In high school I got invited to a formal dance by a young man who I was glad to go with because he was a lot of fun, but he was on the short side. If I wore my normal (for then) 3 to 4 inch heels, I'd tower over my date.
To solve this dating dilemma, I borrowed a cute little mandarin-style dress from my friend who was 2 inches shorter than me and I bought some super cute flat shoes. The shoes were black, satin sandals that were held onto the feet with long, satin ties that tied around the ankles like ballet slippers. As I said, super cute.
So I went on my date, thinking that this date would be great and my outfit was the cat's meow. As is so often the case in life, expectations were far greater than the actuality. I spent the majority of the evening bending over and retying up the silly ribbons that held my shoes on. I guess if I'd thought it through, I'd have known that satin's defining characteristic is slipperiness and a satin ribbon holding on a shoe was not a good design. I finally took the shoes off altogether and my date put them in his pocket and although my toes did get trod on a wee bit, we had a much better time.
This pie reminded me a bit of that date because sometime you never can tell how something's going to work until you try it out. I found the recipe for the rhubarb curd on Patricia's beautiful site (be sure to check out her gorgeous artwork in her shop!). I had the brilliant thought of putting it into my favorite strawberry pie, combining two great flavors together.
I made a crumb crust (too lazy to do the regular kind, plus I didn't want the crust to get soggy with the curd), spread in a layer of the curd, piled on sliced strawberries, and covered it in a beautiful strawberry glaze. I took some pictures of the pie after it had chilled, then prepared to get the money shot - the gorgeous piece of pie standing tall on it's plate.
I sliced and, um, no, that's not going on the blog. It oozed. I couldn't slice the pie. I had to scoop it out like a cobbler. It wasn't lovely at all. But it was sooooo good. Not one person complained about the look of the pie. Instead there were intense discussions about whether the stomach could hold seconds. Or thirds.
So, here's the recipe. Be forewarned, it's not company pie. Not glamorous at all. But your family will be pleased that you made it for them!
(Note: this is a multi-stage recipe, so you can do parts of it as your schedule allows, put it together early the day you want to serve it, and let it sit in the refrigerator till it's time for dessert.)
Strawberry Rhubarb Curd Pie
1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
6 Tbsp butter, melted
2 cups of rhubarb cut into small pieces
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
4 teaspoons lemon juice
4 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
Strawberries and Glaze:
2 to 3 cups strawberries, cleaned, hulled, and sliced
3/4 cup water
1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp cornstarch
1- Preheat oven to 375 deg.
2- Combine all the crust ingredients in a bowl; mix well. Press firmly on the bottom and up the sides of a deep 9 inch pie plate.
3- Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the edges are brown. Allow to cool to room temperature.
4- To make the curd, combine the rhubarb, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup water and lemon juice in a non-reactive saucepan. Bring to a boil over med-high until rhubarb goes completely mushy. Remove from the heat and let it cool to just warm. Put the mixture into a blender or food processor and process until smooth.
5-Whisk the yolks and sugar together in a heat-resistant bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Add the cooled rhubarb and the butter in pieces and stir until it is all combined and thickens. Cool completely and it will thicken some more.
6- To make the strawberry glaze, place one cup of the strawberries in a non-reactive saucepan with 3/4 cup water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
7- Mix together the sugar and cornstarch; add to the strawberry liquid and cook until clear. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
8- Spread the cooled rhubarb curd over the crust. Arrange the remaining strawberries over the curd. Pour the cooled glaze over the strawberries, completely coating the top.
9- Refrigerate until serving time.