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.
Rhubarb Frangipane Pie
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?
I use a cornmeal crust recipe for the galettes I make. During fresh plum season I sprinkle almond biscotti crumbs under the sliced fruit and add a few fresh raspberries on top. Yum!
Karen, that is so funny, I was thinking the same thing. This recipe would really lend itself to a galette. I suspect the cornmeal crust would get crisper out of the pie plate.
This pie sounds and looks amazing; too bad there are some severe nut allergies going on in my house. I would be forced to eat the whole pie by myself! As for my favorite pie; I will always love Lemon Meringue the most!
You can’t beat a lemon meringue pie Colleen, something exceptional about sweet, tart, creamy and fluffy all in one bite. Sorry to hear about the nut allergies, but then again, a whole pie for you is not a bad consolation prize.
I like your definition of frangipane; your pie is to -die-for. I am surprised you don’t get into the pie-making business full-time, with all the fruits you have nearby!
Hi Joumana, I think you have a splendid idea, I could call it Tom’s Pie Pals, or Pie-a-palooza!
A Rhubarb Frangipane Pie was posted recently by Lynn Rosetto Kasper’s the Splendid Table and it’s on my list of “must-makes” this spring. I always use an almond pastry when making my rhubarb tarts (or any fruit or berry tart). It’s my favorite… altho’ cornmeal sounds awfully good! Oh… and you have rhubarb you can cut? I think I’m looking at mid-May at the earliest 🙁
Eileen, this is that recipe featured on the Splendid Table. And I think it would lend itself to being a tart, as it bakes up better as a thinner pie. And I really like the sound of almond pastry so I’ll check Passions to Pastry for the recipe.
Tom, your pie looks delicious. I especially like your decorative crust. I would call it a “mouse ear crust”- just as cute as a mouse’s ear! My favorite pie is usually whichever one I’m eating at the moment, but if I had to choose, I’d say fresh blueberry with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.
I like the way you think Lucy. Blueberry really can’t be beat, especially with that vanilla ice cream chaser. I add Italian plums to my blueberry pie and it really add a nice amount of pectin and thickens the pie nicely.
Beautiful pie Tom. Your recipe looks delish and the crust looks wonderful.
Hi Sherri, thanks for the kind words. Hope to see you soon at the Farmers Market.
Geez, Tom, I wish I had the computer version of smell-a-vision. Your pies look amazing. And I love how you’ve turned the old farmhouse into such a homey home! Lastly, you said you were thinking of painting the house so I hope you post photos when it’s done.
Hi Linda, thank you so much for the visit and kind words. As for the paint job, it may have to wait until next year. Who knew it cost that much to paint a house? I need to save up a bit more for that to happen, my days on ladders are over based on near misses. Take care!