Thursday, July 2, 2009

You Don't Know Till You Try

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

Rhubarb Curd:

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.


LizNoVeggieGirl said...

Considering I'm only 5'3", I've never have that issue with guys when I went to school dances, haha :-D Glad you fixed the problem though, even though it wasn't a perfect evening.

Hey, the pie still looks great to me!! Oozing can be good, haha.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Ah yes when I was in high school I thought looking good counted for more than function and comfort ... not contest where I come down today.
I think ooze is lush! It all sounds lovely to me ... where's my slice?

Susan from Food Blogga said...

I still have that problem. I'm two inches taller than my hubs! I love that pie. Strawberries and rhubarb are perfection!

Debbie said...

The pie looks wonderful. Who cares if it has to be scooped as long as it's good! I', 5'7 and I love heels but don't wear them since I'm so damn tall already!!!

Sarah said...

lol I beat you Debbie. I'm 5'9 and I could care less if I'm taller then anyone or not. I love it. I just happen to have cranky feet and can't handle heels for extended periods of time.

The pie was lovely mom. It was quiet yummy. I wonder if you put it in a square pan if the expectations would be different. Ooz might be more excepted from a cobbler shaped pan or something.

Jennifer Jo said...

Ooo, I wish you would post the falling-apart-pie photos---I'm all for the brutal (and delicious) truth.

Katie said...

Just change the name to upside down crisp and make it again!
I think I had that date too... it wasn't satin ribbons .....

Aimée said...

Perfect! Pie just for me, don't have to share it with company.
I've still got rhubarb to harvest, and love the crumb crust.
Thanks Lynn.

Maria said...

My hubs is short, we are about the same height. It has never bugged me. The pie looks great. I am loving rhubarb!

Megan said...

Rhubarb is my weakness - and paired with strawberries, well, that sounds perfect.

Sara said...

this pie is what has been missing from my life.

Pattern Patisserie said...

Thanks, Lynn, for your lovely compliment in this post. What an excellent idea to pair the rhubarb curd with strawberries and that's what I call inspiration!!! Now I should make this pie with some addition or change and give you credit for the pie, then you could make that recipe and add or change it and so on and so forth ad infinitum!! Who knows what we could end up with??

Unknown said...

I'm only 5'2". So I'd love to have that problem. But on the upside, I can wear the tallest heels ever, and somehow, I can carry them off too!!
I reallly wish you posted a pic of the oozing slice too! That's exactly what I need! A nice yummy pie, all for myself!

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Love that story! I'm also liking the sound of the rhubarb curd and strawberry combo - even if it didn't end up looking too glamorous once sliced!

We Are Not Martha said...

Well I think the pie looks delicious!! But I know how you feel when you try photographing something and know it's not fit for the blog!


Karen Baking Soda said...

5.9 is 1.75? We're close and I wear heels -my back prefers flats tho- love the mind image with the dress and the lacy shoes. Pie isn't bad at all either hehe!

Patricia Scarpin said...

I would not mind scooping it into my plate, Lynn - that gorgeous red is making me drool here, sweetie! :D

NKP said...

The pie is so pretty! Maybe in individual serving dishes it would behave better and not spread. Sounds wonderful though!
I am 5"8 (or I was, I think I am shrinking..) anyway, I always scope out the tall guys. :)

Melinda said...

If you threw some custard on that pie, you could call it a trifle here.
Trifle is by nature, sloppy.
Sounds excellent.

(I am short. I could only be a bit taller than Danny Devito.)

eatme_delicious said...

Regular strawberry rhubarb pie doesn't really appeal to me but this version with the curd definitely does!!

Peabody said...

This is my issue with most pie, it just doesn't want to cooperate in the look pretty category. But when it's good, then who cares!
P.S. I have now made it through all of my Dutch bakery cookies. I like those Jon Hail ones a lot.

Karine said...

What a good idea to make rhubarb curd! Your pie looks amazing!

Stephany Benbow said...

Hmmm..... possibly a little gelatine could produce a slice worthy pie? Not that I mind a messy dessert, but a beautiful slice of glistening strawberry pie is a thing of wonder.