Monday, December 7, 2009

Unresolved raspberry-rhubarb pie

This past Saturday was the annual Houston Sacred Harp singing. (You can read about Sacred Harp at this website.) It was snowy all day Friday, so I spent most of the day inside cooking in preparation. (Part of the Sacred Harp tradition is serving dinner on the ground to guests who have come from out of town.) This is one of the dishes I contributed. Since I had a little crust left over after putting it in the bottom of the pan, I made a treble clef and some shape notes (explained on the Sacred Harp website) out of the extra and put it on the top. I think of rhubarb as a spring or summer pie, but I had a bag of frozen rhubarb and remnants of a couple bags of frozen raspberries in my freezer, so I didn't have to go out and buy anything to make this pie. And I got a bonus of extra room in my freezer. This pie recipe won third place and "most creative" in a Pi Day pie contest last March. I made it up because one bag of rhubarb isn't quite enough fruit for the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook rhubarb pie recipe, and I happened to have just enough raspberries in the freezer to round out the volume the first time I made it.

I call this pie unresolved because the notes I have on it, "fa, sol, la, mi" are the equivalent of "F, G, A, B" in C major, hence an unresolved leading tone. For the record, I did made two fa's, but only one would fit on the pie, and if I went down to the next line, I'd have to make another clef for it to make any sense. I didn't think about the fact that I could put the fa at the end and get "G, A, B, C" and a lovely resolution. And yes, I have spent quite a bit of time thinking about this. It's what I do.

Raspberry-rhubarb pie
1 pound frozen rhubarb (about 4 cups)
2 cups frozen raspberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 pie crust, made with either all-purpose or whole wheat pastry flour
splash of milk
tiny amount of sugar

Place fruit in a large bowl. Let stand for about 45 minutes, or until icy but not frozen. (During this time, you can make your pie crust if you haven't already.) Stir in sugar and flour.
Place pie crust in pie dish. Trim any overhanging edges and cut them into fun shapes if you want. Pour fruit mixture into pie crust. Arrange fun shapes on top. Brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar for extra beauty and crunch.
To prevent the edges from burning, place aluminum foil around the edges. Bake at 375 for about 50 minutes. (If using fresh fruit, only bake for 25 minutes.) Remove foil and bake for another 20-30 minutes, or until filling is bubbling at the edges and crust is golden. Cool on a wire rack.

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