*This Rosy Rhubarb & Strawberry Pie is free of refined sugars, white flours, & cornstarch.
Sometimes I get rolling with a certain type of food and I just can’t stop. Such is the case with pie, recently. THIS pie started the whole “over the top, likely overly fancy pie crust” phase that I find myself currently submerged in. Ever since that pie, I’ve been dreaming up other elaborate pie crusts that I might bring to life.
One of those crusts is this bouquet of roses. I made it for my Mom as her birthday dessert last week, but wouldn’t it be so perfect for Mother’s Day? Forget fresh flowers, make yours out of a buttery pie dough and fill it with one of the greatest pie fillings of all time: Strawberry Rhubarb.
The filling itself is so simple. I’ve discovered that fruit-based pie fillings don’t need to be complex or heavy with ingredients. You really only need to sweeten and thicken. In the case of this strawberry rhubarb pie, the berries and rhubarb are sliced and tossed with turbinado sugar and tapioca starch. The turbinado sugar adds a depth of flavor to the cooked fruit that you can’t get with ordinary white sugar. The tapioca starch thickens the fruit syrup really nicely and has become ‘must have’ ingredient when it comes to baking fruit pies.
Make sure that you quarter your strawberries. Don’t leave them in large chunks or halves or you’ll end up with unappetizing mushy pieces that don’t break down into a deep red, sweet and sticky filling nearly as well as smaller pieces of strawberries will.
As for the rhubarb, select the smallest, thinnest stalks that you can find. They will hold their shape better and be less tough and stringy than large, thick stalks. Stalks that are a deep red will add to the beautiful jelly red syrup that you get with a strawberry/rhubarb combo.
I know that many of you will roll your eyes when I say this, but the pie dough roses are really not difficult to make.
I promise. I’ve even got a video to show you just how to do it. What you really need to make them is patience. That, and a lot of pie dough. Essentially, you cut rolled pie dough into circles (LOTS of circles). You place four circles in a row on your work surface, with each circle slightly overlapping. The circles are then rolled up into a log, the log is cut in half, and the cut sides of the ‘log’ are pinched inward to hold the little rose together. After that, you turn the cut side down and use your fingers to press the folds of dough downward to look like rose petals.
It’s easier than it sounds, promise. Just watch the video and you’ll be ready to make thousands of dough roses yourself. Or at least a few dozen.
*Chill your pie dough roses before putting them on top of the filled pie. This will help them to keep their shape better as they bake. If you don’t want such a thick pie crust, snip the bottoms of the roses off before placing them on top of the filling. They will still hold their shape if you are gentle, but your crust will not be so bulky.
*Toss your pie filling ingredients together just before placing in the pie crust and baking. This will give the filling less time to become liquid-y from the sugar extracting the juices so that the filling will be less likely to run out of the pie crust before it is set.
- FOR THE CRUST:
- 2½ cups White Whole Wheat Flour
- 3 tablespoons fine Cane Sugar
- ¼ teaspoon Sea Salt
- 1 Vanilla Bean
- ¼ cup Shortening
- 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) Butter, cold and cut into small cubes
- ¼ cup + Ice Water
- FOR THE FILLING:
- 2 medium sized Rhubarb Stalks, sliced
- 1 lb. Strawberries, quartered (stems removed)
- Juice of ½ a large Lemon
- 1 cup Turbinado or Demerara Sugar
- 5 tablespoons Tapioca Starch
- 1 egg, beaten
- FOR THE CRUST:
- Place the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with an 's' blade. Scrape the seeds of the vanilla bean into the bowl, close the lid, and pulse the mixture a few times until blended together.
- Add the shortening to the food processor and pulse once. Add the cubes of butter, one at a time, pulsing a few times after the addition of each cube.
- With the processor running, drizzle in the ice water until the mixture starts to form into large clumps. Do not add too much water. Dough should not be sticky or wet, but should come together to form a nice dough.
- Divide the dough in half, wrap up one half and set aside.
- Roll the other half of dough into a ball and place in between two sheets of parchment paper. Roll to a circle that is 1½-2 inches larger in circumference than your pie dish.
- Place the sheet of dough over the top of your pie dish and remove parchment paper. Press the dough in to fit the bottom and sides of the dish. There should be a little bit of dough left hanging over the edges. Trim dough around the edge of the pie. Re-roll the dough scraps to ⅛". Refrigerate dough for 15 minutes. Cut leaf shapes out of the dough and place around the edges of the pie, brushing the edges with beaten egg to help them stick.
- Place the crust in the fridge and make the pie filling.
- FOR THE FILLING:
- Place the rhubarb, strawberries, lemon juice, tapioca starch, and sugar in a large bowl. Toss to coat - tapioca starch should dissolve.
- Spoon the mixture evenly into the dough lined pie dish.
- Place the remaining half of the pie dough in between two sheets of parchment paper and roll to a thickness of 1/16". Place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
- Remove from the fridge and cut circles about 2" in diameter out of the dough. Cut as many circles as you can, re-rolling the scraps and cutting more circles until all the dough is used up.
- Lay four circles on your work surface, with each circle overlapping the next. Starting at the end of a dough circle, roll up the dough into a log shape (all circles will be rolled up together). Cut the log in half. Use your fingers to press the dough on the cut side into the center to keep the dough rose sealed together. Turn the dough rose over and use your fingers to gently press the folds of dough out and down, into the shape of petals.
- Repeat with remaining dough circles until you have used all the dough.
- Place the roses on top of the pie filling until the top of the pie is completely covered in roses.
- Brush beaten egg over the top of the pie crust.
- Cover the top of the pie with a loose layer of tin foil.
- Bake on the middle rack of an oven at 375 degrees for 45-50 minutes.
- Remove the tin foil and continue baking the pie until the filling is bubbling. The center of the filling should be thick and gel-like.
- Remove from the oven and let cool.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.