My mother made Strawberry Rhubarb Pie a few weeks ago and made the mistake of mentioning it to me on the phone. What she forgot was that my Dad would be driving to Pullman two days later. I spent those 48 hours campaigning for her to send “a piece” to me and reminding him. Really, I meant for her to send about half the pie but she sent me exactly one piece. I snuck it into the office and ate it all by myself without offering to share any with my family. So, maybe I shouldn’t be judging mom’s sharing technique especially after she went to all the trouble to make it again for our last night in Eastern Washington.
I had just left Ric alone with the movers after a dresser being driven across the lawn on a dolly started losing all of its drawers into the grass. It’s just best for me not to watch some things, so I went up to Spokane where the boys were already staying with my parents. I got there just in time for the pie making, so I got out my camera. She was actually making three pies. In my economy they were to be divided thus: one for me, one for everyone else and one for the neighbor who gave her the rhubarb.
She had already started chopping the rhubarb by the time I set down my purse. I liked the color of this batch and it packed a healthy rhubarb sizzle in every bite.
She also had the crumb topping ready, but I had her pose with the pastry mixer anyway.
She let me slice the strawberries.
But, Mom took care of the crust. She is much better at shaping the edge than I am…so are most people.
Then, she added the flour and checked in with the aged cookbook she got for a wedding gift from her grandmother, (my Great Grandma Quantz). She doesn’t really follow the recipe as much as she thinks she does though. I guess it just jogs her memory. The recipe at the bottom of the post is how she actually makes the pie.
Here is the cookbook dated from the late 60s. It calls for “Regular Gold Medal Flour or Wondra” in most recipes. What is Wondra, I wondra-d?
After the cookbook consultation, we dumped in the pretty strawberries.
…and mixed the filling together gently.
I really like the old pastry mixer that I grew up with, which is why I stuffed it in my suitcase and left for the East Coast with it. (Just joking, Mom. Don’t get up and look!)
The filling is put into the crusts looking like a bunch of freshly sugared fruit. It was very pretty and I was surprised that was all there was to the process. I thought there would be a sauce involved for some reason. It certainly comes out of the oven differently than it goes in.
The crumb topping is Mom’s twist on the pie and I like it.
She puts a pan under each pan for the oven because there is a tendency to drip.
She also makes aluminum foil collars to keep the edges of the crusts from overbrowning.
Three strips of foil folded together into one long strip and then turned into a loop and pressed around the edges. I have visions of cutting my fingers on the foil just thinking about this process, but it really does help on pies that have to bake for a long time.
Here is one of the pies, with its collar off, showing us why she put the pan under the pan. See how clean my Mom’s oven is? No rhubarb drips allowed! (Notice you never see pictures of my oven, because I do things like drop pesto pizza into the hinge!)
Here is my pie. It was yummy. I ended up sharing – which was Mom’s plan all along but Oh, My! It was delicious.
I was so intent on the zingy goodness that I almost forgot I meant to post this culinary experience. So, final photo has a few bites missing from the side.
Here’s the recipe for one pie:
1 ½ cups sugar
1/3 cup flour
2 cups rhubarb
2 cups strawberries
¾ cup flour
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts
Any single crust recipe or pre-made will do
Bake at 425 for 40-50 minutes until filling is bubbly. Let it cool and set before attempting to slice.
Thanks for the pie, Mom!