Strawberry Rhubarb Pie + a Giveaway
As I flip the thin plastic pages of a dusty and tattered photo album, my eyes hopping from one old photo to the next, I find myself searching for memories or glimpses into these captured moments of yesteryear. I hesitate on a snapshot for a few seconds before giving up and moving to the next. I scan the photo for some magic image that will take me back but mostly I find nothing. But soon I catch myself chuckling; the only memories I conjure up are of the stories my mom has shared with me time and time again. Each photo holds a story – too young for me to remember – but at a time when my mother seemed to assign every infantile moment, no matter how mundane or typical, a story and importance.
Books and books go by before I begin to wonder, did my mom keep a camera with her twenty-four seven? I hurry past the pages of a nude baby version of me frolicking about – was I that uninhibited or did my parents not know when to put the camera down? I notice a plethora of costumes per year – clearly I was being dressed up on more than just Halloween. I even think about the small moments taking place behind the camera; more than 50 shots of a birthday means at more than one hurried moment, my mother had to wind up a spent roll of film, take it out, load another roll of film, and prepare the camera in time to catch another goofy baby smile; she had to have spent a fortune on film and developing; she must have bored a photo technician to death every time she dropped off a few dozen rolls of me sitting in a high chair with chocolate cake smeared across my face.
But mostly I see my mother’s smile in every shot. The true love of a mother, someone who has decided to dedicate their life to me, shines through image after image. Never a moment of concern – except the one time I stood on the railing at the Grand Canyon – or sorrow apparent in a single photo. I see a young lady new to the world of parenting, loving every single second of it.
How do you say thank you for this sincere gift of life? What can I ever do to repay such an awesome bestowal? I say, “I love you,” as much as I can. I let hugs linger and find any excuse to slip a, “thank you,” into the conversation. Sometimes I argue – when I think I know best. And on occasion I say things I regret. But as hard as it is I apologize and remind myself I have a lot to learn, especially from my own mom.
To this day, when my mother stares into my eyes, a mirror image of her own hazel eyes, I know she still sees her infant son. A quarter of a century may have passed since my birth but I will always be her baby and she will always be the first person I turn to in a time of need or a moment of celebration. And while she may not know it, every time I say, “thank you for the present,” or “thank you for handing me a plate,” I am saying “thank you for giving me life, for showing me how to live, and reminding me that I will never be alone.” For she is my mother, the most important person in the world, and the person to whom I dedicate nearly every act and accomplishment that have made my life mine.
Strawberry & Rhubarb Meringue Pie
This pie is adapted from a Bo Friberg recipe.
Yield: 1, 10″ pie
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 55-75 minutes
10″ Pie Dish
Kitchen torch (optional)
1lb 4 ounces Rhubarb, chopped
1 lb Strawberries, cut into fourths
3 ounces cornstarch
5 ounces turbinado sugar
4 ounces honey
1. Prepare the pie dough and meringues according to their instructions. Set aside.
2. Preheat an oven to 400°F. Line the pie dish with the rolled out pie dough. Set aside.
3. Mix the chopped rhubarb and strawberries, cornstarch, sugar and honey in a bowl until everything is evenly coated.
4. Pour the strawberry and rhubarb mixture into the prepared pie dish.
5. Bake the pie for 55 to 65 minutes or until the mixture is set. If the crust begins to brown too soon, cover the visible crust with foil and continue to bake.
6. Allow the pie to cool. Prepare the meringue while the pie is cooling.
7.a. Italian Meringue Steps: Spread or pipe the meringue on top of the cooled pie. Using a kitchen torch, brown the outside of the meringue until golden tan and just barely brown in places.
7.b. French Meringue Steps: Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Spread the meringue on top of the cooled pie. Place the meringue-topped pie back in the oven for another 8 to 12 minutes, until the meringue is browned evenly (you may need to rotate the pie half way through baking).
8. Serve immediately after step 7.a or 7.b is completed.[/print_this]
If you don’t want a meringue topping, you can easily double the pie recipe and add a layer of dough on top of the pie before baking. If you choose to prepare it that way, you can use the pie bird (place it in the center of the pie on the bottom layer of crust before adding the filling; add the filling around it then the top piece of crust piercing a hole so the pie bird sticks out through the center – you want the dough to rest on the bird’s shoulders) to help remove steam from the pie so the crust will remain flaky and not soggy.
Now onto the exciting part!
I was given a Le Creuset Baker’s Set to test before the giveaway and I must admit I love it! This is my fifth pie dish but my first pie bird (and the first good oven mitt and trivet I’ve owned too). The pie dish is not only pretty (red is my favorite color in the kitchen) but large, making it perfect for big, family-sized pies. The oven mitt is heavy duty – it beats folding up a few thin cloth napkins to grab something from the oven – and looks good too. The pie bird is not only cute – beware cat owners, your cats may trot off with this thinking it is their toy – but wonderfully functional. And who doesn’t want another trivet for their kitchen -when I’m not using it under pie I put it under my chemex coffee maker to keep it from scorching my counter tops.
Le Creuset Giveaway
To celebrate mother’s day, Le Creuset has been kind enough to give one lucky reader a Baker’s Set, which includes a 10″ pie dish, pie bird, oven mitt and trivet (all in a gorgeous cherry red). How cool is that?!
All you have to do to enter this giveaway is sign up here on LeCreuset.com – to be the first to know about their new items, colors and exclusive deals – and then leave a comment below letting me know what your favorite pie is.
For Additional Entries:
In addition to the above mandatory step, you can do one or more (or all) of the following to earn extra chances at winning. Be sure to leave a separate comment for each additional entry, letting me know you’ve done that requirement (otherwise you will only be entered one time if you leave just one comment).
– Like Chasing Delicious on Facebook.
– Follow me (@rvank) on twitter.
– Follow me (rank) on pinterest.
– Follow Le Creuset (@lecreuset) on twitter.
– Like Le Creuset on Facebook.
– Tweet about this giveaway on twitter by sharing this: “Win a @LeCreuset Baker’s Set (with pie dish, pie bird, oven mitt & trivet) at Chasing Delicious http://tinyurl.com/7smgzml via @rvank”
Official Rules: No purchase necessary. Open to US residents only . Must be over 18. Giveaway will end on May 6 2012 at 12:00 pm CST. One winner with a valid entry will be selected at random using random.org. Winner will be notified by email (so be sure to enter your correct email address when leaving a comment) and will have 48 hours to claim their prize or another winner will be selected. Chasing Delicious and Le Creuset are not responsible for lost or undelivered emails.
Disclaimer: I was provided with a Le Creuset Baker’s Kit for the purposes of this review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.
Good luck and enjoy!