s taking their second CFA exam (which, if you don’t know, consumes your life for months with studying). They were amazing and everyone loved them. You can go to SK’s site to get that recipe. Today, I’m just going to show you the pie I made the next day, for no reason in particular.
It’s, of course, from Joy the Baker and it was everything I could have ever imagined. I love her pie crust. It’s super flaky but easy to work with. The strawberry-rhubarb filling is sweet and gooey and easily servable (not a word, but you get what I’m saying), especially if you have enough patience to let it cool a bit (which I didn’t). The crisp topping is buttery, crumbly, and cooks to a perfect golden brown.
Only because I was desperate and had none, I served my slices with frozen Cool Whip. It was still pretty delicious, but I highly recommend having some vanilla ice cream at the ready when you make this. It may even be better the second day after the juices have thickened. Mine actually lasted a few days wrapped in foil on the counter. After giving 2 slices to my parents, serving it to a few of my coworkers at a (ehem….) Pretty Little Liars premiere party, and 2 to my sister and her boyfriend, I still had a couple pieces left for Tyler and myself.
I didn’t make too many changes to this. I didn’t have any lemon juice, but I didn’t feel like the filling was too sweet without it. My pie was also about 75% strawberries – the rhubarb didn’t go as far as I thought it would. Again, still amazing and although I didn’t think it was too sweet, it is definitely sweeter than if I had the 50/50 proportion. Lastly, I didn’t add coconut or nuts to the topping. I’m not the biggest fan of coconut and wanted the topping to be simple.
After you pick some fresh strawberries this weekend, make this one right away. Trust me. It’s worth it.
Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumb Pie
Joy the Baker
Yields 1 9-inch pie
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
- ¼ cup plus 1 to 2 tablespoon cold buttermilk
- 3 cups ½-inch thick sliced rhubarb (about 1 pound)
- 1 pound strawberries, hulled and sliced in half
- ⅓ cup light brown sugar, packed
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- large pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup old-fashioned oats
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- large pinch of salt
- 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
- ½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes OR coarsely chopped pecans (optional)
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Add cold, cubed butter and work the butter into the flour mixture using your fingers. Quickly break the butter down into the flour mixture, some butter pieces will be the size of oat flakes, some will be the size of peas. Create a well in the mixture and pour in the cold buttermilk. Use a fork to bring to dough together. Try to moisten all of the flour bits. Add a bit more buttermilk if necessary, but you want to mixture to be shaggy and not outwardly wet.
On a lightly floured work surface, dump out the dough mixture. It will be moist and shaggy. That’s perfect. Gently knead into a disk. Wrap the disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Allowing the dough to rest in the refrigerator will help rechill the butter and distribute the moisture.
To roll out the pie crust, on a well floured surface, roll the crust 1/8 inch thick and about 12 inches in diameter. Transfer it to a pie pan. Trim the edge almost even with the edge of the pan (set aside – see below). Fold the edges under and crimp with your fingers or a fork. Cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for a minimum of 30 minutes and a maximum of 3 hours.
In a medium bowl, toss together rhubarb, strawberries, sugars, cornstarch, salt, and lemon juice. Toss until all of the fruit is covered in a coating of sugar and cornstarch. The cornstarch will disappear and the sugars will begin to make juice with the fruit. Allow to rest at room temperature while you make the topping.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, oats, sugar, and salt. Add the cold butter chunks and, using your fingers, work the butter into the flour mixture. Quickly break the butter down into the mixture until well incorporated. Some butter bits will be the size of peas, and smaller. Add the coconut or pecans, if using, and toss to combine.
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
Remove the pie crust from the refrigerator. Toss a handful (about ½ cup) of the topping mixture into the fruit mixture. Dump the fruit mixture into the pie crust. Cover generously with topping. Place on the prepared baking sheet and place in the oven. It’s important to use the middle rack because if the pie is too close to the top of the oven, the coconut will burn quickly.
Bake the pie for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350°F and bake for another 35 to 45 minutes, or until the pie is juicy, bubbling, and golden brown.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 2 hours before serving. This will help the juices mellow and thicken a bit. Serve with vanilla ice cream. Store covered in the refrigerator.
NOTE: Don’t know what to do with the extra pie crust? This may be my favorite part of making pies. Press the pieces into a ball and roll the dough out pretty thinly, but not so much that you can see through it. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar generously. Starting at one end, roll the dough and cut in small pieces with a very sharp knife. Arrange the pieces on a cookie sheet (I used a small cake pan) and bake along with the pie for 10-15 minutes. The sugar oozes out and caramelizes on the bottom of the pan. Amazing. Let cool for 5-10 minutes (good luck!) and enjoy nice and warm. You may eat them all. Just a warning.