Sunday, June 25, 2006

Admitted - I'm Pie Challenged

No this is not MY strawberry rhubarb pie (with Haagen-Dazs dulce de leche ice cream). I admit it...I'm pie challenged. It's been years since I even tried to make one of my own. My crusts always come out hard. But that's not what this post is about.

Strawberry rhubarb pie is my absolute all time favorite dessert. Yes, it's true I love creme brulee and some others rank up there as well, but nothing comes close to strawberry rhubarb pie. And no one does it better than my Auntie Rita. I compare all others to hers and even the next best (like the one pictured here that I bought at a great market in Jordan (Niagara region) doesn't hold a candle to hers.

Saturday, my honey and I went back to Niagara area (well actually we really went to Buffalo, NY (just across from Niagara Falls) to buy some CocoaVia chocolate bars. They're supposed to be good for you in addition to tasting great and you can't get them in Canada yet. Anyway, I digress. We came back via the Canadian Niagara side and stopped at our favorite market (I'm ashamed to say I don't remember the name, but the next time I'm there I'll pay close attention and edit this post!) because I was craving my favorite pie - especially because the local strawberries and rhubarb are ripe and we're having family over for dinner Sunday and I'm too lazy this time to make dessert.

Sunday morning we did our usual - read the NY Times in bed and lo and behold there's an article in the magazine section called Circular Thinking about pies...with a photo of a gorgeous rhubarb pie (her favorite) and this line jumped off the page...."pies cannot be successfully mass-produced. They depend on the individual touch..." She continues to tell about growing up and all the pies her family made.....which brings me right back to Auntie Rita's strawberry rhubarb pie....perfect flaky crust (she's given me "fool proof" recipes over the years, but none seem to work for me. Maybe I'll have her over when she's in town and we can make one together in my kitchen and I can see what she does), tangy and sweet filling....yum!!!!

And - as for my "circular thinking" I guess it just made me think of the latest meme I contributed to - about dishes I miss the most and Auntie Rita's strawberry rhubarb pie is right up there with my mom's fried chicken and creamed salmon!


HomeUser said...


I found this great recipe on

Flapper Pie
1/4 cup margarine (melted)
1 1/2 cup graham crumbs
1/4 cup brown sugar

Mix well, (and reserve 2 or 3 tbsp. in dish). Press into pie pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 min. Watch closely so it doesn't burn.

2 cups milk
3 egg yolks
2 tbsp. cornstarch
3 tbsp. sugar
l tsp. vanilla

Mix eggs, starch, sugar and vanilla in a pot. Stir in milk and bring to a boil. Pour onto crust.

3 egg whites
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
3 tbsp. white sugar

Whip with a mixer until peaks form. Blob on to top of filling. Sprinkle with reserved crumbs. Bake at 400 degrees for 5-8 minutes. This is rich and tasty. Keep in a sealed container in fridge for up to 5 days.

Try out this recipes and check out the website for more yummy treats!

J said...

hi ruth, why make your own when you have kind and talented aunts to call upon ;) i adore the combination of rhubarb and strawberry, pink on pretty pink. sadly, squeaky fresh stalks of rhubarb are rather hard to come by in our parts...

Jackie said...

I adore strawberry rhubarb pie, and I too am crust challeneged. I can usually coax a decent one out of Rose Levy's Cream Cheese Crust recipe, but I'm thinking the next time I attempt strawberry rhubarb - maybe this weekend, as you've inspired me! - I'll use the same sweet cookie tart crust from the berry tart and just make it a tart instead. It was so much easier to press out tart dough (right in the pan!) than delicately knead a pie crust, and the dough is just overall less finicky.