Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Happy Pi Day!!!

Ah,Pi Day-- a day that satisfies both the math nerd and the baking nerd inside. What kind of pie to bake to celebrate this irrational number? Only the most irrational of fruits would do. Rhubarb! (It’s an irrational fruit because it’s actually a vegetable. Ha-ha! Fooled you! I am hilarious. All of this was a Shakespearean aside, by the way.) I pulled out my Baking Illustrated tome and got to work on a rhubarb-strawberry pie. Now, I have made this pie with great success before, and this time, the crust seemed even easier to create. This is really the best pie crust recipe ever. So flaky. So buttery. So good. And I used a bit of the trans-fat-free Crisco, and didn’t notice any difference. Hurray for slightly-more-healthy-yet-still-terrible-for-you baked goods! The entire pie took less than two hours to bake, from start to finish.

This recipe makes a damn tasty pie! Now if only I could master the technique of making it attractive. See, I kind of fluted my pie edges, but I was under the impression that it was mostly for decorative purposes. I didn’t realize it was supposed to seal the top and bottom crusts together so the tasty filling wouldn’t bubble out everywhere. Whoops. Needless to say, I’m glad I baked the pie on a cookie sheet.

But look at the filling!

Hmmm. It may be time to invest in a proper pie pan rather than disposable tins from PathMark. Nah.

I always thought that rhubarb was more of a spring/summer crop because that’s when I’d always see it at the farmer’s market, but then I learned about “forced rhubarb,” or greenhouse-grown rhubarb, which is now showing up in supermarkets (sure, it feels like spring here in New York, but it’s still kinda wintery). It’s a pinker and more tender version of the veggie, but it’s just as delicious. The flavor is supposed to be milder, but it still tasted plenty tart to me, which melded quite well with the sweetness of the quartered strawberries.

Pie plus math equals awesome.

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