Here in my neck of the woods, we're at the tail end of rhubarb season. I just found out about a you-pick organic rhubarb farm a week too late. I'm on their mailing list for next year, so I've got that going for me. Fortunately, my bff still has rhubarb growing in her yard and she's very generous with it. I've turned her generosity into jam and this week, a pie. This is where I normally would show you a photo of said pie, but we ate it before I could take a picture. I'm planning on making another one this week, so I'll post a photo of that pie. Obsession indeed.
Here's a link to the recipe I used for strawberry-rhubarb pie. I made one major mod, however, and it's an important one. It's the secret to the best pies you'll make: a grated apple. Cooks Illustrated uses this method to thicken their blueberry pie and it works extremely well in all the fruit pies I make. If you read some of the comments/reviews about the strawberry-rhubarb pie, you'll see that some people complain about a runny pie. Their solution was to up the tapioca by a gazillion percent. I don't like this method because while it does thicken the pie filling, it also makes it gummy and rubbery. My solution was to use the amount of tapioca called for in the recipe, but grind it in a spice grinder. I also grated a peeled apple, squeezed it dry in a clean dish cloth, then stirred the grated apple into the pie filling. (The pectin in apples is a natural thickener.) Bake the pie until the crust is a deep golden brown and the filling bubbles up in the center. The difficult part of this recipe is waiting for the pie to cool COMPLETELY. That's going to be at least four hours, five to six is better.
As for pie crust, Martha Stewart's is pretty hard to beat, but you know what? So is this:
The Kroger house brand pie crust is just as good. Is it cheating? Maybe. But it's like a padded bra--if you don't advertise it, nobody will know the difference.