The Non-Exploding Pie
The picture of the pie on this and my previous blog entry is not the “exploding pie”. Rather, it is how the exploding pie would have looked if I hadn’t screwed it up. It was an aesthetic failure and, simply, a god-awful mess because I was careless. You can’t be careless when you cook. I was careless because I was sick when I made it. Don’t cook when you’re sick. Go to bed.
I used frozen raspberries for the exploding pie when I normally use fresh strawberries. The raspberries had thawed days ago & were on their way to becoming a science project in my refrigerator. I only had a little bit of rhubarb, so I compensated for the shortage of that by adding even more raspberries. Another maxim of cooking–especially baking–is stick to the recipe that works.
So, for anyone who wants a recipe that works, here it is:
- preheat your oven to 375*
- spray a 10″ pie pan with vegetable oil (I use a 10″ pan rather than a standard 9″ pan because you get more pie!)
FILLING: Combine & mix thoroughly by hand in a large mixing bowl:
- 2 1/2 Cups sliced fresh strawberries
- 6 1/2 Cups fresh rhubarb, cut into 1/2″ chunks
- 2 Cups sugar (you can add more for a sweeter pie)
- 1/3 Cup corn starch
- Zest of 1 large orange
Once the filling is thoroughly mixed, put it in the fridge to chill while you make the crust.
THE CRUST: Making a pie crust is simple. It just take practice. What isn’t simple is describing how to make a pie crust, especially to anyone who has never made one. I just spent two hours writing a tedious description of how to make the crust for this pie, when it only takes about 15-20 minutes to make, even for a novice. It was tedious to write and even more tedious to read & reread. Instructional manuals for electronics written in Korean are more interesting. So, here’s my advice: If you’ve never made a pie crust before, find someone to help you with this one or go to the grocery store and buy a package of pre-made pie crust dough (Pillsbury is actually not bad)…If you are experienced with making pie crusts, you’ll probably ignore my recipe and use one of your own, which is fine. I promise a pictorial description of how to make pie crusts in a future blog.
Combine the following ingredients in a food processor:
- 20 Tablespoons cold butter (that’s 2 1/2 sticks)
- 3 Cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Blend in the food processor for a minute or more & transfer into a small mixing bowl.
- Add 3/4 cup of cold water to the flour and butter and mix gently
- Form the dough into two balls of equal consistency and allow the dough to rest for 20-30 minutes…this is important!!
- Roll the first ball of dough to an even thickness and a sizable enough diameter that will fit into the 10″ pie pan, with a little bit of extra dough to hang over the edge
- Put the filling into the bottom layer of the crust. Dot the filling with 2 tablespoons of butter
- Roll the top layer of the pie crust and put it on top of the pie.
- Cut any excess dough from the edge of the pie pan, but leave enough so that you can seal the edge of the crust so all of the juice from the filling doesn’t run out.
- Flute the edge of the pie. If you don’t know what that means just google it. Like I said, there will be a pictorial in a later blog
- Cut 4-8 one-inch slits in the center of the pie
- Beat 1 egg with 2 tablespoons of water and lightly brush this egg wash on the pie crust.
- Sprinkle granulated sugar over the top of the pie and place it on a baking sheet.
- Put on the middle rack of the pre-heated oven and bake for 1 1/2 hours (if your oven cooks unevenly like mine does, rotate the pan the pie is on midway through cooking)
Good luck & let me know how it comes out!