Two words: Mysteriously Mouthwatering.
Chris' dad Larry came to visit in Aug. I wanted to make something home made and comforting for dessert.
I had starred Mom's email that came through months ago with the subject line: Grandma's Rhubarb Pie. The time had come.
Chris said he had never had Rhubarb. He probably did at some point at his own Grandma's, but doesn't remember it, probably passing it up for Oreos or some other kid preferred dessert. But it was time for his adult palate to explore this tart mystery stalk.
A couple from work brought me enough rhubarb to feed an army, as it was "growing like a weed" in their back yard. I was happy to take it off their hands.
I LOVE embarrassingly simple recipes, because I know this is how most people cook: simple ingredients, maximum flavor. And honestly, it's how it should be. Especially when high-lighting the stars of the show: Rhubarb and Strawberry enter stage left.
Here you go:
Grandma's Rhubarb Pie
with Grand-daughter's Strawberry Addition
2 cups finely chopped rhubarb
1 cup chopped strawberries
2 tbls flour
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg beaten well
2 tbls butter melted
2 pre-made pie crust (unashamed, thank you very much)
I used a 9" pie dish. Grandma's pie didn't call for strawberries, used a little less sugar and an 8" pie dish. I wanted it to be a pleasant duet: Rhubarb singing lead vocals, and Strawberry singing strong harmony. So in went the second fruit with just a little more sugar, I figured it would be an experiment. For the record, I called Grandma to check and see what she thought. I caught her at a farmer's market with my Aunt and cousins in Montana. So perfect. She didn't seem too worried, and "a little extra sugar doesn't hurt" she said. Don't want a bitter pie.
Look at the lovely color. I tasted it raw... not my favorite, but you can taste the potential.
Chop it up. I remember Grandma chopping hers much smaller, but I forgot to do the long slice first and didn't want to go back, so we went more chunky.
Someone told me if the insides of strawberries are white they're from California. If they're red, they're from Oregon. California it is...
Mix in butter, sugar, egg and flour.
Pour into pie crust all ready laid out in the dish.
Right before I hung up with Grandma she said "will you be doing a lattice?"
"Um... well... I've never done one."
"Well I suppose you better try, Noelle."
There was no arguing with that. And there's nothing like learning from You-tube with sticky fingers. My poor laptop.
I must admit. I felt like a pro. So easy. So many cooking skills like this that I tend to avoid, and then say to myself "why have I waited so long to learn this?!" I did thicker pieces (less weaving) and lifted every other strip. Tuck the edges under and wa-la.
Sprinkle some sugar on top. Bake at 350 degrees. Grandma said 40 min to 1 hour depending on your oven, depending on your Rhubarb and depending on your patience.
Not quite there yet. My pie took an hour. I got nervous about the pie crust burning, so I set some foil over the top toward the last 20 min.
Look at the filling bubbling and the crust browning. It smelled heavenly.
This was some good ol' Montanan cooking. Thanks Grandma.