Tag: Pie

Deeper ‘n Ever Pie

Deeper 'n Ever Pie | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Deeper 'n Ever Pie | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Deeper 'n Ever Pie | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Deeper 'n Ever Pie | Serious Crust by Annie FasslerDeeper 'n Ever Pie | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

We are back. Back in the U.S. Back on the west coast. Back in gray and rainy Portland. This past weekend we had a taste of spring, but otherwise it has been wet. And between the weather and having a bit more time on my hands and a fully functional kitchen again, I have been cooking some of my favorite warming meals. (Big shout out to friends Mac and Carmelle who are letting us room with them while we look for a place to live!) This recipe is one of those dishes. You may have heard of this pie, or at least the book series it is inspired by, Redwall. When I was younger, my older sister Emily was obsessed with the series, which focuses on a series of woodland creatures who live in mostly an abbey. If I recall correctly, there are castles and ghosts, banquets and wizards. I think of it as Camelot meets the Borrowers. My mother, being the amazing woman she is, somehow found a recipe for this pie, Deeper ‘n Ever Turnip ‘n Tater ‘n Beetroot Pie, and would make it for us, making us feel as if we were at the table during those banquets, eating alongside otters, squirrels, and birds.

This pie screams cozy to me. You start with a buttery, savory pie dough, layer the filling with cheese, mashed vegetables, beets, caramelized onions, and more cheese, and bake until the crust is golden. As an adult, I realize the amount of work that goes into this, and how long my mom must have spent in the kitchen making it: caramelizing onions, mashing potatoes and turnips, boiling beets, shredding cheese. It also is a great base for something that is easy to riff on – you could add squash, greens, mushrooms, peppers.

Continue reading “Deeper ‘n Ever Pie”

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie | Serious Crust by Annie FasslerStrawberry Rhubarb Pie | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

My sister recently made me aware that my strawberry rhubarb pie recipe – the one that really inspired me to start this blog in the first place – wasn’t on this website. How could that be?! The time is right to tell you the story behind it, seeing as this weekend is Father’s Day and it’s rhubarb season.

Growing up, my father was a produce aficionado. He snacked on radishes like they were popcorn, and his perfect dessert was a bowl of the ripest berries. My dad’s love of fresh ingredients got me excited about food at a young age, and cooking became a pillar in our relationship. It still is – every time we talk we brag about dishes we’ve made, the latest cookbooks we’re itching to buy, and restaurants we’ve tried lately.

When I was in high school, we decided to spend a summer on a quest for the perfect strawberry rhubarb pie. We read probably a hundred recipes, and baked a pie a week. For the crust we experimented with vodka and leaf lard. To perfect the filling we adjusted our rhubarb to strawberry ratios and tried different spices like ground ginger and orange zest. We refined our technique for rolling out the dough, and watched through the oven door as juices bubbled through cracks in the crust. After cooling on the counter for hours, the first bite was always exhilarating. When we finally landed on the recipe, it was obvious as soon as we tasted it – the crust was tender and flaky, the filling was a soft rosy pink dotted with strawberry seeds, and there was a perfect balance between sweet and tart.

Five years later, my dad was diagnosed with cancer. We went through a trying year of chemotherapy and surgery. It was hard to see someone who loves food barely able to eat, much less enjoy eating. I’ll always remember when I was with him while he was getting a blood transfusion, and I went to the vending machine for a snack. I came back with a bag of Wheat Thins. He tried one and said it tasted good, so I gathered up all of my loose change and bought every bag in the vending machine so he could eat them. His recovery took place mostly in the late spring – the beginning of rhubarb season. The day he asked me to make him our strawberry-rhubarb pie, I knew he was back.

These days, I like to think that strawberry-rhubarb pie is my specialty. I’ve found a new dough recipe (the one you see below) that I like even better than the one my dad and I decided on twelve years ago. Making this pie is relaxing, almost therapeutic. Slicing up the fruit, rolling out the dough – all of it is a ritual that I treasure returning to each summer. Not only do I love making this pie, but it’s representative of my relationship with my dad and the things we both value: sharing delicious food with the people we love the most. It will always remind me of him, and the time we spent on the hunt for the perfect pie. Happy Father’s Day, dad. Here’s to many more rhubarb seasons.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Note: As is often the case with pastry type dough, the colder it is and the less you handle it, the better. I like to keep my shortening in the freezer so it is very cold, and the butter in the fridge.

Another Note: This pie is JUICY. It tastes delicious as ever, but I have never made a strawberry rhubarb pie that actually firmed up without tasting too much like flour or corn starch. I’d rather have a juicy pie that packs a punch rather than being muted by various starchy ingredients. The amount of cornstarch you add will be based on how juicy your fruit is – for example, if you bought your strawberries at the farmer’s market in the height of strawberry season, you’ll want to add more, whereas if you bought them at a big box grocery store in December, you won’t need as much.

Ingredients

Pie Dough

2 ½ cups flour
1 tsp kosher salt
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
12 Tbps (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into chunks
½ cup vegetable shortening, cold, cut into chunks
3-8 Tbsp ice water

Strawberry Rhubarb Filling

4 cups rhubarb, sliced into ½ inch pieces
3 cups strawberries, stemmed and quartered
1 cup sugar
3-5 Tbl cornstarch

Instructions

Pie Dough

Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor, pulse to distribute. Add the butter, pulse until evenly combined. Add the vegetable shortening, and do the same, pulsing until evenly combined. Your dough will start to clump together, but you will still have loose flour. Add 3 tablespoons of ice water and pulse. If your dough isn’t coming together quite yet, add more ice water a tablespoon at a time, pulsing after each addition. You want the dough to just start to come together. Dump the dough out onto floured surface and form a ball, cut it in half, and form two discs (roughly 1-1 ½ inch thick). Wrap discs in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days. You can also freeze the dough for later use.

Strawberry Rhubarb Filling

Combine the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, and cornstarch in a large bowl.

Preheat your oven to 450° F. Lightly grease a 9-inch pie dish with butter and dust with flour. Roll out your pie dough until it’s a circle about 12 inches wide. I like to set the plastic wrap that the dough was wrapped in underneath when I roll it out, as it helps lift it into the pie dish. Transfer your dough to the pie dish and ease it into the corners of the dish. Fill with the strawberry-rhubarb filling. Roll out the second disc of dough, and cover the pie. Trim off excess dough, pinch together the edges, and cut vents in the top of the pie. Place pie on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil, and then into the oven.

Bake for 10 minutes at 450°F, then reduce heat to 350°F and bake for another 50-70 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Allow to cool for at least 3 hours.


Strawberry Rhubarb Pie | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Feast 2014 Oregon Bounty Grand Tasting

Feast 2014 Oregon Grand Bounty Tasting // Serious Crust
Feast 2014 Oregon Grand Bounty Tasting // Serious Crust
Feast 2014 Oregon Grand Bounty Tasting // Serious Crust
Feast 2014 Oregon Grand Bounty Tasting // Serious Crust

Please tell me you’ve heard of Feast. The three-year-old food festival that now takes over Portland for a weekend in late September? The one with so many incredibly opportunities to eat, drink, and be merry? The one where you can easily spot your 5 favorite foodie celebrities in a single day?

This was my first year attending Feast, and I was (unfortunately) only able to hit up one event due to some scheduling conflicts with the band. But the event I did get to go to, the Oregon Bounty Grand Tasting, was 5 hours of tastebud extravaganza, meeting lots of people, and watching cooking demos. My dad and Darla came down for the weekend (they drove out to our gig with us over the weekend), and the three of us went to Pioneer Square to enjoy all that Oregon has to offer.

We made it to the tents in time to grab a couple wine pours and food samples before sitting down to watch Chef Naomi Pomeroy whip up a pork loin with romesco sauce (which, after sampling, inspired me to finally make some romesco sauce of my own). Afterwards, as we moved from some pâté panna cotta with Oregon berries and a parmesan tuile from Uptown Billiards Club, to Eliot’s Adult Nut Butters, to kale salad with smoked salmon (from I’m not every sure who), to crazy delicious bites from Three Little Figs, to some awesome bloody mary shooters from Face Rock Creamery, to tomatoes sprinkled with varied salts from Jacobsen Salt, to of course incredible ice cream from Salt & Straw (served by the one and only Jon Wash), and possibly my favorite dessert: Salt & Straw Olive Oil ice cream topped with Cacao drinking chocolate and candied cocoa nibs. I realized something. I am so unvelievably lucky to live in a city that not only has food like this at every turn, but to live in a city that creates a festival like this, that brings all these artisans and chefs and wineries and breweries together, and has this community around food. I think it’s pretty cool, don’t you?

Feast 2014 Oregon Grand Bounty Tasting // Serious Crust
Feast 2014 Oregon Grand Bounty Tasting // Serious Crust
Feast 2014 Oregon Grand Bounty Tasting // Serious Crust
Feast 2014 Oregon Grand Bounty Tasting // Serious Crust

Let it be known that we also enjoyed some beautiful wines poured by some beautiful people. The wineries that were pouring were some of the best in Oregon, and they were pouring wines that range from $20-70 a bottle. It was a chance for me to try some wines that, let’s face it, I would otherwise not have been able to. Some favorite wineries included Elk CoveAdelsheim VineyardsChehalem, and Penner-Ash Wine Cellars.

Overall, it was a beautiful day spent eating and drinking with some of my favorite people. I met some new friends (like Ian and Mike from Pfriem Brewery), bumped into some old ones (Erin from Bakery Bingo, Rachel from Love, Rachel, and, from afar, Bee from The Spicy Bee), and truly enjoyed discovering all the wonderful food and drink coming from the wonderful Pacific Northwest. Lucky girl, indeed.

Weekend Finds 8:3:14

I love the summer. I really do. Yesterday’s trip to the farmer’s market was beautiful – everything smelled so good, and I wanted to bring it all home with me. I wish my little sister was here to help me pick out the best tomatoes. But there’s that thing that’s starting to nag in the back of my mind. I look at my closet and wish I could wear some of my favorite sweaters. I wish I could make tea anytime after 10 a.m. and not be too hot to drink it. But then I look at the tomatoes, and I’m ok with summer for a while longer. On to these late summer weekend finds:

1. Homemade Ice Cream Tips

Ice Cream Tips // Weekend Finds on Serious Crust
If this picture from Bon Appetit doesn’t make you want ice cream, I don’t know what will.

Tis the season for homemade ice cream, and these tips from BA are really helpful if you’re new to the game. Overall, these tips are mostly about time – take the time to cook your custard well, take the time to add your chunks and ribbons at the right moment, and take the time to let the ice cream set up in the freezer. Trust me, it’s worth it.

2. Gazpacho without a recipe

Gazpacho Non-Recipe // Weekend Finds on Serious Crust
Gazpacho is happening.

This is exactly the non-recipe I’ve been looking for. Thanks Food52.

3. Ricotta Ice Cream

Ricotta Ice Cream from David Lebovitz // Weekend Finds on Serious Crust
I could certainly go for a scoop of this right now.

Speaking of ice cream… David Lebovitz knows his stuff when it comes to ice cream. So I trust him. And when he says to make a ricotta ice cream with pistachios and candied lemon, I listen. This ice cream sounds like it would be sublime on top of a berry crumb cake or polenta cake or something like that. Talk about a lovely summer dessert.

4. Chicken with Plum Chutney

Chicken with Plum Chutney // Weekend Finds on Serious Crust
This chicken with plum chutney is a perfect August dinner.

I posted this recipe 2 years ago (wow), and I was reminded of it this week because there’s a plum tree on our walk way, and the plums are starting to ripen (and fall). This means it’s almost time to make plum chutney. And the chicken that goes with it. This is by far one of my favorite summer dishes, and I can’t wait.

5. Alternative Pie Crusts

Alternative Pie Crusts // Weekend Finds on Serious Crust
How pretty is this filo dough pie crust?

Now you know I love my pie crust, but sometimes it’s time to try new things. All of these alternative crusts look awesome, as in I would like to try all of them now. I’m particularly intrigued by the rice crust.