It has taken me a long time to like rhubarb and thanks to this recipe I now love it. Why it has taken me this long problably has to do with the fact that somewhere along the line I must have tasted a very bitter rhubarb pie and promptly detested it. That has been my impression of rhubarb all my life...bitter. Now that I have had it paired with strawberries and a crumbly top my opinion has radically changed. What a combo!
Strawberry rhubarb pie has always been the domain of my mother in law who made pies like no one else in the world. (As a matter of fact, I think it was her pie that I didn't like) When my daughter mentioned a yen for it, my initial reaction was...nah, nah, not me. But then I thought about it and decided to give it a go, my way.
Rather than make a pie where the competition would be really stiff, I thought first of a crisp, then a crumble and finally, as a compromise, a crumb pie. The extra sweetness of a crumble on top might make it less bitter and more palatable to the baker, me. Next was getting the rhubarb and that was no easy task. Let's face it, rhubarb is not exactly at the top of everyone's list. It wasn't on mine. Not many grocery stores carry it for that reason and you might have better luck finding it at a local farm stand or a place like Whole Foods. Eventually, after exhausting all possibilities within a 20 mile radius, I had to settle on frozen. On the other hand, the fresh strawberries I purchased were luscious and certainly made up for all the driving around. By the time I got home, I too was yearning for a strawberry rhubarb pie.
This recipe is a combination of Ina Garten's and Emeril's crisp with the idea of a bottom crust from the Sous Chef. Hope you like it.
Serves 6 to 8
1 prebaked ready made crust (I use Mrs. Smith)
4 cups fresh rhubarb, 1-inch diced (4 to 5 stalks) or use frozen
4 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and halved, if large
1 to 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar depending on how sweet you want it.
An additional 1/4 cup sugar for the crumble
1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange zest (optional, I omitted)
2 tablespoon cornstarch (use 3 if rhubarb is frozen)
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup light brown sugar
Vanilla ice cream, for serving
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.Prebake the ready made crust for 10 minutes according to directions . Let cool.
For the fruit, toss the rhubarb, strawberries, 1 cup of the granulated sugar and the orange zest together in a large bowl. In a measuring cup, dissolve the cornstarch in the orange juice and then mix it into the fruit. Pour the mixture into a prebaked crust..