Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

What’s your favorite homemade pie? I would be hard pressed to pick mine.

While it’s pretty hard to beat apple pie, I would have to say that rhubarb just might be my choice. And, of course, rhubarb pie and ice cream is a combination that’s hard to beat.

This being peak rhubarb season and with a crop of strawberries not too far down the road, here’s a recipe adapted from this month’s edition of Martha Stewart Living.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie
2½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1½ sticks (12 tablespoons) very cold unsalted butter, diced
½ cup very cold vegetable shortening, diced
¼ cup ice water
¼ cup vodka
1½ pounds rhubarb, cut into ¾-inch-long pieces (about 5 to 6 cups)
2 cups sliced strawberries
1½ cups sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest, plus 1 tablespoon orange juice
Coarse salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 large egg, lightly beaten, for egg wash
Sugar for sprinkling (optional)
To make the crust: In the bowl of a food processor, place the flour, sugar and salt; pulse to combine. Add the butter and shortening pieces. Process just until the mixture looks like coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle in 2 tablespoons of water and 2 tablespoons vodka, and pulse to combine. Continue adding vodka and water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together and is slightly tacky but sticks together. Divide dough into two even balls and flatten each into a 4-inch disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days.
To make the filling: Mix together rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, cornstarch, orange zest and juice, and ¼ teaspoon salt.
To finish the pie: On a floured surface, roll out one dough disk so it’s 1/8-inch thick and will fit in a 9-inch pie plate. Place the dough in the pan, pour in the filling; dot top with butter. Refrigerate while making top crust.
Roll remaining disk to 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut into at least 10 inch-wide strips using a fluted pastry cutter.
Lay 5 strips across pie. Fold back every other strip, and lay a horizontal strip across the center of the pie. Unfold folded strips, then fold back remaining strips. Lay another horizontal strip across pie. Repeat folding and unfolding strips to weave a lattice pattern. Repeat on remaining side.
Trim bottom and top crusts to a 1-inch overhang using kitchen shears and press together to seal edges. Fold edges under, and crimp as desired. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Remove the pie from the refrigerator. Brush crust with egg wash, and sprinkle generously with sugar. Place a foil-lined baking sheet on the bottom rack to catch juices, and bake pie on middle rack for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, reduce the temperature to 375 degrees and continue baking until filling is vigorously bubbling in center and bottom crust is golden, about 1 hour. (Tent loosely with foil after 1 hour if crust is browning too quickly.) Transfer pie to a wire rack, and let cool for at least 2 hours before serving.
Yield: Serves: 8 (generously).
Note: If making your own crust, chill the butter and shortening in the freezer to get it very cold. You can substitute store-bought ready-to-roll pie crust.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 639 calories, 48 percent of calories from fat, 34 grams fat (15 grams saturated), 77 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams protein, 12 mg sodium, 66 mg cholesterol, 3 grams fiber.