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In grocery stores and at farmers’ markets all over, fresh fruit and berries are beginning to appear. Two of our favorites are strawberries and rhubarb! Even though summer is still a couple of months away, you can get the taste of outdoor picnics and long sunny days now with this recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Pie With Coconut Crumb Topping from The Old Farmer’s Almanac Everyday Baking!
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie With Coconut Crumb Topping (page 76 of Everyday Baking by Ken Haedrich)
1 single piecrust (see Dad’s Pie Pastry recipe below)
3 cups hulled and halved fresh ripe strawberries
2-1/2 cups rhubarb stalks cut crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/4 cup quick-cooking tapioca
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup sliced almonds
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
For crust: Roll the dough into a 13-inch circle and line a 9-1/2 inch deep-dish pie plate with it, forming the overhanging dough into an upstanding rim. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes while you make the filling
For filling: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Mix the strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, lemon juice, orange zest, and tapioca in a large bowl. Set aside for 15 minutes, to juice. Once it has juiced, turn the filling into the pie shell and smooth the top with a spoon. Bake on the center oven rack for 30 minutes. While it bakes, make the topping.
For topping: Combine the sugar and almonds in a food processor and process until the almonds are finely ground. Add the flour, coconut, and salt. Pulse several times to mix. Scatter the butter over the dry ingredients, then pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Do not overprocess. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and rub the topping between your fingers, until the texture is uniform. Refrigerate. When the pie has baked for 30 minutes, remove it from the oven and carefully spread the topping over the fruit. Bake the pie for 25 to 35 minutes more, until the topping is golden brown and any visible juices bubble thickly. Transfer the pie to a rack and cool. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. Makes 8 servings.
Dad’s Pie Pastry
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
¼ cup (1/2 stick) cold, unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch pieces
1/4 cup (1/4 stick) cold vegetable shortening, in about 8 pieces
1/4 cup ice-cold water
To make the pastry with a food processor: Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Pule several times to mix. Scatter the butter over the dry mixture. Pulse three or four times. Scatter the shortening over the mixture. Pulse four or five times, until all of the fat is broken into small pieces. Sprinkle the water evenly over the mixture. Pulse again, in very short bursts, just until the pastry forms clumpy little crumbs.
To make the pastry by hand: Mix the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and cut it into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender until the butter forms pea-size pieces. Add the shortening and continue to cut, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs and the butter is in very small pieces. Sprinkle the water over the mixture and mix quickly with a fork until the dough coheres.
To make the pie shell: Dump the crumbs onto your counter or into a large bowl. Pack the dough together as you would a snowball, but don’t overdo it. Place the ball on a piece of plastic wrap. Flatten into a 3/4-inch-thick disk. Wrap tightly in the plastic and refrigerate for 1-1/2 to 2 hours before rolling. Makes enough pastry for a 9-1/2-inch deep-dish pie shell.