Chocolate Bourbon Swirl Meringues for #CalmandBrightCookieNight
I wasn't always a meringue fan, but I sure am now. Chocolate and bourbon will do that!
When we bought our house just over a year ago, there was one funny-looking plant in the raised beds in the back. We figured we would have to rip it out before planting our stuff. Then we inspected more closely, and found that in fact it was a rhubarb plant. Needless to say, we decided against ripping it out.
This strawberry rhubarb pie was made with that rhubarb plant, and we had it for dessert yesterday evening with Dave’s parents and sister, Laura. On Friday, Laura, Dave and I worked long and hard on an incredible, from-scratch dinner: chicken and pork kebabs, olive tapenade (similar to early last week), pilaf, crispy flatbread and this pie. Unfortunately, the pie took about a million years to cool! So we saved it for Saturday night.
So I guess my main advice on this pie would be to make it 6 hours before you intend to eat it. The thing about fruit pies is that they have to cool to solidify. Otherwise you will just have a pie crust with some fruit jam filling mush spilling out and not an actual piece. The filling in this recipe is somewhat adapted from Smitten Kitchen.
Here’s what you need:
The crust is the tough part here. Mine wasn’t behaving well enough in the warm weather, so I skipped the lattice crust this time.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Roll out one of the two crust recipes and place in a greased pie pan. Trim the edges and repair anywhere that it has ripped. Luckily, looks don’t matter on the bottom layer, but you do want to have a solid foundation for your pie.
Chop the strawberries and rhubarb into consistently-sized pieces of about 1/2 inch in each direction. Cutting them in a consistent size will make for better structural stability in the finished product. My sister-in-law Laura is quite excellent at this – she made the filling.
Toss the chopped fruit and vegetable with the rest of the list of ingredients. I think you might be able to sub ground ginger for fresh, but I really do not recommend it. My father-in-law said that the fresh ginger made the pie “sparkle” – a compliment that really meant a lot to me.
Pour the filling into the bottom crust and smooth into an even layer. Roll out the second crust layer and place on top, sealing up the edges all around to make a thick border. Use a cookie cutter to cut a shape in the middle, and carefully remove. You can use that crust to fix anywhere that needs a little extra around the edges.
Bake at 400 for 20 minutes, and then turn the heat down to 350 and bake for another 30 minutes. Really watch the pie during the last five minutes. Depending on your oven, it could be done probably withing a five-minute window either direction. Just make sure the crust is set.
Allow to cool for several hours until the pie is no longer warm. Once it’s at room temperature, the fruit and cornstarch will have had time to solidify. Serving it with vanilla bean ice cream might be a nice touch, but it’s not necessary
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