Over the weekend I decided that it was finally time to harvest some of the rhubarb from my garden. I started the first plants a couple of years ago, but until this year they didn’t seem big enough to be able to steal a few stems. One of the things we love to do with rhubarb is Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, but I’ve never been completely happy with the results. They’re often too runny or too pasty if I use flour to thicken, or if I try to use tapioca with a lattice crust, some of the tapioca ends up crunchy. This time I made one that was just right.
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
8oz rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
8-12 oz strawberries sliced
1/4 cup quick tapioca
3/4 cup sugar
squeeze of lemon juice
bottom crust for 8 or 9-inch pie
Preheat oven to 450°. Mix the first 5 ingredients in a bowl and let sit for at least 15 minutes. Meanwhile roll out the bottom crust and use it to line a pie dish. It was over 90° this weekend, so I ended up putting the lined pie dish back into the fridge to chill before filling it. Fill the pie dish with the filling, top with the crumb topping. Bake in the 425° oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350° and cook another 30 minutes or until fruit is tender.
In the winter I made a big batch of crumb topping and kept the part I didn’t use in the freezer. That way anytime I wanted a quick apple crisp I could peel and slice a couple of apples, throw them in a bowl with some cinnamon and sugar, throw on a bit of crumb topping straight out of the freezer and have a quick dessert. It was very convenient to have the frozen crumb topping on hand for this pie as it was too hot to be making it from scratch. My crumb topping is based on the Apple Crisp recipe in the Loaf & Ladle Cookbook by Jean Harlow. Here are the proportions:
1 cup flour
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup brown sugar (add more if you like things sweeter, but I like to add sugar to the filling if it needs it)
3/4 tsp salt
Mix all the dry ingredients, then cut in the butter until it looks like coarse breadcrumbs. Sprinkle on top of a fruit filling, or put in a freezer bag and freeze.