Thursday, June 4, 2009
This Saturday marked the television return of my beloved Pushing Daisies. In honor of one of the final three episodes I decided to make, what else? A pie, of course...
My Pear Gruyère Pie is always a winner for any Pushing Daisies gatherings, but it's summer and with so many different fruit coming into season, I decided to shake things up and picked up a bunch of rhubarb. My only previous foray into the world of rhubarb was for the June 2008 Daring Baker's Challenge when I made a Strawberry Rhubarb Danish Braid. I thought about doing a strawberry rhubarb pie. Heck, I even bought the strawberries. But some little voice inside was telling me...no. Not strawberries. Raspberries! Do it! Dooooooooo it! So I did....
First I prepared the filling.
Raspberry Rhubarb Filling
1 1/2 pounds trimmed rhubarb (approximately 3 cups)
1 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 cups raspberries
2 teaspoons vanilla
In a small bowl whisk together cornstarch and orange juice until the cornstarch is dissolved and set aside. Wash the rhubarb and trim off the edges. Cut rhubarb into 1/2-inch slices so that you have enough to fill 3 cups. In a medium saucepan stir together rhubarb, sugar, cinnamon, ginger and vanilla. Cook over the mixture on moderate heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar is melted and bubbly. Add cornstarch mixture to rhubarb mixture and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. When rhubarb mixture reaches a boil stir in 1 1/2 cups of raspberries and continue simmering and stirring until rhubarb mixture becomes thick Then transfer mixture to a medium bowl, cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or until the mixture is cold.
Preheat oven to 425°F.
As much as I like pie, I'm not a piemaster by any stretch of the imagination. I've yet to perfect my own pie standard pie crust recipe. For this particular pie I worked from Alton Brown's Pie Crust Recipe. I have to tip my hat to Alton. The recipe was easy really easy to work with. I followed his instructions up through the chilling part. Then to be honest the steps felt a little convoluted to me. I'm the type of person that learns by doing, so I said screw it and rolled out the pie as I normally would--when the dough was chilled I rolled it out between two pieces of plastic wrap to keep it from sticking. Then I peeled off one side of the plastic wrap and center that side of the dough in the pie plate then remove the other sheet of plastic wrap. Tada!
The Alton Brown recipe was intended for a meringue pie. I didn't follow through with the blind baking steps (baking the pie without the filling). I just chilled the pie shell pre-baking for about 30-45 minutes and then brushed the edges of the crust with a whisked egg so the crust will brown nicely. Then I filled it with the chilled filling, topped it with the remaining 1/2 cup of raspberries and this crumb topping...
Chai Oatmeal Crumble Topping
1 stick unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup rolled quick cook oats
1/2 a bag of Tazo Chai Tea
1/2 cup of light brown sugar
2 tablespoons of flour
Add brown sugar, flour and chai tea to food processor. Cut the unsalted butter into 1 tablespoon chunks and toss into food processor. Pulse mixture several times then add in oatmeal in three stages pulsing a couple times in between until mixture is crumbly. Top the pie with the crumble. Bake pie on a baking sheet in middle of oven for 25-35 minutes or until the crust cooked through and both crust and crumb topping are golden brown. Cool pie on a rack at least 1 hour to set filling.
Serve with ice cream.