We had a celebration this week, yes, one that many of you are going to be experiencing in the weeks to come. We ate out. inside a restaurant! The meal was at the Floating Café, on Indian Point, here in Branson. As always the breakfast was fantastic, but eating someplace besides home, was so nice!
They followed all the rules with masks and spacing, it was a perfect morning on the lake.
It is hard to believe we will be celebrating Memorial weekend, it’s here, and it just doesn’t feel like quite right. Most of the odd feeling is because I’m not working at present. Another reason, maybe, are the rains we have experienced for about 6 days straight, here in Stone and Taney counties. Lastly, I do believe our Covid friend is making a shadow over each and every one of us. Therefore I’m making pie for the festivities this weekend. Here in the Ozarks, Memorial Weekend is a momentous event from the angle of tourism and the beautiful Table Rock Lake.
Super busy, and…social distancing is pretty easy to do out on a large lake. I’m doing everything possible here at home to make it a great weekend.
As exciting as it is to look forward to a 3 day weekend, we also must remember the meaning of ‘Memorial Day’. Taking the time to explain, to the children & ourselves, what it is all about. Here’s a simple reminder and outline for you: The very first recognition of a Memorial Day was held in 1868 after the sacrifices of the Civil war. It was a day to acknowledge those who have given their lives for our country. The original name was also ‘Decoration Day’, because flags were placed on the graves of those who served this country. As time passed we also made it a time to remember all our loved ones who have gone before us. In 1971 it became a National holiday. Since moving to the Ozarks there is one ‘big’ thing I miss about this weekend, it’s the memorial service, at the Platte City cemetery. Our family always went and the services were so well done.
I ‘truly’ haven’t decided which direction I am going with the pie this weekend, it could be pineapple/rhubarb, straight rhubarb, or strawberry rhubarb. Any direction sounds yummy to me. Especially with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. On the pineapple portion of this pie I also think I might consider using tidbit, why not!!! Here are some guidelines for the pie:
The recipe below calls for 3 cups of rhubarb and a 20 ounce can of crushed pineapple, using 1 and a 1/3 cups of sugar. If you desire more rhubarb I believe I would up the recipe to 4 cups of rhubarb and 1 and 2/3rds cups of sugar. I baked this in a regular 9 inch pie pan, not a deep dish nine inch pan and was pleased with the depth of the pie. I also did a double pie crust. You could certainly play around with a single crust pie and do some type of crumble on the top instead of the 2nd crust.
Remember when baking a pie that what makes a pie crust soggy is sitting the pie on a cooking sheet or baking pan during the baking process. I like to crimp a piece of foil with upturned edges on the rack immediately under my pie in case it does decide to boil over. Also make a protector for the edges of the crust. Usually this can be removed towards the end of baking. Nothing is worse than a pie whose outer crusts are dark brown! You may choose to use an egg white wash on the top and sprinkle sugar over the crust. I didn’t even brush mine with egg white I just sprinkled the sugar on and it stuck.
My thickening agent is not flour or cornstarch. I use minute tapioca on most of my fresh fruit pies. This would entail strawberry rhubarb, regular rhubarb, and any ‘berry’ pies. For peach I usually use cornstarch, with apple I turn to flour.
The trick is getting the right amount of tapioca! I found the 5 tablespoons was nice for this pie. It cut nicely, was tight without runniness, etc. Tapioca tip: Place it inside a blade coffee grinder and make the granulation even smaller, you will LOVE the outcome! DO NOT put the tapioca in a Burr style grinder!
To complete your pie procure some lovely cinnamon ice cream or quality vanilla. (I like my friend, Sharon Short’s, homemade vanilla to be most specific!)
The best rhubarb will be the smaller stalks, however sometimes beggars can’t be choosers! You will note that I cut my rhubarb into about half inch chunks. Remember not to cut the rhubarb but to pull it when harvesting.
To find the most recipes on rhubarb visit Minnesota & Wisconsin, where they have copious amounts of rhubarb and rhubarb festivals. There will be cookbooks with ‘only’ rhubarb recipes.
Take the time to remember, and prayers for the sacrifices, given for our freedom.
Simply yours, The Covered Dish. thecovererddish.com
Rhubarb Pineapple Pie
3 cups chopped rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
20 ounces crushed pineapple, drained well
1 1/3 cups white sugar, could up slightly, if desired
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons finely ground lemon zest
5 tablespoons Minute Tapioca
Your favorite double pie crust recipe
Place the bottom crust in the bottom of a 9 inch (not deep dish) pie pan. In a mixing bowl combine the sugar, cinnamon and tapioca, stirring to blend. Drain the 20 ounce can of pineapple leaving actually about 15 ounces of pineapple pulp. Now add the fruit to the dry ingredients and stir in the lemon zest. Pour into the pie shell and add the top crust. Pull edges together on the pie and crimp. On the top be sure and cut slits if you leave the crust solid. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 25 minutes with the edges covered. Lower temperature to 350 and continue baking until the fruit has bubbled through the slits in the pie top. Remove the crust covers in the latter part of the baking. Serves 8 persons.