SWEET SUMMER NIGHTS & LIGHTS


Remember the crab fest last year? Well we had another one a couple of weekends ago under the same beautiful tree:) This year my brother-in-law strung lights and it was truly a magical sight so I had to post it!

SUMMER STRAWBERRY RHUBARB PIE

I know I have "summer" in the title, but my family actually makes this for every single holiday, birthday, and any other large dinner year round! It's most fun and convenient to make in the summer, though, when you can grab fresh strawberries and rhubarb from the farmers market and enjoy your slice of pie outside with a scoop of ice cream on top. It's an all-time family favorite, what can I say? It's actually my grandma's recipe. It's very rare that I don't modify a recipe, but I wouldn't change anything about this one! And I'll admit, it still tastes best when Grandma makes it! What is it that makes food taste so wonderful when made by the hands of others? It must be the love and thought put into it, right? She's taught me all of her tricks over the years, so what else could it be?! Grandma's fruit pie is actually the best I've ever had, to be honest. Firstly, it's made with fresh fruit. Yum! Secondly, it's made with tapioca as the thickener, and oh boy does it make for a delicious texture. You might be a little skeptical, but give it a try before you pass up this recipe. Thirdly, it has a thin and flaky crust. I don't know about you, but I get overwhelmed by egg-y crusts and this one is just enough to add some texture and flavor but not enough to make you feel like you're going to have a heart attack before your last bite:) It fits really well with the fruit filling so I highly recommend using this crust with the filling rather than another! Making great fruit pies at home actually isn't difficult at all- you just have to be prepared to let it bake, and bake, and bake. The key is to let it bake until the fruit juice starts bubbling up through slits you've cut to let the steam escape. That's when you know it's done:) But that being said, homemade pies don't always look as aesthetically pleasing since the juices boil onto the crust a bit. Don't worry- it just shows you baked it with love just like Grandma:) I think I developed my love for baking from Grandma because she had me by her side in the kitchen ever since I was a toddler:) Thanks, Grandma, for sharing your love and delicious strawberry rhubarb pies with me!



strawberry rhubarb pie

crust
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup Crisco
1 tablespoon cold butter, cut into smaller pieces

Up to 3 tablespoons cold water, ice cubes to ensure that it is really cold!


Mix the flour, salt, and baking powder. Cut in the Crisco and the butter by pressing a fork between the pieces and the side of the bowl. Add the cold water one tablespoon at a time just until dry enough to roll into a crust. Don’t overmix! Divide into two balls and roll into a bottom and top crust on a lightly floured surface. I know it's going to seem like there isn't enough, but Grandma says you have to roll it thin! I usually wait to roll out the top crust until I place the bottom crust in the pan, that way I can trim the edges and add them back to the ball I'll roll into the top crust. Fill with the fruit filling below and then cut some slits in your crust to let the steam escape!

strawberry rhubarb filling

1 1/2 cups sugar
3 level tablespoons minute Tapioca
1/4 teaspoon salt
3-4 cups rhubarb, sliced to about 1/2 cm wide
2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced into fourths
1 tablespoon butter


Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Combine the first three ingredients. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of the mixture onto the bottom crust of the pie. Combine the rhubarb and strawberries and then mix in the remaining sugar mixture. Spoon into the pie crust and dot the top with 1 tablespoon butter. Place the top crust over the fruit, slice a few slits to let the steam escape, and sprinkle lightly with sugar. Bake on the lowest rack at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, then on the middle rack at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Now, here's where things get tricky. If your fruit juice hasn't bubbled through your pie crust slits by now (which, honestly, it probably won't) you have to keep baking the pie until it does. But you don't want to burn your crust! The edges will brown before the rest, so try wrapping the edges with tin foil half way through if it seems like this is going to become a problem! Keep checking the pie about every 10 minutes until the fruit juices are bubbling evenly through each slit. All said and done, my guess is this will end up in a total baking time of 70-85 minutes. But the patients will pay off, I promise:)