4/24/15

Baking on Friday: Blueberry-Rhubarb Pie for Two

With the Desserts for Two book, I'm back to my Baking on Friday segments, and we are both loving it. When I started baking desserts on Friday several years ago, it was entertaining and delicious, but I had to stop when we both started packing on the pounds. We were eating rich and delicious desserts every single night because we had dessert leftovers around all week. With these little ones, we can enjoy a good dessert once, and then be back to our usual diet the rest of the week. So far, neither of us is complaining.

Today I continued on with my goal of using another of the bakeware items I purchased for making these itty bitty desserts.


Today I used the 6-inch pie plate. Isn't it cute? 

The recipe in the book was for strawberry-rhubarb pie. Rhubarb is in season right now. We also have strawberries, but they are not Oregon berries. As I've said many times, we are very snooty about our berries, but that's not all. Mike can't eat strawberries because his tender gut can't handle those little seeds. Also off the menu, pretty much any berry with seeds such as raspberries, blackberries, and marionberries. And Boo Hoo because I love berries. He says it's okay for me to eat them anyway, but I have a hard time eating a food he can't eat right in front of him. The one exception will be homemade strawberry ice cream when the Oregon berries come around. Fresh strawberry ice cream is to die for. He'll just have to eat a different flavor. I have to draw the line somewhere, right? 

Anyway...all of that to say that he can eat blueberries, and so I substituted frozen blueberries for the strawberries. I did a little reading of some other recipes online. It seems blueberry-rhubarb pie isn't all that uncommon, even if it does take a backseat to the strawberry-rhubarb combination. As I was doing some investigating, I came across an article in Cook's Illustrated that discussed the juiciness of a strawberry-rhubarb pie in particular. It suggested macerating the fruit in sugar for half an hour or so to rid the fruit of some of the liquid. That I did, but I collected the juices in a bowl under the strainer just to see how much I got.


I changed the proportions of fruit from Christina's book recipe and used a cup of chopped rhubarb and a cup of frozen blueberries. When I was ready to add them to the pie crust, the liquid measured only about two tablespoons, and so I just dumped that in with the fruit. 

These desserts have been small enough to bake in my toaster oven, and so once I had it all put together, into the toaster oven it went.


When it came out...


Mmmmm. Looks pretty good, huh? I'll have to let you know tomorrow what I think of my fruit combination, the flavor, and the juiciness of the fruit. If it's good, I'll give you the recipe I used. 

For now though, I'm afraid I'm going to have to differ with what Christina says in the book. She gives a convincing argument about egg wash on the top of the pie. She really likes just using the beaten egg yolk. Myself, I've been unhappy with the color it gives to things. It could be my eggs, which have a very orange yolk, but it's a little more orange than I like. I'm going to go back to using an egg white mixed with a tiny bit of water. It's personal preference, really, but egg white has always worked just fine for me.

So beyond baking, I finished up the largest of the Vintage Tin stitcheries yesterday evening. I've rinsed out the Sticky Fabri-Solvy now and ironed it, and there you go:


When you see it in the finished quilt, it's the large one right in the middle.


There is just one more stitchery for me to finish up before I start sewing this one together. I'll need to do the one just below the current one. I have all my fabrics washed and pressed, and so very soon, I'll be able to start sewing it together. I'm hoping I'll be able to finish it up for Erik's October birthday.

With that one finished, I made up the next little stitchery for My Vintage Kitchen. These are only 3-1/2 inch pieces and they can be stitched in an hour or so.


When that is finished, I'll be ready to get started on the next of the Quilting Snowladies. That one still needs to be made up.

Also, I selected and made up the next block pattern for Lisa's retirement quilt. It'll be this one from Jeffrey. This one will be fairly easy to do, I think. It'll be mostly applique and a little bit of embroidery.


It was on a large sheet of construction paper, and so I scanned and reduced it, then taped the two sides together, and then resized it to my block size of 6-1/2 inches. Also, I reproduced the "signature" at its original size and included it in the corner. 

Finally, I wanted to tell you about replacing a windchime on our front porch. I love windchimes, and we have them pretty much all over the yard. We had one at the front door that was a sort of miniature Japanese gong. It's been hanging there since we moved into the place about 12 years ago. Occasionally, its strings would break, or a rubber o-ring it had around its clapper that gave it a nice gong sound would fall off, or some other thing would happen and it would need repair. It finally reached the point of no return, and I had in mind to replace it.

It was disappointing when I went looking for one I liked to find that most of them were over $100, and I just didn't want to spend that kind of money on something that was going to sit outside in the weather. Then I remembered Harmony Hollow Bell Works. They have the coolest bells for all occasions and they come with nice little notes attached according to the kind of bell you purchase.If you go to their website, you can even hear the tone of the bell you want to purchase.   

The first one I ever purchased was for a friend nearing 50 who was marrying for the first time. And what do you get a person like that as a wedding gift? It isn't as if she needed towels or small kitchen appliances. At that time, I happened to notice a "wedding bell" in a gift shop and it ended up being the perfect gift for her. Since then, I've also purchased a "friendship bell" for a friend who moved to a different state, a "memory bell" for a young woman I knew who lost her too-young husband to cancer, and a "housewarming bell" for Erik and Mae when they bought their first place. Never, however, have I ever purchased one for myself, even though I love these bells.

So when I remembered them, I was thinking, "Hey! Mike and I are celebrating 40 years of marriage next month. I wonder if they have any anniversary bells." In fact, they did. It arrived today, and I hung it up.


Nice! This anniversary bell came with this note attached:


Awww. So I'm happy with my new bell. We have an anniversary celebration planned next month as well, but I'll say more about that when the time comes.

It was a walking day today, and Sue and I walked the Fanno Creek Trail. The weather forecast was threatening and so we were prepared to be rained on. As is our usual luck, the rain held off until we were literally driving back home, and then it started coming down pretty good. We encountered a few sprinkles on our walk, but nothing of any substance. We also encountered these little ladies, who seemed very glad to see us.


When we said good morning to them, they all came running over to the fence. I imagine they were disappointed when we didn't give them anything to eat.

And that's pretty much my day. Mike will be home soon, and I need to take a shower. We are attending a "celebration of life" for a woman we've both known for decades tomorrow. She hadn't looked good for quite some time and she passed away a couple of weeks ago. Other than that, no plans for the weekend, and so I imagine I'll get a chance to work on my last two Irish doors.

Do you have any plans for your weekend?

9 comments from clever and witty friends:

Christine M said...

Your pie looks delicious, Barbara.

Quilting Babcia said...

Blueberry-rhubarb sounds really good, but I have to say it would be hard for me to put in all that work for two tiny helpings! More power to you my friend!

Dana Gaffney said...

I love that bell, I'm going to check out that store. Windchimes here are almost always ringing so the sound has to be good. Finally something on your walk that I have here, lots of chickens and roosters when I walk.

Bearlywild said...

Can you see me now?

Nita said...

Condolences on the loss of your friend...
Oh, I love the idea of those bells...I loke thingsmlike that, too. Will have to keep my eye out for something similar as our new house doesn't have any new doo dads yet and I like things on the patio. And...I might just have to get myself a copy of that deserts for two book! I love to bake and have experimented 15 pounds onto my hips since retiring only a year ago! Talk about the freshman 15...nobody warned me about the retirement 15, lol!

Lynda Halliger Otvos (Lynda M O) said...

Lovely bell; Happy Fortieth Anniversary to the lovely couple !~!

Your dessert looks superb; my late mom was a strawberry/rhubarb fan while we had a garden as kids. You've awakened memories I thought long forgotten. Thanks, I think. :-)

quiltzyx said...

What a cute little pie! All of your desserts make my mouth water. I don't think I've ever had rhubarb or at least I don't remember having it. I feel bad for Mike, not being able to eat so many kinds of berries. :(
The bell is beautiful. I'll have to go to their website & check them out.
Not too much left for you to do on the Vintage Tin stitchery - then lots of flying geese. Have fun!

Brown Family said...

Beautiful bell. I found 4 small cake pan at JoAnns today, Now I want to bake a cake!

Junebug613 said...

MMMM strawberries. I have only had a strawberry rhubarb pie once. My Boyfriend's sister's Mother-in-law made it (did you follow all of that?) when we visited them in Massachusetts years ago. It was so good. We are very lucky to have a huge strawberry farming area about an hour away from us. In February we have the Strawberry Festival, but I haven't gone in years. It's as big as our state fair. What a really neat bell! And an interesting gift idea. You have some of the coolest ideas. I know it would be a ton of work, but couldn't you cut off the skin of the strawberries to get rid of the seeds? Just a thought.