CSA Week 1

by neverenteredmymind

Back in May, I started poking around the web searching for a local CSA program. I’d first heard about program on Ruhlman’s blog, and the idea of joining a CSA has stuck in my head ever since. Normally, the harvest boxes are given in exchange for money shares put into a farm at the beginning of the season. As a struggling cook…the up front finances were my only discouragement. That’s why there was much fist pumping when I heard that work shares were available as well! Come again? I can put in 4 hours a week learning how to plant and weed and harvest in exchange for 16 boxes of fantastic organic produce? I’m telling you, this is a struggling cooks dream. 

For many people, understandably, the regular system of weekly shares makes a lot more sense. And it’s still a wonderful alternative to picking up imported tomatoes from impersonal supermarkets. But from personal experience, I can honestly say that putting the weekly  hands-on hours into the land, getting your hands in the dirt, planting and transplanting beans and tediously weeding carrots is exceedingly rewarding. That being said, the following Strawberry Rhubarb & Raspberry Pie was the most satisfying pie I’ve had to date.

It’s going to be a good season. (coming up, week 1 part 2- Asian greens saute!)

Strawberry Rhubarb & Raspberry Pie

3-2-1 Sweet Pie Crust:

12 oz AP flour
8 oz cold or frozen unsalted butter, cubed
2-4 oz ice water
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar

Filling:

1 lb rhubarb, inch dice
1 lb strawberries(quartered) and raspberries, or whatever you have on hand
4 tbsp turbinado sugar (cane, brown, or white is fine too)
1 tbsp liquid honey
4 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp butter

Milk and sugar to brush lattice

For pastry, cut butter into flour using pastry cutter, hands, or food processor. When mix resembles pea-sized chunks, add sugar and salt and slowly add ice water until dough just comes together. Do not over mix. Portion into two disks, wrap tightly and let rest in fridge at least 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 F.

While the dough is resting, combine and toss all filling ingredients except butter. When dough is rested, roll out one disk on a lightly floured surface, turning and flipping after each roll so it doesn’t stick. Roll to about a 12″ diameter, so when placed on a 9″ pie plate there is a 1″ overhang. Roll out the second disk the same way, to about a 13″ diameter, and cut into 1″ strips. Fill the pie crust with the filling, dot with butter, and assemble lattice by weaving strips. Fold the overhang up, tucking in the excess lattice, and gently pinch around the edges. Brush lightly with milk and dust with sugar. Place on sheet tray in the bottom third of the preheated oven. Bake until golden brown and filling is tender and bubbling, about 45 minutes. Try to refrain from eating immediately. About 3 hours of letting the pie cool is as painful as picking through the end of season rhubarb bushes, but well worth it! (I clearly did not have the patience, see bottom picture of streaming juices)

Side note: earlier this spring, I made a fabulously strange basil ice cream- it paired amazingly with tartness of the rhubarb!

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