Homecoming Dessert - Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Usually a springtime dessert, we found crisp fresh rhubarb and sweet strawberries to fulfill another "special request" from our son upon his return from two weeks in the Adirondacks in late August. This pie requires pre-cooking half of the strawberries and rhubarb in order to reduce the liquid and intensify the flavor, but it is another easy recipe and one that really pleases.

Cut and hull 5 c. strawberries. Cut 3 c. rhubarb into 1/2" pieces. Divide in half. Mash and cook one half of the fruit mixture in a non-stick saucepan with 1 c. granulated sugar, 1 tbsp. lemon zest, and 1 tbsp. Cointreau or Grand Marnier liqueur. Reduce until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Cut fresh rhubarb into 1/2" pieces
Cut and hull fresh berries
Reduce 1/2 strawberry/rhubarb mixture

In separate bowl, combine rest of strawberries and rhubarb, 3 tbsp. Minute Tapioca mix, 1 tsp. grated fresh nutmeg, 1/2 tbsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. fresh lemon zest, 1 tsp. freshly-squeezed lemon juice, 2 c. granulated sugar.  Add cooked berries, and mix to combine.
Combine and mix all
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Pour mixture into prepared pie crust. (Time-saving tip: Use refrigerated pie crust, available in the dairy section at your grocer.) Or make your own!! Dot top of berry mixture with 2 tbsp. butter, cut into small pieces.  Cover with top crust, crimp and cut vents. Make an aluminum foil collar around pie and place all onto cookie sheet.

Form a collar with aluminum foil

Bake at 425 for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temp to 350 degrees and cook for 30-45 minutes longer, until fruit filling is bubbling and crust is a golden brown.

Allow to cool for at least 2 hours before serving. Fantastic accompaniment:  Hagen Dazs Vanilla Ice Cream and a few fresh berries on the side.  A wonderful way to welcome your loved ones home!

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