Thursday, April 30, 2015

Birthday Pie: Old Fashioned Strawberry Rhubarb

Everyone should be so lucky in life...
 ... to have a grandpa.

A grandpa to know and love through the years...

And if by chance 
you don't have a grandpa anymore...
you can borrow mine for today. least for this post, and 
enjoy the happy memories I'm sharing.

He would happily be a grandpa to you too...

My grandpa is the good kind of grandpa...
the kind of grandpa that puts together your big wheel at Christmas...
...shows you all the animals at the zoo when you are two...

He can talk about baseball and fishing...
carpentry and birds... grandpa stuff.
...Mostly because, those are and were some of his favorite pastimes...

Don't bring up politics...

...unless you have a spare hour or two to hear his concerns.

He's always ready with a quick smile and a silly joke...

And he always, always, always, bids you farewell with a wave of his red handkerchief 
from the porch steps of the house he built with his very own hands...

That's grandpa.

He turned 91 this week...

91 years of memories... most of which he can still easily recall.

He can still tell you about his pet dog as a boy, 
his family...
He can tell about childhood adventures of sled riding and playing marbles...
If you ask, he'll even tell you about his service in WWII... 

For his 91st birthday, I had the honor
of making him a birthday pie...

An old-fashioned
rhubarb pie.  

He still remembers me...

but he probably forgot that I visited soon after I had left...

and he might not remember who brought the birthday pie... 
or even that the pie was for him, to celebrate
 his special day...

But I am sure he will enjoy every bite,
...this I know.

His short term memory is not what it used to be...

Luckily, he's had a long life full of memories on which to draw from.

Here we are in 1975 at the zoo.

And on my seventh birthday...

I like that he seems to be enjoying my birthday as much as I am...

Here we are at my graduation from grad school in 1997...

On my wedding day in 2000...

Here he is... as a great-grandpa to my kiddos.

Having a grandpa is a very wonderful thing.

...another wonderful thing...

 fresh-baked strawberry rhubarb pie... least that's what my grandpa will tell you.

Special thanks and photo credit to my grandma...
she took so many pictures that I cherish.
Photographs that captured the most special days 
and the everyday of visiting at her house...
going on trips... 
I often think about the thoughtful person behind the lens...
keeping the memories alive for us.
She would have loved the digital cameras of today.

And a special thanks to my mom... 
I'm so enjoying the butterfly birthday cake...all over again... 
35 years later...
That was quite a cake!  
And if I didn't tell you then, I'm telling you now...I love it.  
Thanks mom.

Enough dough for one 9-inch two crust pie.
Need a great pie dough recipe??

This is rhubarb... it is available in grocery stores in the springtime.
The leaves are inedible,
so if you grow your own like I do,
make sure to discard the leaves and wash thoroughly.

Nothing ruins a great pie faster than poisonous leaves.
...the rhubarb in the store is usually sold with the leaves already removed.

2 cups cleaned and chopped rhubarb-leaves removed and discarded
2 cups rinsed and sliced fresh strawberries
1 cup of granulated sugar
1/4 cup instant clear gel (available at King Arthur)
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tiny pinch of salt

Roll out pie dough and place into a pie plate.
Mix all the filling ingredients together.
Pour filling into prepared pie plate.
Roll out dough round and cover pie.
Crimp edges.
Vent pie by making a few slits on the face of the pie.

Finishing the Pie:
Egg wash: 1 egg lightly beaten and 1 tablespoon of cool water to thin.
(1 Teaspoon sugar + 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon) -to sprinkle on top of the pie.
Lightly brush egg wash on pie (you will not use all the egg wash,
just enough to lightly glaze the dough.
While egg wash is wet, sprinkle pie with cinnamon-sugar mixture.

BAKING TIP: Chill the made pie for 10 minutes in the freezer before baking...
the crust will be flakier.

Bake on the lowest rack in a preheated 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.
Use a No-drip pie shield or a foil-lined baking sheet to catch drips.
Reduce Heat to 375, cover edges with a crust shield or foil and continue baking
and additional 40 minutes, or until pie is browned and the filling is bubbling.

Let pie cool to room temperature and serve.  Enjoy.

P.S.  These are two of my very favorite pie accessories 
that will change your pie-baking life....genius ideas!!

TIP #1 : A No-Drip Pie Shield-from Chicago Metallic is a huge help in catching drips from pies.  I would not bake a pie without one... or consider using a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil and place on the bottom rack.  

TIP #2 : 
I love a pie crust shield.  After the pie has baked for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees...Using the pie crust shield keeps the edges from over-browning.  So much easier than aluminum foil...

**This is not a sponsored post...just sharing products to truly love and use.


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  1. It looks delicious. Aren't grandparents a true blessing. My father in law is 93 years old. When my daughter was in 4 th grade she was suppose to interview a grandparent and she choose him. There were questions about growing up and his pets and things like that. Then she ask him what his favorite dessert was and he said, pie, then she asked what's your favorite food and he said, pie, then she asked what's your favorite holiday and he said, Thanksgiving. She asked him why and he said, because you get to eat pie. She's all grown up now but she still likes to tell About grandpa and his love of pie.

    1. Rebecca, What a sweet story about your father-in-law...I love it! I think his interview question responses are priceless...I guess if you love pie...there is no denying it! And yes, grandparents are a blessing. Thank you for sharing your story, and for stopping by the blog. :). Best, Karri

  2. Hi Karri,
    I live in France and I always enjoy making American recipes so while looking for a nice carrot cake recipe, I discovered your blog....and fell in love with it! I've printed several of your recipes and guess what, I'll be busy every weekend coming! Can't wait!
    You detail every recipe so nicely and make it so personal and endearing, it's a pleasure reading you.
    Thank you for your beautiful blog and for sharing with us!
    Kindest regards,

    1. Dear Christelle,
      How lovely to read your sweet comments. Thank you...truly. I so appreciate knowing you are enjoying the blog. I'm so thrilled you are enjoying the recipes also. Thank you again for writing, it's comments like yours that inspire me to write more.