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Yesterday as usual, I was woken up nicely by NPR’s Morning Edition.  They had a piece on Pi Day, you know, the 3.14 kind.  What a perfect time to try out my “pie” making skills again.  You see I’m a bit challenged in the pastry department.  I can make the filling just fine but homemade crust is just a pain in the pie.  Here’s a rhubarb pie I made two years ago.  Take a look at it, I think I’ve actually managed to make a homelier looking crust!  What do you think? 

Raspberry Rhubarb Pie

Looks can be deceiving.  Let me tell you, there are actually some improvements from the last time I made pie crust.  Instead of using all butter, I decided to use half butter and half lard.  The lard smelled a bit bacony which made me nervous but the scent was gone once the pie cooked.  What was left was a certain something that just made it all taste so good.  Is there something a little pork fat cannot improve?  I was inspired by the oldstyle recipes from a newly acquired book, American Cookery by James Beard.  Congratulate me because I managed to actually roll out my dough this time instead of just pressing the crumb mixture onto the pie plate.  The middle part of the rolled dough held up but the outer edges were ragged.  Oh well, at least I was able to lift it up in one piece and made it into the pie plate.  The texture of the crust was much improved, not as thick and hard to bite as last time, it broke up easily in my mouth.  You could feel a mixture of crumbly, flaky, moist, and dry.  Next time, I’d like a bit more flakiness.  Any ideas on how to make that happen? 

This Time I’m Actually Showing a Side View

RECIPE

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F

Rhubarb & Raspberry Filling

Ingredients

  • 1 c. chopped rhubarb  (frozen from my garden)
  • 2 c. raspberries (frozen, Bures Berry Patch)
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 T. lemon juice
  • 3/4 c. sugar (just a little tart with this amount which I like, you can add more)
  • 2 T. cornstarch
  • 1 t. salt
  • 2 T. butter

Crust

Ingredients

  • 3/4 c. butter
  • 3/4 c. lard
  • 1 t. salt
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1/4 c. cold water

Let the fats come to room temperature.  Sift the salt and flour before adding the fats.  Us a fork or a pastry cutter to work the fat into the flour.  Form into a ball using a plastic wrap then let it rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes.  Cut a little over one half of the piece for the bottom crust then use the rest for the top.

Pour the filling into the pie plate.  Decorate the top.  Cook in a 450 degree F over for 15 minutes then turn it down to 350 and cook for an additional 25 to 30 minutes.  When you see the filling bubbling all over then it is ready.  Let it cook for a couple of hours before eating. 

 

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