Contrary to what you might see represented on my blog as of late, I am not a big fan of cakes. There are a few cakes I LOVE and for which I will go out of my way, but on the whole I prefer fruit pies. This is no doubt due to the fact that my family - Mom and her 4 sisters to be exact - love to make pies and are EXCELLENT at it. There is a homemade pie on the dessert table at every family get together. And by homemade pie, I mean a store-bought crust has never seen the inside of any family member's home. Apple, peach, apricot, black bottom, custard, fresh strawberry, pumpkin, pecan, banana cream, lemon meringue, blackberry, pumpkin-chiffon, strawberry-rhubarb... Heck, the story my father tells about his first experience meeting my mom's family even has to do with pie:
Dad has very recently been introduced to Mom's sisters, Betty and Fran
Scene: Betty's Kitchen
Fran: [forks and tastes her first bite of Betty's homemade apple pie. Pauses; continues chewing; pauses again] "Betty - this is the WORST pie I've ever eaten."
Dad was completely floored at the blatant honesty and sat back to wait for fireworks - bracing himself for a fight, argument, raised voices in defense...
Betty: [waving a dismissive hand] "Oh I know - I shouldn't have even served it."
And Dad, shockingly relieved, lived to tell the story...
My absolute favorite pie is a strawberry-rhubarb which I believe originated (in my immediate family) from my Dad's mother - that's right we get it on both sides! I've been wanting to make my first strawberry-rhubarb pie of 2008 ever since I saw those bright red stalks of rhubarb appear in my local grocery store sometime in the last few weeks.
We have a barbecue at a friend's place tonight and I volunteered to bring a dessert. I started rolling out the dough and realized that I would most definitely have extra - now, I don't feel bad throwing out extra dough, but what I can't throw out is extra strawberries and rhubarb already cut and mixed with sugar and flour for the filling. Fortunately I bought those little tart pans last week. Made for a perfect sampling to "make sure it tasted okay" before taking to the BBQ! ;)
I get bored of doing the same plain top crust with each pie I make so I decided to try something new after seeing a similar style on an episode of Martha Stewart months back. It took a while but was really a lot of fun and almost felt like a craft project!
It was fantastic! The familiar flavors of my absolute favorite pie that I've been eating as long as I can remember. But fancied up just the perfect amount!
I could eat this pie every day - and fully intend to make more of them before this summer is up. Thank goodness for rhubarb and strawberry season!