When I lived in the Midwest, I was introduced to a new food item, rhubarb. Rhubarb did not grow in the southern part of the United States, but as I was growing into a new part of my life, so must my palate.
I probably would have never tried it had I not been informed by my neighbor that I had the plant growing in my garden. Of course, informed by a, “if you are not going to use it, can I have it” proposal as they point to it over the fence. Obviously untended to, as the weeds blew like waves of grain around it, I assured my neighbor I was going for a more natural looking garden, a quaint wildness akin to the English gardens spoken of in novels. Urrrr yeah, something like that.
The truth of the matter, the last time I was in that God-forsaken garden “weeding” it, I found a snake skin and poison ivy. One I could identify, the other I could not. Guess which one. Yeah, it took weeks to get over the poison ivy debacle, but a side ways look told me the neighbor wasn’t buying it.
Oh well, whatever, I had danced my way out of giving up what was rightfully mine, all mine, even if I hadn’t known about it seconds ago. Unfortunately for my neighbor, it just set a fire under me to figure out what to do with rhubarb, my strange new food item obsession.
During my research, I came across an article that included a prize winning strawberry rhubarb pie from some state fair. Of course, I clipped the article and made it. Over time, the article was soiled and falling apart from so much use, so I transposed it to a handwritten sheet of paper and I am so glad that I did because it is a delicious pie, replete with the perfect tartness from the rhubarb and sweetness from the strawberries. Served with a side of cream, so yummy, I never for a second felt guilty about hoarding my pretty little rhubarb plant.
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
3 cups strawberries (fresh or frozen)
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups rhubarb, sliced (fresh or frozen unsweetened)
1/2 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Two Pie Doughs
In a large bowl, mix strawberries, sugar, cornstarch, rhubarb, lemon peel and lemon juice. For fresh fruit, let stand 15 minutes. For frozen, let stand 60 minutes.
Roll out both crusts; place one in a pie pan or an iron skillet. Top with fruit mixture. Place remaining crust over fruit and crimp the edges. Cut slits in top to allow steam to escape. Brush with milk and dust with cinnamon sugar.
Bake in a 400-degree oven for 10 minutes, then lower temperature to 375. Bake for 45 minutes. Cover the crust with aluminum foil if it browns too much. Cool before serving.