Pie Party: Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Crumb Topping

Last year on the Fourth of July, I was bobbing up and down on a lake in Virginia with Tim's extended family.  I do wish we could have done that again, but we had an assortment of other things keeping us at home.  In fact, being home gave me an excuse to bake a pie.

If you hadn't heard, there is a Pie Party today.  What is a Pie Party, you ask?  Well, a few food bloggers were chatting on Twitter about baking summer pies, and someone suggested having an online gathering where you bake a pie and post about it on a certain date.  That date is today--July 5--and if you go to the Pie Party's host's website, Shauna of Gluten Free Girl and the Chef, I'm sure you will find that on July 5 her page will be overflowing with commenters sharing their Pie Party submissions.  It's not a contest, but it is an opportunity to find new and interesting pie recipes for your collection.

To be honest, I'm a novice baker.  I do enjoy baking, and many of my recipes on this site are baked goods, but I wouldn't consider myself a pie maker.  I needed to do some research.  In the back of my mind, I could remember something I read in the New York Times about pie, and after a quick Google search, I found the article.  In this piece, Melissa Clark did some testing of ingredient combinations to find the perfect pie crust recipe.  Unfortunately her conclusion was to use lard in the mix--and while it sounded tasty, that just wasn't something I had the resources to do.  I instead opted for a mix of butter for flavor and shortening to help the crust hold its shape.  I must have made a wrong turn somewhere; while the crust was really, really tasty and the bottom and sides held their shape well, the edge was quite crumbly and didn't survive much handling.  I haven't completely given up on pie crust making, but in the recipe for this pie, I think I'll recommend picking up a ready-to-bake crust. 

Tim has been stockpiling strawberries in the hopes that I will create something interesting with them, so I guess this was his lucky weekend.  I opted for a Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Crumb Topping.  It was easy enough to assemble (it would be a cinch with a ready-made crust), and I especially liked that it was pie masquerading as cobbler masquerading as pie.  The best of all summer dessert worlds. 

I know strawberries are ending their season in many parts of the country and just beginning their season in others, so don't wait--wherever you are--to make this pie.  We practically licked our plates. 

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Crumb Topping
adapted from Bon Appetit via epicurious
serves 8

The recipe was written for a deep dish 9-inch pie plate, but all I was a regular, 9-inch pie plate.  It worked out perfectly for me without decreasing the quantity of filling.

1 ready-made pie crust, pre-baked according to package directions

For the filling
3/4 lb rhubarb, sliced 1/2 inch thick on the diagonal, about 3 1/2 cups
1 lb strawberries, hulled and halved
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tsp lemon zest

Combine all filling ingredients in heavy bottomed pot.  Stir and let stand for 30 minutes.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Reduce heat to a simmer and allow to thicken, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Pour filling into pre-baked prepared crust.

For the topping
2/3 cup plus 2 tbsp rolled oats, divided
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
6 tbsp chilled, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

In a food processor, combine 2/3 cup rolled oats, flour, dark brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter and pulse until crumbly.  Transfer to a medium bowl and mix in remaining 2 tbsp rolled oats.  Sprinkle over filling in pie crust.

Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes.  Cool on rack.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

For more Pie Party recipes, you can search on twitter for the #pieparty hashtag. 

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