Taste Trumps Looks

Is this the ugliest pie you have ever seen?  Yeah, me too.

Let me explain how this pie happened, you know kind of like how a train wreck “happened”.  Both require some random decisions to all  come together in an unfortunate way.

I had bought some strawberries at the grocery a few days ago and needed to use them…someone had asked about my rhubarb I planted two years ago, so that reminded me that I wanted to use whatever stalks on it that were ready, so that they wouldn’t go to waste…we were going to dinner with Linda and Doug so that is always a good time to fix a dessert to eat afterwards (they are great guests and will eat whatever dessert I make)…I remembered that I had a recipe for rhubarb cream pie that I hadn’t made in probably 30 years…I also had one frozen pie crust (of indeterminate age) in the freezer.

In my mind’s eye, all of the above could come together to make a wonderful dessert for after dinner last night.

This is what I pictured a piece of the pie I was going to make looking like.

This is what a piece of my pie actually looked like!

In my own defense, I was led astray by some anonymous cook on the internet who said that she made a cream pie recipe that said it was for a 9″ pie plate, but she just added “a little more fruit” and made it for a 10″ pie plate.  So I took that as permission to add more fruit without there being any adverse consequences.  Silly me.

This recipe called for 1 1/2 cups of rhubarb … but I combined rhubarb and sliced strawberries to make a very full two cups of fruit.  Soooo, my pie didn’t firm up, even when I baked it longer than the recipe recommended.

I also did’nt like how the strawberry slices looked in this pie.  Next time I would dice the strawberries.  And I think I would dredge the chunks of rhubarb and strawberries in flour before adding them to the other ingredients to hopefully make them stay spread throughout the mixture, rather than congregating on the top.

Not only did my filling not set up, but the pie crust stuck to the dish badly, so I had to “chisel” the pieces out of the plate,  Those two factors pretty much guaranteed that there were going to be “heaps” of pie on the plates rather than attractive triangles of pie.

But, having said all that, this pie was delicious!  I will definitely make it again.  But … with less fruit … and with the pie crust floured so that it won’t stick to the dish.

Here is the recipe.  Feel free to make a beautiful one and post it on your own blog.  I can handle it.

Amish Rhubarb Cream Pie

1 1/2 C. chopped rhubarb

1 1/2 C. sugar

1 1/2 C. half and half (I used fat free and it tasted fine)

3 heaping T. flour

1/2 stick butter, melted

dash of cinnamon

dash of salt

1 1/2 t. fresh lemon juice

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.  Pour into an unbaked pie crust and sprinkle with cinnamon.  Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.

Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder, and after tasting my pie, I thought it was beautiful! (Of course, I may just need my glasses changed.)  But it really did taste good.

Note:  I’ve just looked at this post again and realize that the sunlight coming through the window may make the first picture, the one of the whole pie, look like it has mold on it.  So just to clarify, it’s still ugly, but no mold — just sunlight.

12 Responses to Taste Trumps Looks

  1. Linda says:

    I want to know where you got that picture of the PRETTY piece of pie. You didn’t make another one and not invite us, did you? Doug and I aren’t into “pretty” as much as we’re into taste. And your somewhat runny pie certainly won us over in the taste category. I’m going to keep this recipe and (maybe) try it myself some day. And, really, if you had called it “strawberry-rhubarb cobbler,” no one would have noticed the chopped-up pie crust. 🙂

  2. Sandra says:

    Well, Linda, I’m so glad you liked it. I got the pretty picture off the internet. Apparently it IS possible to make this pie look nice, just not by me. 🙂 But, since we all really did like the taste, I’ll probably give it another try.

  3. Hilary says:

    A huge scoop of ice cream over it, served up in a bowl and nobody would even know it was meant to turn out any other way. 😉

  4. Cheryl says:

    LOVE IT!! Mine would probably look similiar…. You are a fabulous “cook”, I struggle at it.

  5. Sandra says:

    Hilary — I actually had planned on putting ice cream on top of it, and did suggest that we eat it in a bowl, but Hubby vetoed the bowl idea and no one seemed to think it needed ice cream as it was very rich all by itself. But after looking through the pictures on the internet to get the “pretty” picture, I realize that this really just ISN’T a pretty pie, so that made me feel better. But I do see that as a challenge, so I WILL make it again and try for some good looks as well as taste. 🙂

    Cheryl — I believe that may be the very first time that anyone has used the words fabulous and “cook” (although the quotes make me doubt your sincerity) in regard to me. Thank you, if your serious, and “Ha Ha” if you’re not. 🙂

  6. Cheryl says:

    YES I am serious!!!! It seems to me that you have the interest to try receipes…… I love reading about it and my thoughts are “boy, I would love to cook like that” but have no desire. I would rather dig a ditch!!!! ha ha

  7. Sandra says:

    Well, THANK YOU, Cheryl. That is a very nice compliment! 🙂

  8. Linda says:

    I’m with Cheryl on that ditch-digging thing. 🙂

  9. ladyfi says:

    Don’t judge a pie by its crust… I bet it was delicious!

  10. Sandra says:

    Yeah, Linda. It’s fun to picture you and Cheryl out digging ditches! 🙂

    ladyfi — Amen. And, yes, it was delicious! 🙂

  11. Vicki says:

    Sandra, I made two of these pies from a recipe I found on the web last month! The first one was with all rhubarb and it set up perfectly and was delicious! The second one was the same recipe, but I was short on frozen rhubarb (it’s hard to find in the grocery stores in the South) and substituted strawberries. It was a mess! Didn’t set at all and did not taste as good either! I love strawberries, but I’ll use them somewhere else than in rhubarb cream pie! Also, my recipe didn’t call for lemon juice, but otherwise, was very similar.

  12. Sandra says:

    Vicki — I have since made one that was just rhubarb and it turned out fine too. My guess is that strawberries are too juicy to let the filling set up. Although I’ve had some great rhubarb strawberry pies in restaurants so there must be a way!

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