This recipe was directly inspired by my trip to Estonia. Here in Tallinn they haven’t quite gotten the memo that it’s Spring and the ground is just beginning to thaw. Despite lingering ice and winter storms, there are signs of warm weather all over. Like in the cherry trees with their first blossoms pushing through; the local girls wearing skirts as if 40°F were a heat wave; or the presence of the very first of Spring produce like peas, asparagus, and rhubarb on every menu. But what I have see a lot of are rhubarb pastries — like this Strawberry Rhubarb Slab Pie.
So, while I’m wishing for the weather to get better, what I’m really wishing for most of all is enough time before I leave to enjoy the rhubarb. Of course, I can also take comfort in knowing that, if all else fails, I have a backup plan. If all else fails, I can wait until I get back home and whip up slab upon slab of this Strawberry Rhubarb Slab Pie. Because, let’s be honest, it’s basically like a grownup Pop Tart, which, if you ask me, is always a good thing.
hulled and quartered (about 5 cups)
cut into 3/4-inch pieces (about 5 cups)
divided into 4 and shaped into disks
beaten with 2 teaspoons water
for serving (optional)
To Macerate The Fruit: Combine strawberries, rhubarb, granulated and brown sugars, cornstarch, orange zest, orange juice, spices, and salt in a large bowl and toss to coat. Set aside until ready to use.
To Shape The Dough: Lightly flour a work surface and rolling pin. Stack two of the disks on top of each other and roll to a 13-by-17-inch rectangle. Transfer dough to a 10-by-14-inch rimmed baking sheet and press gently to fit into pan. and fill with fruit mixture. Roll two remaining disks to an 11-by-15-inch rectangle then place atop pie, pressing along edges to seal.
Trim edges of dough, leaving 1 1/2-inch overhang all around. Fold overhang under, tucking it into pan. Crimp edges. Brush crust all over with egg-yolk mixture and sprinkle with turbinado or sanding sugar. With a paring knife, cut slits on top to vent.
To Bake The Slab Pie: Place pie in freezer to set up briefly, at least 15 minutes; meanwhile, heat the oven to 375°F and arrange a rack in the middle. When oven is heated, place pie in oven. Bake until crust is deep golden brown and juices are bubbling in center, 55 to 65 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack until juices cool and set up, at least 1 hour. Serve warm or at room temperature with cream and ice cream.
You can freeze the assembled pie up to 1 month before baking it. Just be sure to wrap it tight with plastic wrap and aluminum foil before placing it in the freezer and know that it'll likely take a bit longer to bake.
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