What!? I know! Where the hell have I been? I’ve been incredibly rude by not posting, and I apologize. But I tell you, there’s been so much going on this summer I haven’t known if I’m coming or going half the time. I’ve only got time to write this because I’m on a 5-hour train ride down the coast to a client seminar.
I also must admit, I’m loving Santa Barbara. There are so many wonderful distractions it’s made it easy to ignore my little blog—my garden, my new running buddy, restaurants, our new bikes, parks like the Douglas Preserve, events like the Solstice parade…and let’s not forget the new, larger kitchen.
It’s true. I haven’t stopped cooking, I just haven’t had the time to get everything on to the blog. My camera is filled with photos of food, food I’ve been told is delicious, so I’ve got to get it out to you so you can decide for yourself. And the garden is really starting to come into its own—more on that soon!
I actually made this recipe over Memorial Day weekend (yes, that’s how backlogged I am!), but it’s a summer classic. It reminds me of my mom—she made strawberry-rhubarb pie on occasion, and I loved it. It was always much better than her strawberry-only pie, which was covered in some red goo that’s hopefully classified as toxic today. And since she’s been gone for (gulp!) 20 years next month, it’s a wonderful way to remember her.
But people, if you try this pie, please use tapioca pearls. I thought that tapioca flour would work, but dear readers, it does not. It was still tasty and tangy (and of course my vodka pie crust rocked!), but I hated to see that the filling was a little soupy.
So, here you go. The best thing to happen to strawberries and rhubarb in some really flaky crust. Oh, and make sure to bake ahead of time. This is not a served-fresh-from-the-oven pie. You need to give the juices time to gel, like a few hours.
Pie crust dough for a two-crust pie (Use your favorite recipe, but I really recommend mine)
3 1/2 cups (about 1.5 lbs., untrimmed) rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch slices
3 1/2 cups (about 1 lb.) strawberries, hulled and sliced or quartered, depending on size
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Zest of one lemon
2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup quick-cooking tapioca pearls
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon water or milk
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Put rhubarb, strawberries, sugars, lemon, ginger, salt and tapioca in a large bowl and stir until well coated. Set aside while you roll out half of your dough to roughly 12 inches in diameter. Transfer carefully into your pie dish. I usually do this by rolling the dough loosely around the rolling pin, then rolling it out over the pie plate. Easy peasy.
Pile the filling in the pie pan over crust and top with the pieces of unsalted butter. Roll second half of pie dough into an 12-inch circle. Do you want to get fancy and do that beautiful lattice-top pie like I did? Watch this video. Yes, I should have made my own video, but if I can’t find the time to write a blog for almost three months, you think I got the time to film and edit a video? That’s what YouTube is for. This one’s from Pillsbury. Use their directions, but don’t use their dough. Please. You may as well eat paste.
You can just roll out the pie crust and put it on top, cutting some attractive slits in the top to let the steam escape. This part is really important. Don’t just throw the crust on top. It will be disastrous, believe me.
Trim top and bottom pie dough so that they hand over the pie plate edge by only 1/2 to 3/4 inch. Tuck rim of dough underneath itself and pinch with fingers.
Transfer pie to a baking sheet covered in foil or parchment paper. If you’ve made this pie right, it will probably overflow and make a mess of your pan (or oven if you ignore the pan advice.) Brush egg yolk mixture over dough. Bake for 20 minutes then reduce temperature to 350°F and bake for an additional 25 to 30 minutes, until the pie is golden and the juices are bubbling.
Transfer pie to wire rack to cool, or a windowsill, if you want to pretend you’re Betty Crocker or in some sort of Leave It to Beaver episode. I can’t be held responsible for theft, accidental knocking over by pets or bird attacks.
Oh, and by the way, be prepared for my blog to be hijacked by this little guy. Yes, there will be another addition to the Tiny Kitchen Stories household! I’m going to have to publish my dog food recipe soon.