I tasted my first strawberry rhubarb pie only 3 years ago and instantly realized that it was the best pie flavour in the world!
This post is more than just a pie recipe though. This post includes a comprehensive explanation of how to make a perfect pie crust every time. I used to really suck at making pie crusts myself. They would always crumble apart when I rolled them out and getting them into the pie pan? Impossible. They were never the right size and they never baked just right. Because I sucked terribly at pie crusts, I really focussed on developing this skill and now I feel like I can do it in my sleep. There are some definite things that I do differently now compared to before that I will share with you. You MUST try making a pie crust on your own after this!
This post will also show you a comprehensive step by step guide to make a basket weave pie top! It’s really easy and the pie looks 10 billion times better with it!
So sit back and learn!
Let’s start with the recipe:
You will need:
- One recipe of this pie dough…save those unused egg whites
- 4 1/2 cups of rhubarb (around 2 large stalks)
- 2 cups of strawberries
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons of cornstarch
Here are some things you need to know to make the perfect pie crust.
The recipe you use is key! I really suggest using this recipe here. All the other recipes I have tried for pie crusts do not cut it the way this one does. I love the taste of the all butter crust and love the fact that I skip out on those trans-fats by not adding shortening. This recipe is moist enough because of the addition of a set amount of water. Other recipes just say “add one tablespoon at a time” of the water and you never actually know how much you need. Also…this recipe makes enough. So many recipes do not make a sufficient amount of dough for a pie and so when I rolled it out it would break apart because it was too thin. Adding the egg really helps to bind the dough together. Most recipes do not call for an egg.
The technique for making the dough is key as well:
- The butter must be cubed and cold
- Place the butter in the flour and coat all the cubes separately
- Rub the butter and flour between your finger tips, coating all the newly formed smaller chunks of butter as you go…do this until the flour and butter and a real crumbly texture
- Make a well and add the water and egg.
- Work fast and with your hands, bring the dough together…do not be timid, make sure that the dough is mixed well to ensure an easier time rolling it out. Just because you work fast does not mean you need to stop early. I have showed picture after picture of how the dough should look like when you are done bringing it together. The reason you need to work fast is so that the glutens in the flour do not have enough time to release and make the dough chewy…don’t worry so much if it’s your first time but just remember, it is not cookie dough, just knead it until the ingredients are even and then stop!
- Wrap it tightly in something (like plastic wrap or parchment paper) and then place it in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
Now let’s talk about rolling this dough out:
- Lay down a large piece of parchment paper.
- Cut off 1/3 of the dough and set it back in the fridge
- Dust this paper with flour and be generous.
- Place the dough in the flour and dust more flour on top of the dough…I generally give the dough a little bit of a flour rub down and then sprinkle a little more flour on top…sticky doughs ruin everything and flour prevents this.
- Rub down your rolling pin in flour.
- Now start to roll it out never moving it’s position on the parchment paper. Move the parchment paper itself but don’t lift or play with the dough.
- As soon as the surface of the the dough is without flour, add some more before the sticky dough occurs…at this point also rub down that rolling pin with flour again
- Keep rolling until it’s the size of the pan plus 2-3 inches on all sides. Make sure it’s large!! It’s always better to have more than less. This recipe above will definitely make enough even with the 1/3 of it reserved.
- Now put your hand underneath the parchment paper and hold the pie pan in your other pan and make a quick flip.
- Remove the parchment paper and carefully position the dough in the pie pan a little better after that flip.
- Et Voila!
- Use this technique for the top crust but you do not need to roll it out to have an extra 2-3 inches, it just needs to be large enough to cover the top. In the basket weave I will show you below, cut this dough into 1 inch strips.
- After you have sealed the top on by pinching it to the edges of the bottom crust, cut off the excess with a sharp knife by running the knife along the outside edge of the pie pan.
HOW TO BASKET WEAVE A PIE CRUST