This week's roster of pies contained some unusual and some conventional, but regardless of the pie there was a challenge or something unexpected in each. The pies I made were: "Entire Rhubarb Pie", "Strawberry Rhubarb Pie", "Strawberries and Lemon Custard in Meringue", and "Marlborough Pie".
Pictured above is most of the process for making "Strawberries and Lemon Custard in Meringue". It was a bit of a finicky pie, but in the end it was worth all the steps. First you separate four eggs. Save the yolks and beat the whites with sugar and cream of tartar. Spread the meringue into a pie plate and bake. While that is happening, you make a curd with the yolks. Allow them both to cool, and while that is happening whip some cream. After the curd is cool, fold it into the whipped cream, and then spread that into the meringue. At that point you have to chill it all for at least six hours. When you are ready to serve the pie you whip some more cream, stir some sugar in with your sliced strawberries. The strawberries go on the custard, and then the whipped cream goes on top.
So involved, right? But look at the photo below. This is most definitely one of the best pies I have ever eaten. I would make this again and again with different combinations of fruits and curds. I am imagining this with stewed rhubarb, cherry compote, or fresh blueberries. Seriously. I can't stress how unbelievable this one was.
The "Strawberry Rhubarb" and "Entire Rhubarb" were the more conventional pies, but they were not without their challenges. My friend and I made the rhubarb one together and we had some issues with it being too runny and too sweet, but the overall flavour was good. I didn't actually remember to take a photo of it!
The strawberry rhubarb was again a huge hit. I served it at a gathering at my home and everyone agreed it was fantastic. I think one of the things that made it so great was the addition of vanilla extract in the filling. It lingered underneath the bright fruit flavours and married it all together beautifully. The main challenge I had with it was that I decided to do a coiled, braided lattice crust. At the beginning it was no problem, but after a while when the dough warmed up a bit my braids started falling apart! Moral of the story: work quickly!
The "Marlborough Pie" was better on the second day. I burnt the crust edge pretty badly! Oops! The instructions said to serve it warm, so that is what I did, but I think I would serve it chilled in future, or even make it the night before I wanted it. In my opinion it was really tasty for breakfast (and not very unhealthy: applesauce, milk, eggs, flour, butter, cheese, and a little bit of sugar). The next morning the flavours had melded together into something really delicious. If you are not familiar with this type of pie (I wasn't before making it), it is apparently a historical American pie made when fresh apples were not in season, but canned applesauce was available. It is basically an apple custard. I took up Marion Cunningham's recommendation to make it with a cheddar cheese crust and that turned out to be an excellent idea. Next time I would put a piece of foil around the edge so that it wouldn't get so badly burnt.
PIE RANKINGS SO FAR:
- Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
- Strawberries and Lemon Custard in Meringue
- Marlborough Pie
- Entire Rhubarb Pie