If you read my last post you would know that I am a bit of a rebel. It is something that I got from my mother. I talked about how grateful I am to get that ability to question and challenge old traditions that seem to bind us all.
Now this has repeatedly also got me into trouble. I come from a society that is largely run by men. Rules that are made up by men. Rules upon rules upon rules of how women should behave. I have been on a crash course with this kind of behaviour for as long as I can remember. I refuse to accept or behave a certain way just because ‘this is the way it has always been’. A line that I am fed time and time again. A line that annoys me like you wouldn’t believe. It also means that I have been (and still am) hugely unpopular with men that want to make me obedient and want to beat me down in to being conventional. I don’t have a problem with anyone being a certain way, just as long as it doesn’t bleed into telling me what to do. I leave people alone and feel I deserve the same.
The upside I am extremely popular with men (and women btw) that are intelligent, don’t feel the need to preach and see me as an equal. Even though I am tiresome in my pursuit to be left alone and be who I am and can be exhausting to be around, these people, the choice few in my life, love me immensely for my need to challenge and question life in general.
So, life is not easy. I am assuming it is not easy for anyone.
This pie is no exception! Whenever I am inspired by a recipe or some sort of art and want to recreate a version of it for myself, I usually feel I can do it without a hitch. I am usually always wrong!
The braiding on this pie was so much harder than it looks. Having said that it is not impossible! It is hugely therapeutic and it was for me one of the most relaxing things (after the initial panic of, ‘I can’t braid!’)
The filling inside is not so inventive but delicious all the same. And I have added an Indian ingredient. Curry leaves! Curry leaves are hard to come by here in Holland. If at all you get dried ones. So this trip to India, I brought a lot and froze them.
The curry leaf butter is so delicious and adds a mild flavour. If you would rather skip it because you don’t have them on hand, that is totally ok. This recipe is exactly the same as the pie I made last summer, so you could use rosemary butter all over again.
Whatever you decide, you can’t go wrong with this pie!
- For the Crust
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour, plus flour for dusting
- 3 tbsps sugar
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 225 grams unsalted butter, cold and cut in cubes
- 6 to 8 tbsps ice water
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- For the Filling
- 600 grams rhubarb (cut into small pieces)
- 200 grams strawberries (cut into small pieces)
- 2 tbsps unsalted butter
- handful of curry leaves
- ½ cup sugar + 1 tbsp for sprinkling
- 3 tbsps plain flour
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- To make the crust, combine the flour, sugar, and sea salt in a large mixing bowl. Gently mix in the butter into the flour with your fingertips. Work the flour till it resembles bread crumbs and then gradually drizzle in ice water, folding with your fingers, one tablespoon at a time. Add just enough water to hold the dough together. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gather into a mound. Divide into 2 discs and wrap each with plastic wrap. Chill dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- For the curry leaf butter, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add curry leaves and and turn the heat to low. Steep for 20 minutes.
- Position oven rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 425°F/220° C.
- Butter and flour a 9-inch pie dish. On a lightly floured surface, roll one of the discs of dough into a 14-inch circle. Roll dough onto your pin and unfold into the prepared pie dish. Press dough into sides and bottom, and trim all but 1-inch of the overhanging dough. Set pie dish in the refrigerator to chill while you prepare the rest of the pie.
- Prepare the filling by combining rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, flour, lemon zest and juice and sea salt. Set aside.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the second disc of dough into a rough 10- by 15-inch rectangle. Use a pastry cutter or sharp knife to cut strips, flowers, whatever or however you wish to decorate your pie top.
- Spoon the filling into the chilled pie shell and drizzle with the curry leaf butter. Lay the dough strips parallel across the pie. Weave in the other strips in the other direction. Trim any excess dough, fold the bottom crust up around the edge, and crimp as you wish or lay a braid on top. Brush top of crust with the egg and sprinkle with one tablespoon of sugar.
- Set the pie on a baking sheet and slide into oven. Bake pie for 15 minutes. Rotate pan, turn heat down to 350°F/175°C, and bake for another 35 to 45 minutes, or until pie is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. (If edges browns too quickly, tent with foil.)
- Allow pie to cool completely, 3 hours or more.
Make sure if you are braiding that your work surface is well floured. This will prevent the strips of dough from breaking which can be very frustrating if you have done a fair bit.