I’ve been talking and thinking about food blogging for a while. So I’ve taken the time and voila, first post. It’s pretty exciting to start something fresh and new. I thought I’d start off nice and easy with a welcoming, homey pie.
My love of pie is pretty serious; the easy rusticism, the clear intentions of sharing and gathering involved, the obvious nods to seasonal offerings, the passed down wisdom of pastry making… it’s a communal effort. Rhubarb and strawberry has always been a favourite combination with my peeps, that whole sweet and sour thing. Strawberries are beautiful right now and the field rhubarb is deep, ruby red. The kicker is the pastry though. It features spelt flour, which loans a nutty and sweet heartiness. In its flour form, spelt is a whole grain that eases into most all purpose flour-based recipes pretty seamlessly. I’ve kept the filling simple, but a few dried lavender buds or some lime zest would be great in here.
rhubarb and strawberry pie
pastry recipe from Kim Boyce’s Good to the Grain
serves: makes 1 nine inch pie
special equipment: a 9″ pie dish, rolling pin & food processor (optional)
This pastry is a bit dry-seeming since the spelt will soak up quite a bit of the moisture. Just be ginger with your handling, flour all of your surfaces really well and don’t overthink it. From my experience, stressing about technique amounts to crummy pastry almost every time. Also, feel free to use all vegetable shortening (the non-hydrogenated kind please!) in favour of the butter for a vegan pie. Or go all butter if that’s how you roll.
1 1/3 cups whole spelt flour
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp natural sugar
1 tsp fine sea salt
4 ounces (1 stick) cold butter, diced
1/4 cup cold, non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening, diced
1/2 cup ice water
3 cups rhubarb, 1/2 inch dice
3 cups strawberries, cut into quarters
1 cup natural sugar
1/3 cup flour (spelt or all purpose)
juice from 1/2 an orange (or lemon)
Begin with the pastry. Combine the flours, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a couple of times to combine. Add the diced butter and shortening, coating the little pieces in the dry mixture as you put it into the bowl (watch out for the blade!). Pulse a couple of times until the butter pieces are the size of small peas (or cut in with a pastry cutter). With the motor running, pour the ice water in through the feed tube until you see the dough forming and sticking together. If it holds when pinched together, it’s ready. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and form into two discs. Wrap both in saran and chill for at least an hour.
For the filling, combine fruit with sugar, flour and orange juice. Set aside.
Roll one pastry disc out on a well-floured surface with an equally well-floured rolling pin to a rough 12 inch circle. From the top of the pastry, gently roll it backwards, gathering it onto the rolling pin. Lift and un-roll gathered pastry into the pie dish, loosely draping it over and gently tucking it into the little nooks.
Place filling into the bottom crust, mounding it in the center a bit. Roll second pastry disc into a slightly smaller circular shape (you may have to patch some holes with stray pieces–this is totally fine). Gently roll it over the top of the filling, using the previous pastry gathering technique. Pinch the edges of both crusts together by crimping, using fork tines, whatever you like. Trim excess from the edges with a paring knife and cut a few steam holes on the top. Apply egg wash if you’re fancy.
Cover the edges of the pie with some aluminum foil, place in a 400F oven on a parchment lined baking sheet. Turn the oven down to 350F and bake for around 45-50 minutes, removing the foil in the last 10 minutes or so. Pie is done when the top crust is golden brown and lovely, deep pink juice is seeping out.
Let the pie cool on a wire rack for at least two hours.
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