Around this time every year, we start seeing two popular spring plants: rhubarb and strawberries. Fresh strawberries will soon be available at road side stands and of course, they can easily be found in the supermarket. Rhubarb also starts showing up, though I've found it more often in the supermarket than anywhere else.
For those who aren't very familiar with rhubarb, this is a vegetable that looks much like celery, except the color of it is red. It must be cooked before it's eaten. While it's not exactly an inexpensive food, you can purchase it fresh, cut it into small pieces and place in Ziploc bags for freezing. Rhubarb freezes great and will come in handy during the months when the fresh isn't available. I like having this in the winter whenever I would like a taste of summer!
Rhubarb was often turned into a pie back years ago. Because it's so sour, you have to add a substancial amout of sugar to be able to enjoy it. When it's sweet enough, it's really good eating. But, here's an interesting combination: let's take strawberries and rhubarb and make "Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie"!
This is a lusicious pie and if you enjoy both strawberries and rhubarb, you will be certain to want to keep this recipe! If you're new to rhubarb and are curious to try it, this would be a great recipe to being with. In this recipe, the rhubarb marries well with the fresh strawberries and bakes up to a pie with the definite flavors of spring.
You would begin with pie pastry, enough to make the shell and for the top. While the refrigerated pie crusts work well, I always like to make my own. If you would like a good recipe for pie crust, I did an article quite a while back on how to do it. This link will take you directly to the recipe and complete directions:
The pastry for the bottom of the pie is placed in the pie pan first thing. For the filling, you combine white and brown sugars, along with some cornstarch and flour to aid in thickening. For additional flavor, nutmeg and orange juice go in. This is turned into the pie shell and dotted with butter. The top crust goes over it and it's into the oven. In about 50 minutes in a 400 degree oven, it's set to go! This is great served plain or with some vanilla ice cream on top.
As I mentioned, it won't be long before the local produce stands will be open for business in selling strawberries. A few years ago, I did an article on how to prepare for picking your own berries and how they should be packaged for storage. Here's the link to the article so you can see how to go about it:
Combine these two flavors of spring together into one luscious pie!
- 1/2 cup each white sugar and firmly-packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 4 cups rhubarb, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
- 2 cups thickly sliced strawberries
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- 2 tablespoons butter
- pastry for a double-crust pie
In a large bowl, combine the sugars, cornstarch, flour, nutmeg, rhubarb, strawberries and orange juice. Set aside while preparing pastry. Line a 9-inch deep pie pan with pastry. Pour filling into the shell. Dot with butter. Add the top crust (or if desired, weave a lattice top.) Bake at 400 degrees for about 50 minutes or until crust is well browned and the fruit is tender. Yield: 6-8 servings.