I made berry rhubarb pie last night for movie night with the ladies. Anyone seen A Mighty Heart? I thought it was fantastic movie - very well done.
The pie, however, was not. I don't know what it is about pie crusts, but I can NEVER get them quite right. Perhaps it's because I don't use lard, or perhaps there's some human error. I've used shortening. I've used butter. I've used a fork. I've used a pastry cutter. I've used the food processor. Nothing works. It's either crumbly or tough or just tastes terrible.
I forgot to take pictures before we started eating... oops!
Luckily, last night's crust was just crumbly - it didn't taste bad. Since I'm terrible with crusts, I'm not going to share any recipe that I've tried until I find one that is foolproof. The one from Better Homes and Gardens New Baking Book is not foolproof, and I need some more practice at it.
I do have a recipe for filling that has never failed me. It's pretty darn easy, and it calls for honey instead of sugar - I'm a big fan of that.
It's out of Mollie Katzen's New Recipes from Moosewood Restaurant. It works for any fruit, and even though it says it's cobbler filling, it is delicious as a pie. Five cups soft fruit, honey, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Mollie calls for cornstarch dissolved in water or fruit juice, but I've tried that several times and don't like the taste of cornstarch in my pies. Leigh told me about using flour, and it soaks up the excess juice without adding a strange flavor to the pie. I throw about a third to a half a cup in. If you haven't noticed already, I don't like exact measurements - if the recipe works with loose measuring, I call it a good recipe. I suppose that might be a little unfair...
And, I thought I'd throw in a photo from last summer. Erik and I didn't actually steal the rhubarb I'm holding. His neighbor has a large backyard with no garden but giant rhubarb in the corner. Several of the plants had already gone to seed when we finally got around to asking him if we could harvest it, but there were plenty of stalks that were still great for baking. We cut them up, tossed them into a ziploc bag, and froze them. So, the berries were store bought, but at least the rhubarb came out of our... err.... our neighbor's garden.