I made a rhubarb and strawberry pie for my in-laws, to go with the vindaloo and curried cauliflower. I was looking for something just a little unusual, and I think I succeeded. The pie crust is made from what you might call a skillet shortbread, and the filling is gently spiced with cardamom and ginger–nothing radical, but really lovely.
Tigers & Strawberries, adapted from Ken Haedrich
For the Crust:
2 1/4 cups AP flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 t vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat; when it is melted, mix in the vanilla.
Turn off the heat and stir in the flour/sugar mixture; this may take a minute or 2, but be patient and keep stirring until you have a pan full of evenly mixed crumbles. Transfer about two thirds of the crumbs to a 9 1/2 inch deep dish pie pan, and press them to the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Be sure to press into the edge of the pan evenly (some of my edges were quite thick, too thick with shortbread). Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
For the Filling:
1 1/2 lbs fresh rhubarb stalks, sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick (about 4 cups)
2 cups hulled and sliced fresh strawberries
3/4 cup sugar
zest and juice of one lemon
1/4- 1/2 cup AP (if your rhubarb stalks are small, use the larger amount of flour–if they are large, they are drier, use the smaller amount of flour)
1/2 t ground cardamom
1/2 t ground ginger
2-4 t rosewater (use smaller amount for a more subtle effect–Tigers & Strawberries uses up to 2 T)
Mix together the filling ingredients and allow to stand for ten minutes.