Ingredient: Rhubarb

Plus: A recipe for O Pie O’s Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

The strawberry rhubarb pie is a prime example of opposites attracting. The sour stalks of raw rhubarb reach their peak season as spring rain gives way to summer rays—just in time for local strawberry season. “It’s a perfect overlap,” says Lou Ginocchio, cofounder of O Pie O. Fortunately Ginocchio isn’t heavy-handed with the sugar. He allows the cheek-tingling tartness of rhubarb to shine in each bite. “There are so many pies out there that are too sweet,” he says. “We like a balanced plate.” O Pie O uses a complex lattice crust (check below for the recipe) but whatever you put it in, this fruity filling will be the star of your summer picnic.

Recipe: O Pie O’s Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Filling

2 prepared pie crust rounds
3 cups rhubarb, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 cups strawberries, quartered
½ cup &
1½ Tbsp sugar
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
tsp ground cardamom
tsp ground ginger
tsp ground allspice
½ tsp salt
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Egg
1 Tbsp water
Demerara sugar for sprinkling

Combine strawberries and 1½ Tablespoons of sugar in a mixing bowl. Allow to macerate for an hour; strain off any juice. Fit one prepared pie crust round into a 9-inch pie pan. Preheat oven to 425˚F. Toss remaining sugar, cornstarch, spices, and salt in a large bowl. Fold strawberries, rhubarb, and lemon juice into the dry ingredients.

Add filling to the prepared pie crust, gently smoothing with a spatula. Top the pie with either a lattice design or another prepared pie crust round, trimming to fit and crimping edges with fingers or a fork. Place entire pie in freezer for 20–30 minutes.

Whisk egg and water together; lightly brush all exposed crust. Sprinkle liberally with Demerara sugar, avoiding the crimped edges.

Place a foil-lined baking sheet on the bottom rack of a pre-heated oven for 5–10 minutes. Place the pie on the heated sheet and bake 20–25 minutes, rotating sheet 180 degrees after 15 minutes. Lower oven temp to 375˚F and move sheet with pie to the center rack. Bake 30–35 minutes until the crust is a deep golden brown and juices are bubbling. Serve at room temperature.

Recipe: O Pie O’s Lattice Crust

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 sticks (1/2 cup) European-style butter, cubed and chilled
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup ice cold water
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

In food processor, mix dry ingredients. Add 2/3 of the butter. Pulse 3–4 times.

Add remaining 1/3 of butter. Pulse 2–4 times. Mixture should have pea-sized pieces of butter.

Combine water and cider vinegar and add to the food processor. Quickly pulse 4–5 times.

Form into two equal 5-inch discs. Let rest for at least 2 hours (or overnight).

For the bottom crust, roll out one round with a circumference 1 1/2–2 inches larger than your pie tin and fit into pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Roll out top crust and cut 3/4 inch strips for the lattice.

Weave lattice together and chill in freezer for 20 minutes before placing atop filling.

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