Sweet and tart, a rhubarb gelatin layer topped with a light, airy strawberry chiffon in a buttery crisp pie crust. This pie has Spring written all over it, though with the use of mostly frozen fruits, can be made year round. I adapted this recipe from Cook's Country's Strawberry Chiffon Pie.
You'll see towards the end I added more yum with the addition of homemade strawberry whipped cream, this pie is definitely worthy of a Pi day celebration! Enjoy!
Step 1: Gather Ingredients
1 pie dough for single crust pie (you can use homemade, though I think Trader Joe's makes a great crust) fit into a 9-inch pie plate, crimped, and chilled.
1 lb. rhubarb, (about 4 cups, thawed if frozen), sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup water
3 Tbsp. pectin (I use Sure-Jell)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup (4 ounces) fresh strawberries
red food coloring, optional
3 Tbsp. strawberry-flavored Jello
3 Tbsp. boiling water
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup heavy cream, chilled
Step 2: Bake Crust
Adjust oven rack to the lower middle position and preheat to 375 degrees F. (I also preheat a baking sheet as I bake all my pies on baking sheets.)
Prick chilled dough in several places with the tines of fork, cover dough with foil (I use 2 sheets of non-stick foil), and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until crust is set and lightly browned. Remove weights and foil, flatten any puffed areas with a fork, and continue baking until deep golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes longer. Let crust cool to room temperature.
Step 3: Prepare Fruit Layer
Combine rhubarb and 1/4 cup water in medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the rhubarb starts to break down, about 5 minutes. Stir in the pectin and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Stir in the sugar and salt and continue to boil stirring constantly, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and puree the rhubarb using an immersion blender, or put in a blender or food processor. My rhubarb was almost all green, so at this point I added red food coloring, blend until smooth.
Transfer 1/3 cup rhubarb puree to a small bowl and cool to room temperature.
Cut the strawberries into 1/4-inch slices and gently fold into the remaining puree. Spread the mixture into the cooled pie crust.
Step 4: Prepare Chiffon
Dissolve the Jello in boiling water in bowl of a stand mixer (I bring about 1/2 cup water to boil in a small saucepan and measure out 3 Tbsp.). Add the cream cheese and reserved rhubarb puree and beat on high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the heavy cream and beat on medium low until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Increase the mixer speed to high and beat until very thick, 1 to 2 minutes.
Spread the chiffon evenly over the fruit layer in the pie crust. Cover the pie loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the filling is set and chilled, about 3 hours.
Step 5: Gilding the Lily; Strawberry Whipped Cream
This pie is excellent as is, or, topped with regular whipped cream, but to bring out the strawberry flavor and have 3 pretty pink layers I made a strawberry whipped cream topping.
1/3 cup freeze-dried strawberries (I use Just Tomatoes brand available at Whole Foods and health food stores.)
1 Tbsp. powdered sugar
2-3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 cup heavy cream, chilled (it helps if you also chill the bowl and whisk)
Combine freeze-dried strawberries and powdered sugar in a small food chopper. Blend to a fine powder. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer to eliminate the seeds. Add 2 or 3 Tbsp. granulated sugar depending on how sweet you like your whipped cream. Add to chilled heavy cream in standing mixer and whip on medium-low speed until frothy, about 1 minute. Increase mixer speed to high and continue to whip until cream has stiff peaks.
If you are serving entire pie right away, top with whipped cream, otherwise put in small bowl and top individual pie pieces as needed. Store in covered container in refrigerator.
Step 6: Enjoy!
You could bake the pie crust one day ahead and store, wrapped in plastic wrap, at room temperature. Once filled with the puree and chiffon, keeping the whipped cream in a separate covered container, this pie kept well 2 days for me in the refrigerator.
Top with whipped cream and enjoy!