Winter serves up some lean pie months, at least in the fresh fruit category. After exhausting my local supply of Meyer lemons for Shaker lemon pie, emptying my freezer of sliced peaches for my Deluxe peach pie, and hitting the bottom of apple barrel for my mainstay, Jeanette’s easy apple pie, I have to say I’m delighted to welcome back spring and my first fresh fruit pie of the season: frangipane strawberry rhubarb pie.
I took my Easter dessert assignment seriously, and wanted to bring a sweet worthy of the occasion and the season. My friend Linda had recently waxed poetic about a frangipane rhubarb pie she made courtesy of a recipe from epicurious.com. I checked it out and thought, well aren’t we fancy with a cornmeal crust and frangipane layer. I licked my lips and looked no further; I can do fancy, heck yes, I can.
Since I am incapable of leaving a recipe alone, I thought I’d add strawberries to the rhubarb mix as there’s no better fruit combo in my mind—tart and sweet, fresh and earthy.
“F” is for fancy and frangipane. There was a time when I thought frangipane was fragrant Hawaiian flower, but as my baking evolved so did my culinary vocabulary, and besides frangipane sounds so much better than simply saying almond paste. I’d venture to say frangipane makes any baked good better.
Smooth out the frangipane on the bottom crust and then add the fruit mixture. This layering of flavors and textures bakes into a creamy, dreamy fruit pie worthy of a swoon or two.
What I did differently:
- Substituted 1.5 pounds of rhubarb with one pound of rhubarb and one pound of strawberries
- Simmered the fruit mixture to thicken it (as strawberries add a lot of liquid).
- Cooled mixture, and then added it to the pie
- Did not use a top crust
What I would do differently next time:
- Use a top crust (making it more a pie and less a cobbler)
- Not use a deep dish pie pan (bottom crust could have been crisper)
So here’s to the opening of pie season and your license to bake up some fruity, doughy goodness. My countdown to cherry and peach season begins after this next slice of frangipane strawberry rhubarb pie. Fancy or plain, pie is good for what ails you.
So tell me, what’s your favorite pie?