I was so excited when I found out that my friend Bob wanted Strawberry Rhubarb Pie as his birthday "cake." He also wanted Key Lime Pie, which my dad also loved, so the couple of days that I was working on these were filled with thoughts of my dad...so I made these pies with so much love. Not only do I adore the birthday boy, but thinking about my dad through the whole process made it even all the more love-filled.
At one point, while the pies were in the oven, I took a quick break to walk the dogs
Having these thoughts up came a beautiful butterfly. It looks like a white monarch. It was huge and gorgeous and it came up to almost touching my face and then circles me as we walked several times. Literally circling me! Magic. Dad magic on Father's Day.
Here are the unbelievably perfect magical recipes I used from the best food blog ever -- Smitten Kitchen. I always go to her site to see what she does when I'm searching for recipes, because she is always experimenting and working on making the recipes better and better all the time. Deb, the Queen and Creator of Smitten Kitchen is really diligent AND inspired....and fun! These two recipes are literally perfection:
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie -- http://smittenkitchen.com/2010/06/strawberry-rhubarb-pie-improved/
Key Lime Tart -- http://smittenkitchen.com/2006/09/in-praise-of-the-pocket-sized/
I used to make pies and tarts for restaurants in New York when I was in acting school in the 80's, and the crust recipes I used were either exactly what she uses or incredibly similar. You want to read her recipes word for word, becuase she gives fantastic tips.
For instance, with the crust for the Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie, which was DIVINE, with the exception of my user-error. I worked the trim crust a little too much so it was tougher than I would have liked. But, the rest of the crust was perfect.
The Key Lime Tart was awesome too. I couldn't find my mini tartlet pans so I just did regular tarts. Also, I added fresh whipped cream and berries on top as decoration, and to cut the richness. The tart shell and filling are really rich and wonderful, but I think the whipped cream and berries really added a little lightness to the recipe.
If you are wondering what the heck is in the middle of the tart -- it's a little branch from my blueberry push. It looked better in real life than it does here. Also, I decorated one tart for Birthday Boy Bob, but this one was in honor of all our dads. We lit candles and made a little wish for our dads, whether they were there or not.
So, you can never go wrong with Smitten Kitchen. Check Deb out...you will love her blog and her recipes!
Happy Lazy Summer Bakin' to All!