Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Strawberry/Rhubarb Pies with Olga B's Pie Crust Recipe

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
It's pie baking time at Ellenbcookery and I'm using the jams I just made for the filling and Olga B's pie dough recipe for the pie crust.  
How much better can this get?  We've got my mother-in-laws recipe that she's been using since she was a young teenage girl after being snatched from her Ukrainian home in the middle of the night and taken to Germany at the tender age of 14.

Don't get me wrong, she always says the Germans treated her well.  She served as a nanny during the day and had to work at a local bakery throughout the nights.  Poor woman was sleep deprived and aside from that, she still managed to remain positive and took on a love for baking.  

This woman is amazing with dough in her hands.   She learned to knead two batches of dough at the same time and therefore is able to make two loaves of bread at once with each hand working independently... and here I am still trying to master kneading one batch of dough while using two hands.  ~Let's face it, Germans have  always been big on using time efficiently and this is a prime example of that statement.   

Back to my pie baking ... As I was preparing all ingredients, I noticed I was out of plain bread crumbs, which is what my mother-in-law uses to absorb all the fruit juices within the pie.  I remembered my father once telling me I could always use cornstarch, so I pulled it out and then I started thinking to myself.  I didn't like the "starch" part of the word.  How good can this product be for us?  We're being taught to avoid starches in our diet and starch is used at the dry cleaners.  There's no way I'm using this in my pie.   So now what?

I looked throughout my cellar, but couldn't find a good substitute to those bread crumbs.  I checked the pantry too and had no luck there either.  I then opened the fridge and there it was on my fridge door.  Bob's Red Mill Almond/Meal Flour!  I think this might just work ... It's natural ... It's healthy ... and I'm going to take a risk and give it a try.  

The results were absolutely amazing!  I'll never use anything else! In fact, now I'm thinking of using the almond/meal flour in place of regular flour for the pie crust. YUM!   

...keep reading and I'll show you 3 different ways of using this pie dough and an Egg-Free alternative.

500 grams Flour
180 grams Butter, melted
90 grams Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
1 heaping tsp Baking Powder
4 eggs (separate yolks and whites for 2)
3 tsp creme fraiche
pinch of Cinnamon

  1. In a large bowl, add flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, 2 whole eggs, 2 egg yolks, creme fraiche, pinch of cinnamon.  
  2. Knead all ingredients together and gradually add the melted butter.
  3. Add more creme fraiche if dough is dry.  Dough must be soft and moist.  (If over-moist, add a bit of flour).
  4. Separate into two balls.  (One for base of pie and the other for top).
  5. Wrap balls with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  (Can stay in fridge overnight).
  6. Once dough is ready, roll flat and layer over pie plate / baking dish.  (Leave other ball of dough in refrigerate until ready to use).
  7. Pour in homemade jam.  
  8. Sprinkle jam with almond meal/flour to absorb the liquids from the jam.
  9. Roll out second ball and cover top.
  10. Seal the top and bottom layers closed with the egg white wash and pinch together.
  11. Baste top with egg wash.
  12. Using scissors, cut openings into top layer.
  13. Bake at 350F for 30 to 45 minutes depending on oven and dough.  (Ready when golden to personal taste).  



  1. This eggless pie dough seems to be a great recipe to use for all sorts of pies. It holds its shape very well and seems quite easy to work with :D

    1. Actually, the eggless ones were made with store boughten puff pastry dough so that my daughter with egg allergies could also enjoy. I always try to make an alternative for her. The downfall to these is that while they look pretty, they got soggy overnight. In the meanwhile, the tarts made with the homemade pie dough got tastier overnight or get soggy. In fact, the shell maintained its shape and got didn't absorb the fruit filling.

    2. Sorry, I noticed my reply above had an error. Should read " the tarts mad with homemade pie dough got tastier overnight AND DID NOT get soggy"

  2. OH! These look so tasty, I can't believe they're egg free!? Yum, I'll have one of those :P

  3. Wow! One dough & 3 different recipes! All these look fantastic.

  4. Thanks, Ambreen. It's amazing what you can dough with the same recipe. The possibilities are endless and that's what I wanted to show through this post.

  5. Wow so many yummy things. That egg free dough looks good!

  6. We are starting to see an abundance of rhubarb at the local farmer's market. This might be the perfect recipe for some fresh rhubarb and strawberries!

  7. I love strawberry and rhubarb!! These sound great!

  8. looks delicious! love all the different variations for making the pies!

  9. Um wow!!! Looks soooo great! I can not help but notice how freakin cute your coffee is with the heart shape in it! Want!

  10. I would have never thought to switch out the flour with a nut flour...I think it sounds marvelous. I am definitely going to try it out the next time I make pies. I love the story of the recipe though. Family hand me downs, especially from Europe. Those are the keepers.

  11. I usually buy my pie crust. I never could make it right. Maybe if I use a nut flour like you did it may work. Thanks for sharing with us.

  12. The crust looks fantastic!!! Love the seasonal strawberry/rhubarb, just might have to make this soon :)

  13. These both look awesome. Rhubarb isn't something I've cooked with or used much in the kitchen, but this inspires me to start!

  14. yumm these rhubarb pies look delicious!! I like the little tarts...I am a fan of anything mini!