When you only have one photo, you go with it.
Since winning a first place ribbon at the 2016 Iowa State Fair with this raspberry-rhubarb pie, I have had several requests to make it. I made three more just last week. Yet, I have had no opportunities to take any decent photos because I have not been able to cut into a single one I made. This is the only photo I have. Not the greatest photo, but the ribbon makes up for that.
You might be wondering, why raspberry rhubarb?
A few years ago I spent a morning enjoying pie and coffee with a few of my cousins at the Coffee Cup Cafe in Sully, Iowa. They are well-known for their homemade pies, having received numerous accolades including USA Today's Top 10 Places in the U.S. for Pie, as well as being featured in Jane and Michael Stern's "Road Food" and "500 Things to Eat Before It's Too Late", among others. Even Lance Armstrong stopped there for a slice of coconut cream pie during RAGBRAI in 2006.
I'm always hesitant to order restaurant pie, even at small-town cafes where the pie should be homemade, even if they are known for it, because I have been disappointed on more than one occasion. Not even a hint of disappointment was to be found at the Coffee Cup. The pie there was spot-on, homemade delicious. My cousins and I each ordered two slices so we could taste-test several varieties. I can't even remember what my other slice was, because I was absolutely smitten with the raspberry-rhubarb. So smitten I went home to try to recreate it myself.
My first attempt was in the ballpark. I decided I didn't get it sweet enough and would add more sugar on the next attempt. Except that second attempt didn't come until this year's state fair.
For the two-crust fruit class, a class in which I had yet to take first place, I wanted a fruit combination that might catch the judge's attention -- and I remembered the raspberry-rhubarb I had made only once. So I bumped up the sugar to 1 1/2 cups and reached heavenly perfection. This pie is so yummy, and if you have the best homegrown rhubarb, it melts in your mouth.
Now most people serve pie with ice cream. At my house, most people have to request ice cream if they want it with their pie because I do not. So if you are an a la mode kind of girl or guy, be my guest. But this version of a rhubarb pie, with a sidekick of raspberry, doesn't need it (in my opinion). If it does, you could always bump up the sugar a bit more. Either way, I think you will enjoy this pie as much as anyone. But if you're going to write a blog post about it, take a picture before it's all gone.
Yours in pie,
2 c. frozen red raspberries, partially thawed
2 c. frozen rhubarb cut into ½-inch pieces, thawed
1 ½ c. sugar
1 T. cornstarch
2 T. tapioca
Dash of salt
2 T. butter
Line the pie plate with the bottom crust. In a bowl, combine sugar, cornstarch, tapioca, and salt. Pour over raspberries and rhubarb and combine gently. Let stand 15 minutes. Transfer to crust. Dot the top of filling with butter. Adjust top crust and crimp edges; apply decorative crust pieces if desired. Brush crust with milk; sprinkle with sparkling sugar. Cover edges with foil to prevent over-browning. Bake on middle rack at 400° for 10 minutes, reduce heat to 350° and bake another 45-50 minutes or until crust is lightly browned and filling is bubbly in center. Cool on wire rack.