As Food52 gets older (and wiser), and our archive of recipes grows, we’re making the effort to revisit some stellar recipes from our community. Today's special occasion pie comes from longtime Food52er MrsWheelbarrow.
As of two years ago, I've been averaging about a pie a month (making them that is). See, I had the bright idea to give my pie-loving dad the Father's Day gift of a homemade pie whenever I saw him. Given that neither he, nor my mom, are all that into baking and I am, it seemed like the perfect gift. I patted myself on the back and smugly figured I'd won at gift-giving... until I fully thought it through (after announcing said gift), and realized that although I bake a lot, I hadn't actually made all that many pies before. Oops.
It's been a learning process along the way to be sure. I've made more than one pie with a tough, barely edible crust. (I've learned to keep my ingredients cold and not blitz the butter chunks to oblivion.) I've had more than one pie overflow onto the bottom of my oven. (I've learned to put the pie pan on top of a sheet pan.) You'd think I would have picked that one up after the first overflow!
I've since reached, if not pie mastery, at least pie proficiency (guess who might be getting the same gift for the third year in a row?!). When I've stayed for a visit after delivering a pie, I've been lucky enough to taste a lot of them, too. My hands-down favorite so far is the pie I made last month: MrsWheelbarrow's Rhubarb Strawberry Pie for a Potluck.
The strawberries don't overwhelm the rhubarb and she adds interest with perfectly restrained amounts of ground ginger, cardamom, Grand Marnier, and orange zest. The only tough part about this recipe is the waiting—the fruit macerates overnight to fully develop the flavors—but it's worth it for the insanely delicious final results. In fact, after making this pie once, you'll likely be wishing for a larger version of it, and, you're in luck: there's a slab pie version of it in her forthcoming cookbook, Pie Squared.
My Family's Pie Crust - Makes one crust. Double for this recipe.
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 ounces unsalted butter, cut in cubes and put in the freezer for an hour
- 1/4 cup ice water
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of sugar
Pie Filling for Deep Dish Pie Pan
- 4 cups rhubarb, trimmed, peeled if necessary, and chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 4 cups strawberries, left whole if small, otherwise cut in half or quartered
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 3/4 cup cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger, make sure it's very fresh
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
- 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier, Cointreau, or Triple Sec
- 6 cardamom pods, seeds removed and slightly crushed
- 1 tablespoon butter, cut up
- 1 egg white, beaten
- 1 egg yolk, beaten w/ 1 T water
if you're more of a cake person
Do you have a recipe that's been passed down in your family? Or one you want to make sure your future generations make? Let us know in the comments and it might be featured as one of our heirloom recipes!