Monday, February 16, 2009

Bebopareebop Rhubarb Pie (and Strawberries too)

Today is Presidents' Day. More importantly (at least in our house), today is a school holiday. This seemed to occur simultaneously to Mama Bird, The Visionary, and me, as we called each other late last week with different keep-'em-busy schemes. Mama Bird's idea won me over, and this morning we piled into our car with Noni to head to our local u-pick strawberry farm.This afternoon brought the Presidents' Day activity to our house as Big B's neighborhood friends piled in, and quickly out--to the backyard. I love days like this. Everyone played beautifully together, little b was entertained and cared for, and I sat watching, knitting, and soaking up the most beautiful day in recorded history. Of course, strawberries were on the menu.And this evening, with my sweet ones in bed, I turned to (what was left of) the thirteen-plus pounds of strawberries and rhubarb in my kitchen. My first order of business was to prepare the batter for Fresh Strawberry Muffins, adapted from a Jesse Ziff Cool recipe years ago, to be mixed and baked in the morning. Then I filled my house with the mouthwatering aroma of Bebopareebop Rhubarb Pie, perhaps my favorite of all the pies (please don't let Pecan hear that). Both recipes follow.

Fresh Strawberry Muffins
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 c. brown sugar, firmly packed
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 c. plain yogurt
2 t. vanilla
1 c. white flour
2/3 c. whole wheat flour
2 t. baking powder
pinch salt
1 c. mashed strawberries

The night before: Cream the butter with the sugar. Let it sit out overnight, covered. Beat the eggs with the yogurt and vanilla, refrigerate. Stir together dry ingredients and cover. Prepare strawberries, cover, and refrigerate.
The morning after: Preheat oven to 375F. Beat liquids into butter mixture. Add dry ingredients and stir just until blended. Fold in strawberries, do not overmix. Pour batter into prepared muffin tin, filling cups 2/3 full. Bake for about 20 minutes, until golden and springy. Cool in pan for 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack.

Bebopareebop Rhubarb Pie
4 cups fresh rhubarb and strawberries
3/4 c. white sugar
1/4 c. white flour
dash of cinnamon (optional)
1 9" pie crust (the best I've found is Alton Brown's)
crumb topping (1/2 c. flour, 1/2 c. brown sugar, 3 T. butter cut in until course and crumbly)

Chop rhubarb and strawberries. In a large bowl, mix sugar, flour, and cinnamon if desired (I'm a bit of a rhubarb purist--I omit the spice, though I love cinnamon in all other applications). Gently toss rhubarb and strawberries in the mix. Pour into prepared pie crust and sprinkle with crumb topping. Protect the outer crust with foil. Bake at 375F for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 25 more minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
(A note about the naming of the pie: Bebopareebop Rhubarb Pie is a fictitious sponsor of A Prairie Home Companion, a National Public Radio program and one of the true constants of my life, accompanying me through every chapter.)
"But one little thing can revive a guy,
And that is home-made rhubarb pie.

Serve it up, nice and hot.

Maybe things aren't as bad as you thought.

Mama's little baby loves rhubarb, rhubarb,
Beebopareebop Rhubarb Pie.

Mama's little baby loves rhubarb, rhubarb,

Beebopareebop Rhubarb Pie. "

--Garrison Keillor


gana said...

can't wait to try... mmmmm!

Tiph said...

Mmm! Those strawberries look fabulous! And the recipes... yum!! How much did it cost to pick them?

Liz ~ A Natural Nester said...

Wow! That pie looks so good, I wish I'd picked some rhubarb now. And I am going to make your muffins in the morning. Today, however, I'm canning...strawberry jam coming your way. What a fun (yummy) time for us to share!

Anonymous said...

Can't wait for the Powdermilk Biscuits recipe. Hee hee!

Is there any pie left? Can you believe I have never in my life tasted rhubarb? You make me want to try it....