Strawberry-rhubarb pie is a classic American summer fruit pie with a tart sweetness that can’t be matched. Making a pie from scratch is one of the most satisfying experiences—I’ll show you how.
9″ pie pan
350g plain flour.
225g butter, chilled.
30ml cold water.
2 stalks rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch slices.
1 punnet of strawberries, cut into slices, leaves removed.
To start, toss together all the filling ingredients except the butter and let it sit in a sieve or colander over a pot for at least an hour. This is called macerating—we’re letting the sugar break down the fruit and drain the excess liquid into the pot.
While this is happening, mix together the pastry; portion out the flour and whisk with the sugar, then add pieces of chilled butter and mix together with your hands until it’s incorporated and has a coarse, grainy texture. Pour in the water a little at a time, mixing well, until you can scoop up your dough into a ball. Form into two balls, cover with cling film, and put them in the fridge to chill for an hour.
Pre-heat your oven to gas mark 5, or 190º C.
When the hour’s up and the ingredients are ready to be handled again, take the dough and roll it out on a floured surface until it’s about 1/2 a centimetre thick. Grease your pie tin with the butter wrapper, and line the tin with the dough. Wrap this and the other flattened dough with cling film again and put in the freezer for ten minutes, just to firm it up a bit more.
When you take the dough out again, drop your thoroughly macerated fruit into the dough shell. The liquid which has been dutifully draining into the pot is now ready to be reduced.
Have you ever had a soggy fruit pie? Too much liquid which overflows as you cook it, the bottom of the crust soaked with juice? This is how you fix that. We’ve taken some of the moisture from the fruit and now, after adding the butter, we’re going to thicken it into a syrup beforehand. Place the buttery juices on a medium heat and let cook until simmering, whisking continuously. When it’s reduced by at least half and your whisk leaves a trail along the bottom of the pan, pour the syrup over the fruit in the pie shell.
Now we’re ready to do the lattice crust. It looks complicated, I know, but it really isn’t. Cut your dough into 1 1/2 centimetre thick strips, about 12 to 16, and using half, place them evenly and horizontally across your pie. Now peel each alternating strip back enough to place your vertical strips one at a time, replacing the peeled-back strips each time, alternating which horizontal strips you peel back for each additional piece. Hopefully that makes sense—if not, there’s some great videos on youtube showing exactly how to do this.
Using a fork, crimp the edges of your pie. Place it in the oven for 40 minutes, checking after 20 to make sure the edges aren’t burning (if they are, place a strip of kitchen foil around them). The pie is finished when the crust is golden and the fruit is tender. Let cool before serving, hopefully with vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!