Saturday, June 9, 2012

June 9: National Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Day

I still maintain that the best strawberry rhubarb pies are from the The Purple Pie Place in Custer, South Dakota.  I have some great memories of the strawberry rhubarb pie from there, including a very special one where a friend and I ate a whole one by ourselves.

After my previously detailed mishaps with making pie, the logical thing would be for me to just buy a pie to celebrate today.  Or at least, use a recipe while baking a pie.  I like to think I'm normally pretty logical, but today, maybe due to a serious lack of sleep, my logic went something like this: "Oh, hey, I have some rhubarb still in the freezer from when I tried making rhubarb pie.  I think I have some frozen strawberries....but I don't have that many....I'll make mini pies!"

The lesson I learned today?  I should really master making pies before I even attempt mini pies. 

Instead of buying pie crust or sticking to a recipe I've already used and liked, I decided to try a new pie crust recipe.    It came out pretty good.  I felt the dough was a little dry and kept crumbling when I was rolling it, but it's not bad - just passable.  I lightly sprayed a standard muffin pan and pressed the dough into six of the cups.  The pie crust never realy developed the nice tan or light brown color that is usually associated with perfect crusts.

The pie filling however?  That was just tossing the frozen rhubarb and strawberries together, sprinkling on half a cup of sugar, scooping some into each lined cup, and putting the remainder back in the freezer.  See the major problem here?

I forgot flour or some sort of thickener.

As a result, the filling bubbled up and oozed all over.  It was rather messy.  It was also a little difficult to get the "pies" out of the cups, so next time I try something like this, I'll use my silicone cupcake liners.  The "pies" were tasty, if a bit tart. 

If you're looking to make your own strawberry rhubarb pie, a few days ago The Kitchn posted a strawberry rhubarb pie.  You can also try one from the ever helpful Food Network.  Just follow the directions if you're not a big pie-making person.  Don't repeat my errors - I do that often enough myself.

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