When I started this blog, I made a list of things I wanted to try. Making a pie from scratch was on it, but I had’t tackled that one yet. For a few reasons.
- I was intimidated.
- I wasn’t sure what kind of pie I wanted to make.
- I didn’t get to it before summer started and my air conditioning is broken so I haven’t wanted to touch my oven. (It will finally be fixed on Thursday. THANK GOD!)
But this weekend, I got inspiration in the form of my friend Claire. I had invited her to my parents’ lake house and she said “Can we bake a pie? I like to bake a pie once a year.” So obviously my answer was, “Yes!” She sent me this recipe for pie crust and I asked my mom to make sure we had all the right ingredients. Who knew pie crust needed ice cold vodka?!
From there, our plan was to visit the farm stand in town and decide what pie to bake based on what looked best. I was briefly distracted by things like: homemade donuts, homemade lemon blueberry bread, and about 800 other homemade baked goods they sell right there at the farm stand. But the plan was to homemake something at OUR home so then we got back on track and decided the berries all looked really good:
So Claire suggested we try to find rhubarb and do a strawberry rhubarb pie. I pretended to be totally on board with this plan…but the truth is I had never had strawberry rhubarb. I could not pick rhubarb out of a line up. And they did not have it at the farm stand. Luckily they did have it at the grocery store down the street. It looks like this. And I will be the first to admit that I was pretty skeptical when Claire picked it up. It just didn’t scream “deliciousness” to me.
Once we (thought we) had all of the ingredients on hand, things started out really well:
Claire: How much sugar and salt goes in the pie crust.
Me: 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon sugar.
Claire: Sorry, I stopped listening when your brother walked into the kitchen.
Me: 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon sugar.
Claire: I’m not really an auditory learner. Can you tell me that again?
And then a little bit later…
Claire: *something I don’t remember* Are you listening to me?
Me: No, I am definitely not paying attention.
Eventually, we did start to focus on the task at hand. Claire was in charge of the pie crust (aka the hard part–phew!) and I was in charge of chopping. I did a great job!
Then we had to pause for a bit. Both because the dough (that Claire expertly made without my help!) needed to chill and we needed cornstarch and brown sugar for the pie filling. But in the tradition of cooking shows on TV, let’s just skip that trip to the grocery store and imagine that we jumped straight to this step:
Please note the wine bottle wrapped in saran wrap. Even at my parents’ house, there is no rolling pin to be found. I guess I don’t have to feel so bad about my lack of rolling pin when I did my first cooking excursion for the blog. (My mom would want me to tell you that she has one at her regular house, but she doesn’t bake as much at the lake!)
Next it was time to decide what the top of the pie would look like. I wanted to spell something out. My #1 suggestion? WTF. Why? Because I was secretly still wondering if I was going to like rhubarb and I thought a pie that said WTF would look great on this blog post when I was like “WTF is Rhubarb?!” But I try not to make decisions just for the photo. (“Try” being the most important word in that sentence.) And Claire was pretty excited to work on the perfect lattice work. And boy did she make it perfect! Obviously we needed to document the perfect pie in the perfect setting before it went into the oven:
The pie had to be in the oven for way longer than I realized. Which means the kitchen smelled amazing for over an hour. And the timing actually worked out well with dinner. It sat on the counter and cooled while we ate other delicious food that Claire made. She is clearly a genius in the kitchen. How gorgeous is this thing?
And then it was time to taste it. Would I like rhubarb? Claire thought the odds were pretty good since the pie had lots of sugar and would be covered in vanilla ice cream. Survey says…
I LOVE strawberry rhubarb pie! I liked it even more than the strawberry shortcake I usually ask for when I’m home and I know my mom is going to the farm stand. I definitely want to make it again! And I will definitely attempt another pie in the future. It is well worth the work. Though I’m not sure if it would be as fun without a buddy in the kitchen. So survey says…Claire is DEFINITELY invited back to the lake next summer!