There are few things I love more than pie- you guys know that. There is something so therapeutic about standing in the kitchen, pulling together a crust, cutting up fruit and tossing it with sugar.
Somewhere between the moment you're finished crimping your crust and pulling it out of the oven, something magical happens. Juices cook out of fruit, butter heats, steam pockets form in the crust, and sugars caramelize.
Once your pie is out of the oven, however, you're not out of the woods just yet. Now comes the time to worry about whether or not your pie has set up. Sadly, a runny pie has no remedy. You put this labor of love into the oven, pray a little, and pull it out JUST before you think it's over-baked. The most important thing for your pie when it comes out of the oven, for just a few hours, is patience. DO. NOT. CUT. INTO. THAT PIE.
Other desserts (really, almost all other desserts) are best when eaten shortly after they are baked. A warm cookie? Fuggedaboutit. Pie, on the other hand, can be tragic if it's cut too soon. All of your delicious juices (that will later thicken as your pie cools) will run right out, and you'll cry.
Making pie is not difficult, but it is time consuming. Dough making, dough resting, dough rolling and shaping, fruit preparation, fruit macerating... you get the idea. This is why the idea of one premature cut into a glorious homemade pie is so terrifying to me!
This pie uses a LOT of juicy fruits- which is why it is so dang delicious. It is also why I was petrified about it not setting up. I've never cooked with rhubarb before, and that element of mystery was also a bit scary.
I have one go-to pie crust recipe. Upon reading up on strawberry rhubarb pies, it seemed as though most people encouraged a crust more substantial than the one I normally use. I figured I would just use my ol' standby and hope for the best.
Joy the Baker posted a recipe for a Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Pie as I was doing some recipe research to make a rhubarb pie of my own. It seemed serendipitous! She recommends using a heavy-duty pie crust- and when Joy speaks, you listen. After making and consuming this pie, I am thankful for that thick, protecting crust. It kept all of my sweet fruit juices in and never got soggy. God bless Joy.
I'm still thinking of this pie. Please go check out Joy's recipe, see if you can round up the last of the rhubarb harvest this year (or pull some out of the freezer,) and savor this beauty.