Cauldron Cooking: Pucker-Up Rhubarb-Strawberry Pie
Sweet and sour kisses may be in your future after you bake this; regardless, you’ll amp up your joy to all who see, smell, and taste this beauty of a spring-time dessert recipe. This is a matriarchal recipe, so good chance your divine feminine will increase in power while preparing and eating this. The magick in this recipe is all about amping up the sweetness in your life.
Whether it’s just getting a good parking spot in the market; or stealing more kisses with your sweetie. As you roll our the dough, it’s good exercise for your hands to do positive things like give a massage to your spouse, or give a helping hand to an elderly neighbor — ramp up that sweetness in your life. If you’re having trouble obtaining any extra sweetness in your life, bake this pie with the intention to do just that and watch the good times roll. If you attempt a weave crust, this recipe ends up giving you more courage, too.
This recipe calls for 5 to 6 cups of chopped rhubarb; however, that is mutable. I tend to stay closer to about 4 1/2 cups because I like a less tart pie.
I use coconut sugar instead of refined sugar. A good substitute would be brown sugar or organic cane sugar. But, if all you have on hand is refined sugar. that’s fine. Although I like a less tart pie, I coconut sugar goes a long way and I don’t like the sugar ingredient to overpower the natural sweetness of the strawberries. However, you can use up to 1 1/2 cups of sugar, whichever variety you use.
Almond meal is used as a binder in this recipe. Traditionally pies like this are made with corn starch. My body doesn’t like corn starch, so hence the almond meal. However, if you have an almond allergy or aren’t a fan of almond meal, you may use corn starch.
Normally this recipe is made with orange zest and juice; however, I have always had a sensitivity to oranges and since I’m using more natural sweeteners these days, and if I’m baking and don’t have juice on hand, the maple syrup (the real stuff, not the fake Log Cabin stuff) complements all the flavors together.
MY SECRET INGREDIENT: (Which is obviously not secret any more). Unlike Mom’s recipe I add a generous shot of Mischief Whiskey, but your favorite bourbon or rum would be good, too. There’s so many flavored vodkas out there, you could use that; too. I’m allergic to vodka, so whiskey it is.
Cinnamon to taste is exactly what it means — your preference. I throw in a level tablespoon. Your mileage may vary.
When you add the filling to the refrigerated pie crust, leave out as much of the juice that rendered while the filling rested. Filling is going to bubble and splash while it bakes, hence that is why you need a baking tray. I always use a metal pan to make my pies anymore. In the past I’ve used glass and it doesn’t bake as well. If you’re in a pinch, you could totally bake your pie in a cast-iron frying pan. Talk about upping your witchiness in the kitchen!
Need to bake something up in a hurry? Feel free to use store-bought pie crust dough.
Now Mom’s recipe calls for making a weave top crust, which I don’t always do (see variety of photos); I just put a full piece of crust on top like you would for any fruit pie — apple, cherry, peach, etc. — but the good thing about the lattice pattern is that it allows steam and some of the juice of the pie to evaporate. I’m including the directions for the checkerboard-crust pattern. As you can see by my photo, my lattice work needs improvement. But it’s about goodness and not perfection, as well as having fun. So cut yourself some slack.
Do not skip refrigerating the bottom crust.
1 1/2 pounds of rhubarb, cut into 3/4-inch-long pieces (about 5 to 6 cups)
2 to 2 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
3/4 to 1 1/2 cup cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup almond meal
1/4 cup of maple syrup or 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest, plus 1 tablespoon orange juice
Cinnamon, to taste
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 large egg, lightly beaten, for egg wash, optional
Sugar for sprinkling, optional
A healthy shot of your favorite sweet spirit
Your favorite two-disk pie crust recipe ready to rock.
To make filling: Mix together rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, almond meal, maple syrup, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and cinnamon to taste. Set aside and let rest.
Roll out one dough disk so it’s 1/8-inch thick and will fit into a nine-inch pie plate. Place the dough in the pan, pour in the filling (leave out as much of the juice that rendered while the filling rested); dot top with butter. Refrigerate while making top crust.
Roll remaining disk to 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut into at least 10-inch-wide strips using a fluted pastry cutter.
Lay five strips across pie. Fold back every other strip, and lay a horizontal strip across the center of the pie. Unfold folded strips, then fold back remaining strips. Lay another horizontal strip across the pie. Repeat folding and unfolding strips to weave a lattice pattern. Repeat on remaining side.
Trim bottom and top crusts to a 1-inch overhang using kitchen shears and press together to seal edges – be sure it’s a tight seal. Fold edges under, and crimp as desired. Refrigerate for 15 minutes (this is very important step).
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Remove the pie from the refrigerator. Brush crust with egg wash, if desired, and sprinkle generously with sugar (I didn’t do this step). Place a foil-lined baking sheet on the bottom rack to catch juices, (I highly recommend this! Even if you have a self-cleaning oven) and bake pie on middle rack for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, reduce the temperature to 375 degrees and continue baking until filling is vigorously bubbling in center and bottom crust is golden , about one hour. Tent loosely with foil after one hour if crust is browning too quickly. Transfer pie to a wire rack, and let cool for at least two hours before serving.
Ready for some sweetness? Eat it up and enjoy!
Leave comments on your attempt to make this or any questions you might have.