I’ve moved on from lemons. It took me a while, as in: it took some silky smooth lemon curd, a to die for lemon cake and some lemon and poppyseed muffins, but I’ve definitely moved on!
‘Cause guess what? Rhubarb is back in town! And strawberries too!
I have to say, I was absolutely psyched when I first spotted those bright red rhubarb stalks at the supermarket again. I had already noticed that strawberries were back in season – I know, that alone is cause for a celebration – but the return of rhubarb just made me feel extra springy and summery. I even painted my toe nails! Which I haven’t done in, like, a million years! Seriously, as soon as I knew rhubarb was available again, I was over lemons…
And I just had to make this gorgeous, summery pie!
It tasted absolutely amazing and my sister and I were soooo proud of it!
That’s right, my sister helped me make this beauty.
One thing you should know about me: I have three sisters. One older sister, who has a lot of kids already, another sister who is just one year younger than I am, and my little sister, the baby of the family. She turned eighteen last September and she just so happens to love rhubarb and strawberries and photography! Needless to say, my little sister and I had been wanting to bake together for some time, but between my thesis (I’ve actually managed a decent chapter today!) and her exams it took us a long time to find time to actually get together and bake our little hearts out…
So when my sister finally finished her exams (well, her third term exams) last week and I was once again stuck on my thesis we jumped at the opportunity and organized a bake date!
It was so much fun! First we went out shopping for ingredients and a pie dish, because I didn’t have one. And well, um, you can hardly bake a pie without a pie dish, so we bought one. After that we went over to my place to get cooking!
Or, well, baking…
First, we whipped up a pie crust. In the food processor because it’s quick and easy. However, if you don’t have a food processor, you can easily make the dough by rubbing the ingredients for the dough together between your fingers until the mixture looks like bread crumbs. I used to make pie crusts this way… until the Rocking Rebel got me a food processor! Now I’m lazy.. And loving it!
Aaaanyway, back to the crust. The thing about pie crusts is that some people like them exceptionally salty. Like, potato chips kind of salty. Salted peanuts kind of salty. Salt kind of salty! You know what I mean, right? The thing is though, my sis and I prefer a sweet crust. A sweet crust that is just a little bit salty. I understand the whole idea behind a salty crust – the salt is supposed to cut the sweetness of the pie filling – but I’m personally never bothered by a little too much sweetness.
It’s too much salt that bothers me…
However, if you are one of those salty-pie-crust-lovers, make sure to add up to one teaspoon of salt to the pie crust, depending on how salty you like it!
Once the dough was chilling in the fridge, my sis and I chopped up the rhubarb, quartered the strawberries and tossed the fruit with things like sugar and cornstarch. We then allowed the fruit mixture to rest for half an hour to get rid of some of the fruit juices. You see, when you combine sugar and fruit together, the fruit will release its juices. You don’t want to get all that excess juice into your pie, or you’ll end up with a soupy mess. So after the fruit rested a little, we used a slotted spoon to scoop the fruit into the lined pie dish.
Next, weaving the lattice top!
Here’s the thing about lattice tops: it’s a lot easier to make one than to describe the process of making one in a recipe. So no, I didn’t include the process in the recipe. If you’ve never made a lattice top before, just search “lattice top pie crust” in Youtube. There are some great videos on how to make one!
Once the pie was in the oven, all that was left to do was to whip up the mascarpone cream topping! Make sure to try this. It’s too good! It’s thick, fluffy, creamy and it melts beautifully into the pie juices when you scoop some on a warm piece of pie!
Which is exactly what we did as soon as we photographed this beauty…
Oh, just looking at that photo makes me hungry again… This pie is so incredibly delicious! Not too sweet, not too salty (very important!), incredibly fruity and the crust is absolutely amazing: crumbly, buttery, tender… Just perfect!
- 470g (or 3¾ cup) all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon of table salt
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 340g (or 1½ cup) cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 egg yolk
- 6 tablespoons of buttermilk, or a little more if needed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 600g or (4 cups chopped) rhubarb
- 420g (or 3 cups strawberries sliced) strawberries
- 150g (or ¾ cup) granulated sugar
- 55g (or ¼ cup) dark brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- 45g (or ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons) corn starch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon of water (this is your egg wash)
- more granulated sugar for sprinkling
- 250g (or a little over a cup) mascarpone cheese
- 125g (or ½ cup + 1 teaspoon) whipping cream
- 2½ tablespoons granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, salt and sugar. Pulse briefly to combine. Add the cubed butter and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the yolk, buttermilk and vanilla. Add this mixture to the bowl of the food processor and pulse until the mixture comes together in small clumps (if the dough does not come together, add another tablespoon or two of buttermilk). The dough should still be crumbly.
- Place two pieces of plastic wrap on your counter and dump the crumbly dough on top of it. Use your hands to press the dough into two flat discs, wrap tightly in the plastic and place in the fridge to chill for at least an hour.
- Wash, top and tail the rhubarb and cut it into 1-cm or ½-inch pieces. Wash, hull and quarter the strawberries.
- Combine the rhubarb and strawberries in a large bowl. Add the sugars, the salt, the corn starch and vanilla. Stir to combine, then set aside. As the fruit mixture sits, the fruit will release some of its juices. Preheat the oven to 200°C/390°F (standard oven setting).
- Once the dough has properly chilled, remove it from the fridge. Place one of the dough discs between two sheets of baking parchment and roll it out to a thickness of about 5-mm or one fifth of an inch.
- Carefully peel off the top layer of baking parchment and put it to the side. Sprinkle the top of the dough lightly with flour, place the parchment back on top and flip the dough so that the piece of parchment that was just on top is now underneath the dough. Carefully peel off the top piece of parchment again, flip the dough into the unbuttered, 25-cm/10-inch pie plate and remove the remaining piece of parchment. Ease the dough down into the pie plate, then trim the edges with a sharp knife.
- Using a slotted spoon, scoop the fruit filling out of the bowl and into the pie crust. Discard any remaining fruit juices.
- Place the second dough disc between two sheets of baking parchment and roll it out to a thickness of about 5-mm or one fifth of an inch. Cut 1-cm or ½-inch strips, lay 5 strips over the filling, then weave another 4 or 5 strips through in an under-and-over pattern.
- Brush the lattice top and the edges of the pie with the egg wash, then sprinkle generously with granulated sugar.
- Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes, then turn the oven down to 175°C/350°F and bake for another 40 minutes, or until the juices are bubbly and the lattice top has turned a gorgeous golden brown.
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine the mascarpone, cream, sugar and vanilla. Mix together until smooth and thick.
- Once the cake is done, remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 15 minutes. Serve with the mascarpone cream. Enjoy!