Sunday, June 21, 2015

Choose Your Own Adventure Recipes

Hooray hooray!! The first Farmer's Market of the year for us in Brampton was yesterday. 

It was SO wonderful to stroll down the street surrounded by all this beauty & bounty. I love me my food; so forgive me if I wax poetic about it.
It also made me realize how dang fortunate we are to live where we do. Our soil, our land, our climate. (Yeah; even the -40C winters) But that's another topic for another day.

Now, I love my backyard.

 Except it's kinda small. And veryyyyyy shady. Which limits what will grow well.

Rhubarb, however grows insanely well. And provides a fun hidey-spot for Mikie. 

(Don't tell him we can see him. He thinks he's super secret.)

There's a lot you can do with rhubarb. Like, Pie. And...pie. And did I mention...pie?!?!?

Now yes of course I know there's more like cakes, and tartlets and my personal fav "Rhubarb Stew"
(Blogged about HERE) but this year when I saw them glorious strawberries...I knew it was gonna be PIE.


There is a door in front of you on the right. It is a nondescript door; however from behind it comes a strange high-pitched buzzing noise......

On your right, there is a cobwebby hallway, at the end of which are stairs that look old and rickety......

The Door

..................You hesitantly place your hand on the doorknob..and it seems like the buzzing is getting louder. Closing your eyes and taking a deep breath, you slowly turn the knob.
You enter into a big kitchen, with white walls and a big patio door which shows you that the buzzing was just Jay with the lawnmower........

Ha. Sorry. Slice of life there.

My favourite part of summer is the fruit & veggies. And the warm. Oh, the glorious warm!!!!
But I digress. 

This is a crowd favourite and SO easy to make you'll pull this recipe out over and over again.

I have my Grandma Taylors recipe book; the "Laura Secord Canadian Cookbook".
It has all sorts of great stuff in there, and was out of print until just recently. I have my Mom's copy she received as a wedding gift, complete with her notes and dogears and extra recipes stuffed in.

I used it for the base recipe of Rhubarb Pie, and then just...messed with it until I found the balance of strawberries/rhubarb that worked for me. Now; I like a more tart pie so if you want a sweeter pie, increase the amount of sugar. adapted from "The Laura Secord Canadian Cook Book" 

Two 9 inch pie crusts. Make your own or cheat (what I did today) and use premade.
3 1/2 cups rhubarb in 1 inch cubes.
2 cups hulled & sliced strawberries  
3/4 - 1.5 cups white sugar (to taste)
(3/4 cup = tart 1 cup = sweet  1.5 =very sweet)
4 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp butter
Cookie sheet

Head out to your Rhubarb patch and cut off about 9 medium/small or 5 big stalks.
Leave the leaves in your composter; those babies are POISONOUS so don't eat them.
Preheat oven to 400F.
Make/prepare your pie crusts - you will need one for the bottom and one for the top.
Wash and cut rhubarb stalks into 1 inch pieces and place in large bowl. Make sure your stalks are dry; you don't need any extra moisture in this pie.
Mix sugar, and cornstarch with rhubarb and strawberries in large bowl.
Pour into prepared bottom pie crust.

Lightly wet edge of crust and place the second crust on top, pinching edges together. 
Cut a six vents in the top of the crust, and dot with the butter.

Place in 400F oven for 15 minutes on the middle rack.
Reduce heat to 350F and cook further for 45-50 minutes.
Make sure to place a cookie sheet under the pie on the lowest rack to catch the juices.
*don't forget this step!!*
Pie should be done at this point; the juices will be bubbling up and out.


Remove from oven and LET COOL COMPLETELY. Do not refrigerate to speed this up.
I struggle with this part.....gah. You have to let the fruit 'set' and if you don't it'll be closer to Rhubarb Soup with Crust.
 You *can* give in and when the pie is just warmish; serve with a big dollop of fresh whipped cream or good vanilla ice cream....yummmmmmmmmmm.

And there you have it.