Friday, June 7, 2013

Easy as Pie - REVISTED!

It's a cooler day today and I have the day off from work, but Dale doesn't.  So I decided to make pie again for him with the frozen fruit I saved from the last time I made pie.  I would make the pie with fresh fruit though because the lovely "dome" top isn't as dramatic when you use thawed fruit.  Although this pie did turn out quite attractive if I do say so myself since I did a better job at fluting the edges.  

This pie was so beautiful the last time I made it but it was very runny.  So I've added an alternate filling prep.  I heard this clever way on "The Splendid Table" which is one of my favorite shows on NPR.

I also adjusted the pie crust recipe and swapped the vinegar with vodka.  The crust turned out so much nicer and very soft and smooth.  The last crust was a bit dry.   All new changes to the previous recipe I posted have been marked **.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie v2.0

(Serves 8)

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (for ceramic or glass pie plate)
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus up to 1/4 cup additional as needed
1/2 cup cake flour (Softasilk is the brand suggested and what I used)
1 T powdered sugar
pinch salt
1/2 cup butter-flavored shortening (Crisco is what I used and they come in handy sticks that are easy to measure and cut)
1/4 cup salted butter
1 egg
**1 T vodka, very cold
1/4 cup ice cold water, more if needed

Pinto bean pie weights
Sift all dry ingredients together and cut in shortening and butter until you have a crumb consistency and the fat is approximately the size of small peas.  Whisk together the wet ingredients and pour over the cut dry mixture and blend until you have a soft dough that comes together easily; add a little more ice cold water if needed.  Your dough should not be sticky and do not over-work it.  Dust with flour and wrap in plastic wrap or put in a plastic bag and chill in the fridge if you can.

Divide dough into half and roll out bottom crust and place in your pie pan that has not been greased.  Chill in refrigerator while you roll out the top crust and keep this cool if possible while you make the filling.

You can also pre-baked the bottom crust at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes using parchment paper and pinto beans as pie weights.

2 1/2 cups chopped red rhubarb, fresh
2 1/2 cups de-stemmed; washed and cut fresh strawberries (large pieces)
**3/4 cup sugar (you can adjust up to 1 1/2  [1 1/4 at high altitude] cup if you like a sweeter pie)
**3 T Minute Tapioca (less if you like a runnier pie)
1 T all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp lemon zest, fresh (you can use a fine shredder but I have a micro-plane and it works like a charm)
1/2 tsp lemon juice, fresh
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract

3 T butter, cubed small for dotting

Crust Assembly & Topping:
1 egg white beaten with 1 tsp of water
Large granular sugar if you have it or regular works too

Mix all filling ingredients together and  fill your crust with the mixture (OR I highly recommend that you use the alternate preparation below if you have the time to reduce having a runny pie ; dot the top with the butter cubes.  Brush the crust edge with the egg white mixture and put the top crust on and pinch and flute the edges with your fingers or a fork.  Cut decorative slits in the top to allow the steam to release and brush the top and edges of the crust with more egg white mixture and sprinkle liberally with the large granular sugar; loosely collar your pie edge with foil or leave off if you don't mind over-browned edges.  Place pie on a rimmed cookie sheet to catch any spills.

Bake for 15 minutes and then decrease temperature to 350 degrees F and bake an additional 45-50 minutes.  I removed the foil collar at this time and the whole top browned nice and evenly.

Drained Juice Reduction
Draining Fruit
**Alternate filling preparation to reduce : Do all of this well before you bake your pie, or while your crusts are chilling in the fridge.  Mix all filling ingredients minus the butter for dotting.  Let the filling sit for about half an hour to allow all of the juices to collect.  Then drain the fruit in a fine sieve and collect the juices in a bowl for about another half hour.  Set the fruit aside and bring the collected juice to a boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes until a nice syrup is forming and the liquid had reduced by half.  Let this syrup cool a bit and right before you are ready to fill the pie, mix it with the drained fruit mix and fill your pie. 

Once the top is golden brown and delicious and you see the juices bubbling remove your pie.  Let it cool completely before slicing and serving. 

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