Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Rhubarb and Strawberries...

This past Sunday I went to see an outdoors performance of Hamlet at the Carter Baron theater in N.W. Washington DC. The Shakespeare Theater Company does these free performances after their for-profit runs, and on balmy summer evenings they are the perfect low-budget outing. I thank my friend M. for introducing me to the series last year, when we saw a fantastic and wacky Indian -1960s-Beatles style interpretation of Prince of Verona. (It was trippy dude!)

Because the shows are free, it is best to arrive early so you can get good seats, and, if you are driving, a parking spot in the lot. Thousands of people turn out for each show, and this was the last performance of Hamlet and was sure to be crowded. So we decided to get there early and have a picnic dinner on the grass near the parking area before venturing through the green and gold evening woods to the amphitheater.

Everyone was supposed to bring something to eat for themselves and a little extra to share. Coincidentally I had been reading Smitten Kitchen's recipe for Rhubarb-Strawberry pie last week, after a Memorial day weekend potluck at which I ate a delicious rhubarb pie. Then Sunday morning at the Dupont Farmers Market I found the first strawberries of the season, scenting the air and bursting out of bright blue baskets, as well as green batons of rhubarb. It was a sign. I bought lots of both and headed home, with a plan already forming in my head. I had a paper to write, but after a couple pages of notes, the pie took over and it was all pastry from there. I used Smitten Kitchen's recipe with only two alterations: I added the grated zest of one orange to the filling instead of vanilla and I used whole wheat pastry flour for the crust.

I am not a pie expert. They definitely fall into the high fat category of desserts and so I rarely make them. But despite my ineptitude, the crust came out beautifully. I followed Smitten Kitchen's handy tutorial on how to make a lattice top, and it turned out great. When I finally unveiled the pie and set it down on our picnic blanket, it was the star of the show. Smitten Kitchen was right: bringing a home made dessert always makes one a welcome guest. Especially when it is this summery delicious pie, in a flaky crust. Thanks Smitten Kitchen! This pie is definitely getting a thumbs up from me!

Try out the recipe here: Smitten Kitchen's Rhubarb-Strawberry Pie. And in case you were wondering, if you cut this pie into 12 pieces, each piece is 366 calories. So no, its not a low-cal dessert. But it is delicious. If you wanted you could probably cut the sugar down to 3/4 of a cup and it would still be great.

Oh-and Hamlet was pretty good too.


zlamushka said...

Rhubarb and Strawberry pie? I love it. My two favorite fruits. looks fabulous. I just wanted to let you know that the round-up for T&T May is up now. Hope you re ready for the June challenge.

Lyra said...

Awesome I have to go check it out!