Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Rhubarb-Strawberry Sheet Pie With Crumble Topping

 I don't mind rolling out two crusts for two pies not requiring a top crust, but I really dislike rolling out four crusts for two pies.  Double the work and you still only get two pies.  So over the years, I've come up with sheet pies.  Simply take a double-crust pie dough and roll that out onto a cookie sheet.  Push the sides of the dough up the sides, flute, fill with any kind of fruit, sprinkle with a crumble top, et voila!

I have a few old rectangular cookie pans with raised sides, which I found in a resale shop many years ago.  They measure 12" x 17 3/4".   Aluminum disposable sheets found in the grocery store will work, however, the aluminum  will not brown the bottom of the crust as nicely as a dark pan.  Secondly, those pans are not stable.  They can easily flex if not supported well while you handle them.  So if that's the route you go - be very careful with them. 

The nice thing too about making sheet pies is how many people can eat from a single sheet for very little cost.  A round pie may feed 6 - 8 people depending on slice widths and pie dish size.  A sheet pie instantly serves a dozen right off using the same amount of fruit as for a single round pie.  For this rhubarb-strawberry version, I've added a crumble topping of the sort commonly used for fruit crisps.  There is less sugar than usual, to allow the tartness of the rhubarb and flavour of the strawberry to sing.   If you want more sweetness - go ahead and add a bit more sugar to both the filling and the topping.  However, a drizzle of maple or agave syrup would easily provide a bit more sweet if desired.   
I pulled six stalks of rhubarb.  Rhubarb is pulled, not cut.  Simply reach down as close to the stem bottom as possible and pull.  It should come out cleanly.  Discard the leaves as they are toxic.  This is ruby red rhubarb - I don't know the variety name but it is not the more commonly found green variety.  These were crowns I dug up from my mother's farm garden.  The stalks are exactly as you see - a gorgeous red exterior and they have neither a raw/bitter taste or extreme sourness like darker green/red rhubarbs can.  With the green variety, I would add an extra 1/2 cup white sugar to the filling.

Rhubarb-Strawberry Sheet Pie with Crumble Topping
  • 5 cups cut-up red rhubarb - (6 stalks)
  • 1 1/2 cup cut-up strawberries
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. butter

Crumble Topping
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup large flake oatmeal
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • pinch of sea-salt

Pie Dough for a 9-inch double-crust pie or use mine below.
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt - I use sea-salt
  • 2/3 cup lard (slightly rounded)
  • 7 Tbsp. cold water.

Make your pie crust.  Form it into a log approximately the length of your sheet and roll that out directly onto the sheet with a floured roller.  Roll it out from the middle toward the edges.  Use your fingers to push the dough up the pan sides.  Flute and set aside.
Make the crumble topping.  Measure flour, sugar, salt and oatmeal together.  Measure and cut in the butter.  All this can be done with a blade-fitted food processor.  Aside from my dislike of  rolling out pie crusts, I also dislike cleaning the food processor and all its gadgets.  So I use a pastry cutter.  If I was still home-schooling with a houseful of little ones, I'd go back to the food processor.  Set the crumble aside.
Cut lengthwise the stalks which are wider.  Chop the stalks into medium size dice.  Cut up some strawberries.  The amount of fruit is a bit flexible.  Anywhere from four to six cups of fruit will work.  I used more rhubarb to strawberries.  I could have used all rhubarb.  The total amount of fruit is approximately five cups rhubarb plus the one cup of strawberries.  Don't get too hung up here.  It really is quite flexible.  I actually added the strawberries last minute.

Beat the eggs with the sugar.  Add the flour and butter.  Beat in.  Mix this into the fruit.  Spread the rhubarb mix onto the pastry.  There will be a fair bit of  liquid from the eggs and sugar mixture, but that will set up in the baking.

Top with the crumble.   Bake in preheated 375F oven x 40 - 45 minutes.  The topping will be golden and the pastry will have slightly pulled away from the pan sides.   Enjoy!


Stacy said...

I have always struggled with making a proper pie crust. My mom excels at it and I am so going to show her this recipe. What ingenuity to make a pie in a sheet pan! I think it looks delicious!

Grandma Yellow Hair said...

Wow I love this post! I learned so much from reading this but it has made me so hungry. lol
Can't wait to find a pan this size and try it.

Katrina Blanchalle said...

That looks delicious!
I have never been a pie crust perfectionist, either in the making or the eating. A long time ago I found a recipe, or rather a method, that involved no rolling at all. You simply plop the dough into the pan and push it into place with your fingers. It could be argued that the crust does not look nice and smooth (it gets covered anyway) or that it doesn't bake out flaky or chewy or whatever the ideal crust is. But since, for me, the crust is basically something for holding up the filling, I don't care about the precise texture of it. I am just so happy to make in a third of the time and eat it that much sooner!

Annmarie Pipa said...

oh wow!!! that looks and sounds so delicious!!!

Grandma Yellow Hair said...

Just came by tonight to check on you and to see how your doing.
Hope all is well and your enjoying the week.

Susan said...

Well, that is a great idea. Mmm mmm mmm Looks so good. I LOVE strawberry/rhubarb pie. It's such a yummy combination.

Thanks for your visit and comment on my blog! Nice that you stopped by. Susan

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

What a great idea! And everything looks so delicious.

Kathy M.

Darlene - Online PhD Schools said...

Now this is something new for my recipe collection! Wow, this is definitely a must try! Just looking at it makes wanna crave for it. Anyway, thanks a whole lot for posting the recipe in your blog site. Really appreciate it! This is perfect for the upcoming Father’s Day. Thanks again!

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suggested 7 Day Montana Elk Hunting Trips Click Here said...

I am trying it soon! sounds simple....hopefully mine will turn out as good as yours.