Strawberry Rhubarb Pie (…with a touch of Bourbon)

Some people have 4th of July traditions. Not me.  Every 4th of July is different over here.  Last year, I went to Morro Bay with my sister and her friends and hung out on a boat.  That was awesome.

The year before, I went to Burlington, VT with some friends and hung out on a boat on Lake Champlain.

Also awesome… boats were becoming a trend, no complaints there.  This year was much more low-key, but equally fun.  I’ll spare you the rant about how unfortunate it was that 4th of July fell on a Wednesday this year.  Instead, let’s talk pies.

Pies feel super American to me.

You know what else feels super American? Rhubarb.

It’s probably not, but I wasn’t introduced to rhubarb until I lived in Central NY, now it feels like a hidden secret that the middle of America let me in on.  It randomly came in one of my CSA shares, and I had no idea what to do with it.  But after an apple-rhubarb crisp making adventure, I was hooked.  Ever since I pretty much think it’s the most amazing, tangy tasting vegetable on Earth.

The best part:  It’s a vegetable that gets turned into dessert.  I can get behind that.

So randomly one day last week I saw rhubarb at the grocery store.  It sparked an idea in my brain as I had coffee on Wednesday morning…  Like all good baking ideas, it was to impress a boy.  I bet he’s never tried rhubarb.   But let’s be honest, rhubarb can be intense so I went the traditional route and paired it with strawberry.

I was right.  He had never had rhubarb.  But for someone who shares my affinity for putting lemon on everything, I knew the tangy-ness was going to be a hit.

So the next time you want to feel patriotic and/or impress someone, make this pie.  It won’t disappoint… I should also warn you that like all other things, I put bourbon in this too.  Bet you didn’t think those would go together, right?

Yeah they totally do.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with a Touch of Bourbon

Single Pie Crust:

175g All Purpose Flour
1 tbsp Sugar
pinch of Salt
1 stick of Butter, cold
2 tbsp (maybe more) Ice Water


2 heaping cups fresh chopped rhubarb (about 1/2 pound)
3-4 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp bourbon/whiskey
1/4 cup flour

Crumble Topping:

1/2 cup Flour
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
2 tbsp White Sugar
pinch of Salt
3 tbsp Butter
1 tbsp bourbon

Prepare pie crust by combing flour, sugar and salt.  Using your fingers, break the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles very coarse crumbs (even pea sized is fine).  Add ice water and bring it all together into a ball using your hands.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate a few hours.  You can make this up to two days in advance.  I actually had one freezer, already in the pie dish, stored in a ziploc bag, for about a month or so (making this whole pie making business wayyy easier).

Pre-heat your oven to 350F.   Prepare the filling.  Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and set aside while you make the crumble topping, by combining all the ingredients and breaking up the butter with your fingers until you get a coarse texture.

Pour filling into prepared pie pan (note: if you have an enormous pie dish, you might want to do more of the filling, the pie dish I used is way smaller than other glass pie dishes I own, so be warned), top with crumble topping, place pan on a baking sheet and put it in the oven.  Bake for about an hour (mine took about 1 hr and 10 minutes) or until juices are bubbling like woah (that’s really the best way to describe it).

Once the pie is golden, gooey and ready.  Allow it to cool completely.  Then serve.

This one was a winner.  Not to mention the crumble topping gives it a nice crunch and you don’t have to worry about rolling most crust for the top or taking on the lattice.

I might have to make it again, it might just happen, because in addition to July being the month for Independence Day, it’s also birthday month.  You know what the mean?  Pie and cake-making must happen.

Any suggestions for pie/cake flavors I should try out?

Bourbon Peach Pie with Crumble Topping

I’ve been in my new apartment a week.  I’ve already used at least 7 sticks of butter and made at least 4 pies.

This was one of them.

Doesn’t this look like a dream?  I promise it’s reality.  Furthermore, it’s proof that burning things is not the norm for me.

I took it to a potluck, but was in a hurry so didn’t have time to photograph for a full blog post. I’ll make it again and legit photograph it and write a blog post about it (EDIT:  Here’s the recipe for the Milk Chocolate Brownie Pie above!).  But until then, I’ll tell you about this one:

Bourbon Peach Pie.

I know.  I put bourbon in everything, but generally I think it belongs in most situations. In a pie.  In a cake. In a cup…

Honestly, you can’t really taste the bourbon, but it adds a little something extra.

Bourbon Peach Pie with Crumble Topping

Single Pie Crust:

175g All Purpose Flour
1 tbsp Sugar
pinch of Salt
1 stick of Butter, cold
2 tbsp (maybe more) Ice Water


6 Peached, thinly sliced
1 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Flour
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
3 tbsp Bourbon/Whiskey

Crumble Topping:

1/2 cup Flour
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
2 tbsp White Sugar
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
pinch of Salt
3 tbsp Butter
1 tbsp bourbon

Prepare pie crust by combing flour, sugar and salt.  Using your fingers, break the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles very coarse crumbs (even pea sized is fine).  Add ice water and bring it all together into a ball using your hands.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate a few hours.  You can make this up to two days in advance.

Once your dough has rested sufficiently, you can start to assemble your pie.  Roll our dough and place into a 9inch pie dish, trim the edges, make them look pretty if you’d like.

Preheat the oven to 350F.   Stick the prepared crust in the freezer while you make the filling and topping.  For the filling, I like to throw all the ingredients into a large ziploc bag, close it and toss it around.  A bowl works too. Set aside while you make the topping.

Next make crumble topping.  Combine dry ingredients.  Add butter and using your fingers work it into the mixture.  Drizzle in bourbon and toss to combine.  The mixture should look sort of like crumbs.

Next, pour the fruit filling into the crust, arranged sort of evenly and slightly mounted in the center.  Top with crumble topping, place on a baking sheet and bake 45-60 minutes (depending on your oven) or until the pie is golden brown and the fruit is bumbling.

Allow to cool completely and serve.

That’s all for tonight.

Don’t worry, I fully intend to use two more sticks of butter before the night is up.

What To Do When You Burn A Pie

Sometimes we forget that we stick something in the oven.   When that happens and your pie burns…

Feed it to a boy.

Laugh when he struggles to cut through the burnt crust.

Smile when the center is still totally edible and delicious.

Lastly, try again later.

What Making A Peach Pie Can Teach You About Life

A few years ago, I made terrible pies.  No really.  They were not good.  They were runny, caved in.

In short, not cute.

But I kept at it.  Now I can honestly say I know how to make a good pie.

Throughout my pie (mis)adventures, I learned a few things about pie making that I think apply to life as well. These are my pearls of wisdom:

1. Be patient.
Pies, like all good things, take time.  Your crust needs to rest.  First as a ball of dough (at least a few hours). Then as a rolled pie crust (at least an hour, better if a day).

Give it time and keep it cool.  It’ll be worth it in the end.

2.  When life gives you ____, make pie.
In this case, peach pie.

Leave the skin on, sometimes things are better when they’re a little rough around the edges.  Remember, pies (and you) don’t need to be perfect.

3.  Be generous with the sugar.

Both in pies and in life, the more sugar, the better.  Smile at strangers.  Hug your friends.  Kiss your loved ones.  You won’t regret it.

4.  Don’t forget a little spice.

A dash of cinnamon makes most pies delicious.  A little sass in your life won’t hurt either.  Just a dash.  Not too much.  No one likes a diva.

5.  Sometimes things don’t go your way…
and you drop a piece of the filling on the floor.

When things fall apart, wipe it up and carry on.

6. Fill your life with sweet things.

I’m not talking about inducing diabetes, sometimes a sweet thing doesn’t have to be food.  Nice people.  Good books.  Cute puppies.  All sweet things.

7. Don’t be afraid to get complicated

Even if in the end it’s not perfect.  It’ll be worth the effort.

8.  If you’re not ready for a pie in the oven yet, wrap it up.

Yeah I said it.  Truth.

9.  Lastly, like the first lesson, be patient some more.

It’s a long process, and takes about an hour to bake (at 375F).  But in the end it’s totally worth it.  Can’t we say that about most things… degrees. relationships. work.

Continue reading

Blueberry Pie and a Giveaway

Because yesterday was my birthday

and because I made an amazing blueberry pie.

No really, I was pleased.  Who needs a birthday cake when you have blueberry pie.

I think the trick is to make it a few days in advance and freeze it then bake it when it’s still sorta frozen in order to keep the crust from shrinking.

And because Stonyfield sent me this super cool summer in a box gift package

The box is really what sold me.  The stuff inside was pretty cool too!

Included in the gift box:

  • Two coupons for Stonyfield Frozen Yogurt Bars in two delicious flavors
  •  Badger After-Sun Balm
  • Dr. Hauschka Melissa Day Cream
  • Tom’s Toothpaste, Soap and Deodorant
  • Uncle Matt’s Organic Lemonade and Juices Coupon

We want to share one with you too.

So leave me a comment, link this post on your blog, or tweet at me (@karlapd) with a link to this post (or all of the above!) by Saturday, August 6th at 8:00pm PST and Stonyfield will give one lucky reader a Summer in a Box!

I’ll announce a winner by Sunday afternoon.

I would share the pie with you too

but that’s not as easy to mail.

Also my sister ate it.

Summer Pie in a Jar

Ithaca made me a jar person.

At the risk of sounding totally hippie/granola, I will say I find jars to be very multifunctional.  Not only can you carry soups, beverages and meals in them, you can also make a pie in one…

Versatile.  I like it.  I also like blueberries and nectarines.  Let’s find a way to combine them all.

Doesn’t that look like summer?  I thought so.

Summer Blueberry-Nectarine Pie in a Jar

5 half pint mason jars
1 recipe for pate brisee (this is the crust, you can also use store bought)
2 nectarine, diced (optional to peel)
1 cup blueberries
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

A quick note before starting: make your crust/pate brisee a few hours, or the night before, to prevent the dreaded shrinking crust. The longer it rests, the better!

Roll your crust on a well floured surface.  I suggest rolling it thinner than you would roll your average pie crust, if not your crust to filling ratio will be quite high, but keep it thick if that’s you’re style.  After rolling, line jars with pie crust.  This was a little tricky for me.  I bought the jars that were kinda narrow so I couldn’t fit my hand in it, so I suggest using the wider mouthed jars.  I had to piece to together and use a spoon to press it down.  Either way it should look somewhat like this by the end:

Place them in the fridge or freezer as soon as they’re ready.  You don’t want melted/soft crusts in your jar!

While your jars chill, dice (and peel, if you like) your nectarines and wash your blueberries.  In a bowl, combine nectarines, blueberries, sugar, flour and vanilla.  Toss to coat all the fruit in the sugar and flour.  Let sit for a few minutes.

In the meantime, make your pie lids.  Roll out some more pie dough then using the jar lid, cut out circles.

Next, quickly fill your pie jars with fruit filling.

Put on the lids and either press the edges using a fork, or your fingers.

Whichever you prefer is fine.  You can also get creative with cookie cutters and cut out different shapes to make the top, or use a crumble topping.

At this point you can either put them in a freezer and save them for a rainy day or you can bake them off!

Should you choose to bake them right away, pre-heat your oven to 400F.  Bake for 30-45 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling on the top.

I used the toaster oven.  It’s summer after all.  Who wants to turn the oven on and heat up the whole house?

No thanks.  But I would say yes to this

After they’ve cooled, you can put a bow on them

and give it as a gift.

or serve it up on a plate.

Either way, this is a pretty fun way to use a jar!

The Most Amazing Peanut Butter Banana Pie Ever!

Hi friends!  It’s pretty much been forever, but I’m back in California so things can get back to normal!

In the past few weeks, quite a bit has happened.  I graduated!  I have a Master’s! Woo!

My hat didn’t fit on my head.  Such is life.

Then I came back to California and my sister and I made the most amazing pies EVER!


Okay so one sorta melted.  No biggie.

AMAZING Peanut Butter (or Nutella) Banana Pie

inspired by Joy the Baker’s No Bake Peanut Butter Tart

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (or Nutella or other nut butter)
4 oz cream cheese, softened
7 oz (1/2 can) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup heavy cream for whipping
1 banana, sliced
1 tbsp butter
1 prepared graham cracker crust
1 cup cool whip or other whipped cream for topping

In a pan, melt butter and fry banana slices until golden (you can probably skip this step and just use fresh bananas, but the crispy fried banana was pretty delicious).  Arrange fried banana on the bottom of the prepared graham cracker crust.

Using a mixer (or a strong  arm) mix together the cream cheese, peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk.  Once combined, set aside.  In a separate bowl, whip the cream until it holds solid peaks.   Then fold together the peanut butter mixture and the whipped cream.  Once combined (don’t over mix), spoon the mixture into the pie pan, top with whipped topping and chill for a few hours before serving.

We made two, one with nutella and one with peanut butter.  They were both a hit, but I won’t lie: the peanut butter one is to die for!

You should probably go make it now.  You won’t regret it.