|This pie contains both lard and vodka.|
(Long-time readers may remember last year's eight ways not to make rhubarb pie. Having learned my lesson, I followed recipes this year.)
The pie filling is Smitten Kitchen's "Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie, Improved," which recipe I followed pretty much to the letter, and which I am abashed to report turned out entirely delicious. The unexpected ingredient was instant tapioca, which turns the otherwise runny mess of strawberries and rhubarb into a proper pie filling. (Our strawberries weren't very sweet, so if I had a do-over, I might add a smidge more sugar.)
The crust directions came from Smitten Kitchen's "Pie Crust 101," which uses Cook's Illustrated's "Foolproof Pie Dough" recipe. The secret ingredient is vodka (which provides moisture for mixing the crust, but doesn't toughen it like water, and evaporates in the oven). I substituted half a cup of lard for the half cup of vegetable shortening called for (influenced by this extraordinarily thorough New York Times investigation of various pie crust fats). With neither a food processor nor a pastry blender, I settled in for the tedium of cutting the butter and lard into little pieces and then using two knives to cut them into the flour.
Above is what the pie look likes if you ignore Smitten Kitchen's instruction to let the pie cool and the tapioca set up for several hours. Because -- seriously -- who makes a pie and then doesn't eat it for several hours?
Later slices, more cool-headedly taken from the refrigerator, were as solid and lovely as one might hope.