Thursday, 22 November 2012

Rhubarb and Strawberries

Okay, this is a bit of a cheat because the recipe's already been published in my 'Vegetarian Kitchen" cookbook, but it's just the right time of year for rhubarb and strawberries and it's such a favourite with all my family and friends. 
Not only does it taste so good, I really like that there is no precooking of either the fruit or the pastry required (basically, I'm a bit lazy  - unless there's a really compelling reason for doing something like pre-cooking pastry bases, like it'll be soggy, I don't do it).
Plum Kitchen's blog gave me a timely nudge - she's just made rhubarb and strawberry jam, which I must try! 

This pie is a star! Strawberries and rhubarb make great partners; that’s really all there is to be said. Guaranteed to win compliments, it’s especially quick to prepare if you use pre-rolled (frozen) pastry in the interests of convenience*.
 No pre-cooking of either fruit or pastry is required.
Serves 6-8. Suitable to freeze.
Most of us don’t want to do anything more with the first strawberry crops than eat them raw, perhaps with a little icing sugar and cream; it’s only when they’re at their cheapest and most plentiful that we cast around for sorbets, fools, coulis and pies.

2 sheets sweet shortcrust pastry
300g hulled strawberries
300g prepared rhubarb stalks
½ cup caster sugar
2 Tbsp cornflour
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp lemon zest
1 Tbsp milk
2 Tbsp sugar

Pre heat oven to 220 C.
Lightly spray or grease a 25cm pie or quiche tin.
Use one of the thawed pastry sheets to line the prepared tin – you will probably need to trim a 5 cm strip of pastry off the second sheet and use to extend this so it covers the bottom and sides of the tin (wet one edge and press together).
Hull the strawberries and slice large berries into quarters, and medium sized into halves. Weigh both the berries and the rhubarb after preparation, as there is often some wastage that should be accounted for.
Using a sharp knife, slice the rhubarb thinly, discarding any stringy pieces as you go.
Place the prepared berries and rhubarb in a bowl and combine with the caster sugar, cornflour, nutmeg and zest.
Transfer the filling evenly into the prepared base, then cut the remaining pastry sheet into 7 strips. Use the strips to design a lattice top over the filling, then brush the strips with the milk, using a pastry brush, and sprinkle with the ordinary granulated sugar.
Place the pie in the pre- heated oven and bake at 220 C for 10 minutes, then turn the heat down to 200 C.
Cover the pie with a sheet of tin foil at this point to stop it browning too fast. Bake for a further 40-45 minutes, uncovering the pie for the last 10 minutes of cooking to ensure the top is an even golden brown.
Serve at room temperature or slightly warm, accompanied by vanilla ice cream or lightly whipped cream.

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