Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

I love pie.  I also love strawberries.  In fact, I've always loved strawberries.  When I was in Middle School we lived on a small farm in the middle of pick-your-own fields - strawberry and pea fields.  Both my absolute favorites.  Can you guess what I would do after school?  After walking the quarter of a mile driveway home I let myself in the house, called my mother at work to check in, then I could be found plopped in the middle of one of the fields picking and eating, and pretty much ruining my appetite for dinner.

My husband looks forward to spring and summer almost as much as I do for the same reason.....berry pies.  What better springtime combination than strawberries and rhubarb?  It makes each bite the perfect combination of sweet and slightly tart.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie
Makes 1 - 9 inch pie

12 Tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
1/3 cup lard or vegetable shortening, chilled
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 cup ice water

Pie Filling:
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
4 cups strawberries, washed, stems removed and cut into halves or quarters, depending on the size of the berry
1 cup rhubarb, washed, trimmed and sliced into 1/4-1/2 inch pieces
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces

To make the crust:
Dice the butter and vegetable shortening and return to the refrigerator while you prepare the flour mixture.  Place the flour, salt and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse a few times to mix.  Add the butter and shortening.  Pulse 8-12 times, until the butter is the size of peas.  With the machine running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse the machine until the dough begins to form a ball.  Dump out on a floured surface and roll into a ball.  Wrap in plastic wrap and let dough rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

To make the pie filling:
Put the strawberries and rhubarb in a large bowl.  Add the flour, sugar, and spices {including salt}and gently stir until thoroughly combined.

To put it all together:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Remove the pie crust from the refrigerator and cut the dough in half.  Roll each piece on a well floured surface into a circle to fit a 9 inch pie pan.  Place the first rolled dough in the pie pan, then pour in the filling ingredients.  Place the butter on top of the filling.  Cover with the second rolled dough and crimp the edges.  Cut several steam vents in the top crust using a sharp paring knife.  Place the pie in the refrigerator until the oven comes to temp.

Baking the pie:
Place the pie on a cookie sheet {to prevent any spill-over onto your oven floor} and put in the oven.  Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Continue baking 40-45 minutes longer, or until pie is bubbly and the crust is golden.

Transfer pie to a cooling rack and allow to cool to room temperature.  Serve.

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