Strawberry Rhubarb Slab Pie

Would you believe amazing, awesome, incredible, delicious, fantastic, best ever ever ever’s?  Well here goes: this is THE best pie and crust I’ve ever made, served and eaten.

Gluten free! Check out that crust.The subtle scent of orange plays beautifully with strawberries and rhubarb.  Not too sweet, enjoy hot with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or with fresh cream. For breakfast enjoy it guilt free – warmed with a generous spoon of vanilla yogurt.  Eating doesn’t get much better.

This pie will easily feed 16 hungry pie loving men.  Or 8 women.  Or 4 Brits.  Brits have a thing for rhubarb. 🙂

I found that the recommended crust recipe is very close to the Pate’ Brise’ recipe I’ve already shared, but doubled.   I didn’t want to risk anything so I used this new recipe with  great results.  It can also make dough for two double crust pies.

Pie dough:

5 cups gluten free flour, plus more for rolling dough (Eh, if you aren’t gluten free use regular flour.  I simply exchanged Jules flour for regular)

2 Tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups (4 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ pieces

1 cup ice water (the flour I used needed a bit more)

Filling:

6 cups hulled strawberries, cut in half

6 cups cleaned rhubarb, cut into 3/4 inch pieces

3/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar

1/3 cup dry quick cooking tapioca

1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange zest, plus 2 tablespoons of the squeezed juice

1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten with 2 teaspoons water to brush over crust

1/3 to 1/2 cup large granulated sugar for dusting the crust

To make:

Mix flour, sugar and salt into a large bowl.  Add in cut up butter, using either a pastry blender, fingers or two butter knives to blend into the flour until only a few pea sized pieces of butter remain.

Add in the water, about 1/3 at a time, using two forks to lightly toss the mixture as you add, incorporating the water until the mixture holds together and is able to be formed into oval mounds that don’t fall apart (this is why mine needed a little more water).

Once you’ve formed two  good rounds, wrap them in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight.

*This is as good of a place as any to discuss gluten free flour.  Everyone has their favorite mix.  Some prefer to mix from a variety of flours; almond, rice, corn, sorghum, coconut and so many others.  GF flour, even more than wheat flour can be so dry that you can’t exactly guarantee the outcome of the product unless you’ve used it before and know how it acts.  I have made plenty of expensive delicious brick door stops that were supposed to be  cakes or breads.  I can tell you what I like and have seen work well, so if it doesn’t work for you – take a look at your flour.  I use Domata Living Flour for everyday use, sometimes adding a bit of sorghum or almond flour to add moisture.  My favorite beautiful flour for something fancy is Jules GF Flour.  She did the hard work of coming up with a formula that, while pricey, works

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees while you prepare the pie.

To prepare filling:

Cut up rhubarb and strawberries and place them in a large bowl.

Add in the tapioca, both brown and granulated sugars, orange zest and juice.  Mix and let stand while you roll the dough.

You can refer to the pate brisee in a previous blog in April to see how to roll, but you want a clean dry smooth surface to work on.  Sprinkle some gluten free flour on surface, place mound of dough on it, flour the rolling pin and roll the dough out big enough – about 12″ x 16″ to fit into a 10″x14″ jelly roll pan *cookie sheet with 4 sides.  Roll out the dough and slide it into the pan.  Once it’s in the pan add the fruit filling.  Roll out the other mound of dough exactly the same way and place that on top of the mixed fruit.

Okay, so Martha Stewart makes every thing look easy and perfect.  I’m no Martha (deep sigh of exasperation)!  To get the dough off the rolling area you may need a long spatula to loosen it or it will tear.  It might tear anyway and you may want to wad it up and throw it against the wall or the first person who walks in and says something like “What’s that?”
Or “Hello Honey”. Do not do that.  You can piece it together if it is torn.  I did and no one cared.  Roll the edges of the bottom and top crust together and using your thumb and two fingers flute the edges all the way around.  If there are places where there is too much dough, cut it off and use it where there is too little dough.

BE PATIENT

It takes time to work with dough and this one’s pretty forgiving.  Just realize that it may not be beautiful but it will taste beautiful and ice cream goes a long long way towards presentation.

So once that 2nd sheet is on the top, flute the edges and cut vents into a pretty pattern with a sharp ended knife in the top crust.  Then brush the surface with the egg wash and sprinkle with the remaining sugar.

Place in 400 degree oven and immediately drop the temperature to 375.  Bake for 55 – 65 minutes until it forms a deep golden crust and the filling is bubbling up in the middle through the vents.

Cool on wire rack 

Really really good old fashioned pie!

Equally good a week later…I polished off the last piece this morning, warmed with a touch of yogurt and then did a boot camp workout to try and counter the possible …

..we’re not supposed to talk about the bad side of eating this, are we?

Try it with other fruits and combinations.  I can’t wait to try Peach-Raspberry and then in the autumn I’ll try a Pear-Blackberry combination with a touch of orange zest.  Heavenly!

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