Even if the fanciest grocery store is selling watermelon in February I don't buy it because of principle (and price and taste...but mostly principle).
This new philosophy in my life came the day I cracked open the pages of the Omnivore's Dilemma. In a way, it's really screwed things up for me by prompting me to get to the farmer's market week after week to partake of their summer harvest, and has even stretched me to love beets and any other winter vegetable I can find during January and February. Not as easy as just buying what's at the store (but tastier).
Any way, why am I telling you this?
Because I believe that food tastes better and is better for you when it's not shipped from Guatalawherever or grown in some hormone-injected fruit factory.
That's something I've been meaning to say for awhile now for many reasons, but mostly because I wanted to explain why I've been making creamy/custard/chocolate pies instead of fruit pies: It's not that they're in season, but technically, they're not out of season.
In any case, I feel like I have to push my beliefs out on the forefront of this post because of this: A Strawberry Rhubarb pie when neither are in season? What's that all about?
Here's the thing, I'm making these pies for my husband...and it was Valentine's Day...and you know what his favorite pie is?
So when I found frozen rhubarb in the freezer section of my new supermarket, I got a little excited about a frozen fruit experiment...and it didn't hurt that it was a lovely color of red too.
And so I give you: (frozen) Strawberry (and frozen) Rhubarb pie.
Or as Ryan called it: "The Jamba Juice Pie" which, if you think about it, is appropriately named. It tangy, it's fruity, it tastes like summer, and at some point, it was frozen.
Oh, and did I mention? The experiment worked. It was delicious.
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
(adapted to accommodate frozen fruit for those winter months when you need something a little different)
3 cups frozen strawberries (slightly thawed and halved or thickly sliced)
3 cups cut rhubarb (slightly thawed)
1 cup sugar
5 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsweetened butter, cold and cut into pieces
1 tablespoon sugar, to dust top
Bubby's Butter & Shortening Crust
(8-10 Inch Double Crust)
6 Tablespoons ice cold water
2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
7 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter
4 Tablespoons cold shortening
Measure out the water for the crust and chill it in the freezer while preparing the rest of the crust.
Measure out the flour (un-sifted) by leveling off dry measuring cups, and add the flour to large bowl. Add the salt to the flour and give it a quick stir to combine evenly.
Cut cold butter and cold shortening into cubes and add to flour mixture. Coat butter and shortening with flour and with a pastry cutter, cut it into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal.
Add cold water and use hands to form the dough into a two balls or disks. Chill for 1 hour or overnight.
When dough is chilled, Pre-heat oven to 475 degrees.
Run frozen fruit under warm water to partially thaw fruit and drain all excess water. If needed, slice the rhubarb and strawberries and place in large bowl.
Roll out 1 dough disk in to a 10-inch round and line your 9-inch pie dish with it.
Place the mixture into the pie pan. Dot the pie with the butter slices. Roll out top crust and cover pie filling with top crust, crimping the tops and bottoms so that the pie is well sealed. If not using a lattice crust cut steam vents into the pie.
Brush the top crust with milk and dust with the sugar.
Place the pie on a jelly roll to catch drippings. Bake the pie for 10 minutes or until the top crust appears dry and lightly blistered.
Reduce the cooking heat to 350 degrees. Bake an additional 50-60 minutes (or if using fresh fruit 30-40 minutes) or until the fruit mixture thickly bubbles in the middle of the pie. Pie crust should be golden and flaky.