Lattice?! Really?! Lattice...really.
So, we all know now that I love my Sundays. I don't usually plan them out, but I have to admit, last Sunday, a little planning was involved. And by "planning" I mean coordinating my Instacart delivery.
I needed some reinforcements for making this pie. The list of ingredients for this puppy wasn't too long, but I still needed to get my hands on some rhubarb, etc.
Sidebar: finding rhubarb in September involved a little detective work. In the end, since the rhubarb I found in store looked really sad and near produce death, I opted for the pre-cut frozen version. I thawed it out and no one was the wiser. It worked perfectly.
- Perfect Pie crust: (this makes 2 recipes, enough for a pie shell with a lattice top)
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 sticks (8 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
- 3 to 4 tablespoons ice water
- Strawberry rhubarb filling:
- 1 pound rhubarb, ends trimmed and sliced into ½-inch thick pieces
- 2 cups stemmed and sliced strawberries
- 1½ cups granulated sugar, plus 2 teaspoons for garnishing crust
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 egg yolk
- Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, optional
I created the filling first by combining everything in one bowl.
First up, the strawberries...so pretty.
Here's that thawed rhubard I mentioned. Also pretty, but not as pretty as the strawberries. Just sayin...
And then came the sweet stuff. Sugar on top:
Adding a little fresh lemon juice to brighten things up a bit. Yay citrus.
Sidenote: As a child I ate lemons. Why? I have no clue. Must have been some sort of mineral or vitamin deficiency. As an adult I can't stand sour anything, but the smell of a fresh lemon still gets me like:
Then I wanted to not think about it at the last minute so I separated the egg yolk ahead of time.
Nothing like a fresh organic egg am I right?
This is what I brushed (read: had no brush so I finger painted this portion; more on that in a minute) on top of the lattice.
Did I mention I decided to bake this pie on a rare hot day in San Francisco?
Nothing like turning up the heat in an oven just in time for a super late west-coast summer. Like I said, I try not to plan out my Sundays and in some cases, this bites me in the you-know-what. Ok fine, ass. Moving right along...
The fruit got all happy after having spent some time mingling in the sugar.
This smelled incredible by the way.
Then it was time for the ole' pie crust. Which means, it was time for some butter:
There's a LOT of information out there on the w, w, w when it comes to the "perfect pie crust." Just Google it and prepare to be inundated with best pie practices.
Team butter over here. Unsalted, organic, amazing. The good stuff.
All due respect to those with family recipe traditions that involve it, but personally, I just can't handle the thought of Crisco on this one.
What's that thing in the upper right hand corner you ask?
Um, that is a pastry blender friends.
If you don't have a food processor handy, this is what you can work out that dough with. Literally though, it's a workout.
So the butter, flour, sugar, and salt were tossed into the bowl and the work began.
I finally got the butter down to pea size after blending like a champ.
IMPORTANT NOTE: keep that butter cold. This is a universal pie hack/truth. Keep it as cold as humanly possible. It will make or break your pie crust.
ALSO: As I mixed I sprinkled in ice water until the dough held together. I also drank said ice water because my heart rate was up. Pie workouts, the struggle is real.
Cue: my dough ball.
Sidenote: I can totally see "dough ball" being a nickname for a future pet.
From here I flatted the dough into a disk (about 6 inches wide) and popped it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Chilled is the name of the game.
30 MINUTES LATER...
I floured the counter, cut the dough ball in half (put one half back into the fridge), flattened out the other dough half using this french rolling pin (I feel like I can maneuver better with it than a heavier, more traditional version; but that's just me), and eye-balled it.
I was scared.
I knew winging it would be risky, but I kept on, keepin' on. I woman'd up.
Rolling away until I got where I thought I wanted to be.
Next up: the transfer.
My emotional state at that time you ask?
Oh you know, I was petrified. Moving across the country? No problem. Transferring a pie crust into a pie pan? Shaking in my ankle boots. So goes my life...
Back to the pie pan: I bought this option after reading way too many reviews on Amazon, and I'm so glad I did. It was perfect.
I learned how to transfer said questionable crust over by flouring the rolling pin, flipping the pie dough onto it, and them moving the pin over the pie plate so I could flip that dough sheet back on top without any unnecessary tearing.
Next up: I rolled out the other half of dough into a small rectangle about ⅛-inch thick. Some trimming happened to get to a rectangle shape.
Then, back in the fridge it went. Again.
From there I scraped the filling into the chilled pie shell.
Looking good right? I was in shock at how well this was turning out.
I popped the pie back into the fridge (1 hour max) and moved into lattice-making mode.
So, making the lattice isn't all too hard:
I flopped out the dough that was in the fridge while filling the pie.
It was in rectangle form so that helps when it came to cutting the strips.
In the end, I cut about 9 because I had that much dough to work with (that is what's so great about this recipe, there's plenty of extra dough to cover the pie plate and always enough to make that lattice).
I went one at a time, flipping and flopping to make it work. Just try it out. You'll eventually get the hang of it, I swear.
Still need help? Watch THIS.
Then I pinched around the edges to make the crust cute, because obviously crust has to be cute.
From there, I preheated the oven to 400°F.
After beating the egg yolk and finding (a little late into the recipe mind you) out that I had no pastry brush, I dunked my fingers into the yolk and haphazardly coated the top of the crust. Mmmm, weird goey'ness.
This is where that pie shine comes from. So profesh, especially when applied with pointer fingers, no?
The final step before moving this pie into the oven (place towards the bottom) was sprinkling the top with 2 teaspoons of yep, more sugar.
I baked my pie baby for about 50 minutes.
The oven light was on the entire time because I was freaking out about the crust burning (little did I know that you can tent it 3/4 of the way through with foil to avoid this, geez). You could also just opt for this pie crust shield. Genius. What will they think of next?
By the way, while this was baking, the smell in my home WAS HEAVEN.
If I could bottle it, I would.
Actually, no, I wouldn't. It smelled too good. Everyone smelling that scent would constantly be on the hunt for the next baked good.
Fun for a Sunday afternoon, not so much for a dinner date. Ok fragrance deal, off.
And here is the money shot:
I made this. No really, I actually MADE THIS pie! I'm so happy with how it turned out.
I let it cool for a bit, I'd say 30 minutes, just so the filling would firm up.
This was the toughest part.
I was dying to sink my teeth into a piece, but alas, I was feeling very adult-like, and as such, decided to flex my patience muscle (it happens once every 6 months).
This pie was freaking delicious. With vanilla bean ice cream? I mean...overboard delicious. Another level.
As a result, I had to hand it off to friends that Monday so I wouldn't consume the entire thing at home alone (visions of Miranda and her trash-can brownies did enter my mind once or twice).
One more shot, with a little filter-action, of this strawberry rhubarb pie:
Oh and Sur la Table says this: "the pie will keep at room temperature under a cake dome for up to 2 days. For longer storage, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Reheat at 375°F for 15 to 20 minutes to warm the filling and re-crisp the crust."
On to the next pie recipe...I'm thinking apple but I'm open to suggestions.
Let me know if you give this pie a shot! You totally should.
Confession: I feel like a complete badass now that I know I can conquer a lattice crust.
It's the little things in life right?
Until next Sunday...