I hope that everyone had a fantastic July 4th weekend! I left my tiny kitchen in the city for a day to visit with a friend in the burbs. We spent the entire day eating and hanging out by the pool (once the sun finally decided to make an appearance), which is pretty much my ideal way to spend the holiday!
Even though I swore I wouldn't eat for days after Saturday's feast, here I am, baking a pie. But really, who can resist pie? This pie is particularly awesome because it combines fresh summer flavors like strawberry and rhubarb with a little bit of zing provided by fresh ginger and lemon zest. I think it's a combination that's just different enough to make your standard strawberry-rhubarb pie something a little bit special!
Baking pie honestly sounds a lot more fun than it can sometimes be. For starters, it is not an instant-gratification dessert. If you make your dough from scratch (which you really, really should try to!), you're looking at an hour and a half to make the dough, let it rest, and make the filling. Then it will be another hour and a half to bake, and finally about 3-4 hours to wait til it's cool and ready to eat. I personally hate having to wait til the next day to eat my creations, so I'd recommend that you start the pie process in the morning if you want to enjoy it the same day.
One final note about pie crust: it's OK to get a little frustrated with it. Or a lot frustrated. I 100% yell at my pie crust sometimes. The trick is to work quickly and smoothly with it, and if things aren't going your way (i.e. the crust is cracking, tearing, melting, etc.), calmly ball that dough back up, cover it with plastic wrap, and stick it back into the fridge until it's cooled down again and you're ready to deal with it. Whatever you do, don't overwork it.
Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie with Ginger
Pie crust (adapted from Bon Appetit):
2 sticks (1 c.) plus 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, COLD
2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsp. ice water
1 lb. strawberries, hulled and quartered
1 lb. rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
1 Tbsp. lemon zest
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. cornstarch
Cut the butter into 1/2-inch cubes. Set in the freezer while you prep the rest of the crust ingredients.
Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine the apple cider vinegar and water. To make sure it's super cold, you can drop one ice cube into the bowl as well.
Put the very cold butter cubes into the flour mixture. Toss to coat the cubes, and then using your pointer finger and thumb start to very quickly squeeze the butter to cut it into the flour. Don't hold on to the butter for too long -- you do NOT want it to melt. Once you have a shaggy dough (the butter pieces don't have to be super tiny), drizzle a little bit of the cold water/vinegar into the dough (NOT all of it!). mix with your hands until it absorbs and add more liquid ONLY if the dough is dry and cracking. As soon as you have a smooth dough, stop adding liquid (I only used about 1/2 of mine). Turn the dough out onto a clean surface and knead just a few times until everything is mixed well. Cut the dough in half, press it into two 1-inch discs, and wrap each individual disc tightly with plastic wrap. Place the discs in the fridge for at least an hour.
While you wait for your dough to rest, assemble the filling. Combine the strawberries, rhubarb, ginger, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a bowl. In a measuring glass, combine the sugar and cornstarch and mix with a fork to combine. Pour the mixture over the strawberry mixture and gently toss to coat everything with your hands.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Flour a clean surface VERY lightly (you don't want to add too much flour to the dough). Take one dough disc out of the fridge and place it on your surface. Sprinkle a tiny bit more flour on top of the disc and then using a rolling pin, roll the disc out about 1-inch larger than your pie pan (an 8-inch pan works well for this recipe). Carefully lift the dough round into your pie pan. You should have a 1-inch overhang around the entire perimeter of the pie. Remember what we talked about before -- if the dough isn't cooperating with you, calmly re-wrap it in plastic wrap and come back to it. You don't want to overwork the dough.
Roll out the second disc in the same way. Spoon your filling into the prepared crust, distributing it evenly. I like to let mine mound up a little bit in the center. Carefully lift the top crust over the filled pie pan. Don't worry if the top crust rips -- pies are rustic!
Pinch together the top and bottom crusts all around the pan. Trim any large excess crust (remember, we're looking for about 1-inch of overhang), and then roll the overhang up toward the center of the pie to mound the crust around the edge of the pan. Then, using the middle and pointer fingers on your left hand and the pointer finger on your right hand, work your way around the crust to create the decorative wavy crust. If that's too much for you, feel free to just leave the crust the way it is! It will still be delicious.
Cut a few vents into the top of the pie with a sharp paring knife. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg with 1 tsp. of water. Using a pastry brush, gently brush the entire top of the pie, including the crust, with the egg wash. Bake for 1.5 hours until the crust is super golden (pro tip: you should have something underneath your pie to catch the inevitable sugary drips that will come out of it. Placing your pie dish on a baking sheet lined with foil is a good way to do this!). Let pie cool for a few hours until COMPLETELY cool (this allows the filling to set so that it's not runny). Enjoy as-is or with a dollop of fresh whipped cream or ice cream.