Monday, July 22, 2013

Strawberry, Blackberry and Rhubarb Pie

I am addicted to The Next Food Network Star competition. The whole concept is fascinating.  These Next Food Network Star wannabes (me) are given a challenge and then an hour or less to come up with, cook and present their dish (not me – read the “About Me” – “I’m no chef (I follow recipes)”).  David and I have our favorites (there are 5 contestants remaining. Watch next Sunday 8pm CST and make your pick!) and a few recipes have been enticing enough to try! 

Strawberry, Blackberry and Rhubarb Pie
This pie was made by “The Pie Guy” Rodney Henry.  Most of Rodney’s dishes are made into a pie.  Different from the pie that he made on the show, it doesn’t have the bacon infused streusel topping but no one was complaining about a traditional lattice crust.  The recipe below is a merging of Rodney’s and a similar one from The Joy of Cooking.

I have never tried rhubarb.  I found it in the vegetable section of Tom Thumb although in 1947 it was declared by a New York court as a fruit.  It looks like reddish-pink celery and has a strong, tart taste. 

Try a slice!
1.      2 C whole blackberries (2 – 6 oz containers)
2.      2 C strawberries, destemmed and sliced (16 oz/1 lb container)
3.      2 stalks rhubarb (@ 2/3 c), sliced into 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces
4.      1 ½ T lemon juice
5.      1 C sugar
6.      2 T cornstarch or tapioca starch
7.      Pie crust, like Pillsbury pie crust in the refrigerator section
8.      Topping: whipped cream or vanilla ice cream

Place the oven rack in the lowest position in the oven.  Preheat the oven to 425. 

Put the blackberries, strawberries, rhubarb, and lemon juice into a large bowl. Add the sugar and cornstarch and combine.

Place a pie crust into an 8-inch pie pan.  Pour the filling into the pie pan.  Top with second pie crust and cut slits to allow steam to escape.  Or create a lattice crust.*  Brush the pie crust with milk; sprinkle sugar (about 2 t) on the moist top crust.

Place the pie on the bottom rack (this will allow the pie crust to cook and become crisp even with a very juicy pie filling.  Bake at 425 for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, turn the oven to 350 and place the pie on a baking sheet to catch any juices that bubble over.  Cover the crust edges (not the lattice middle) with aluminum foil to slow down the cooking.  Cook for another 25-35 minutes.

Allow the pie to cool before serving.  Even with the cornstarch, the filling will be slightly runny.  Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.  The pie is best eaten on the day that it is made.  Store leftovers in the refrigerator for one day.

*Lattice crust: lay out the pie crust on a cutting board.  Cut the pie crust vertically into strips (@1/2 inch).  Remove every other strip and place it horizontally.  Weave the horizontal strips over and under the vertical strips.  Press down slightly where the strips oversect to form a cohesive pie crust.  Flip the cutting board over on top of the pie and peel off, if necessary.  Center over the pie and crimp the edges with the bottom crust to seal. 

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