Much like I once posed as an Emo in 7th grade with my black nail polish, converse, and iPod loaded with Evanescence, Green Day and My Chemical Romance, rhubarb likes to pose as a fruit when is is technically a vegetable.
Please tell me you went through this middle school phase too.
Every spring I look forward to seeing the stalky pink vegetable at the grocery stores or farmer's market, and every year I inevitably bake some sort of pie with it with lots of berries. It's a spring tradition of the best kind.
The combination of sweet strawberries with tart rhubarb is a classic, and when something is this good, why try to improve it? I decided to turn this into a crumble or cobbler type situation, except I loaded the top with cut out pie dough. It is a stretch of what is technically known as a pandowdy, AKA the funnest word you will say out loud all week.
Pandowdies traditionally are made with apples and spices or molasses. For this spring inspired version, I combined strawberries and rhubarb with some cardamom. While I'm not sure this totally qualifies as a pandowdy, I'm going with it because it was amazing and (dangerously) easy!
This is the perfect crowd pleasing dessert. It can be made in advance to let the filling set, and to serve it just scoop it into small bowls or ramekins, and dollop with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
Or, if you want to dive right in, scoop ice cream directly on top of the skillet and have everyone dig in with their own spoons. I would not judge you one bit.
Strawberry Rhubarb Pandowdy
serves 4 - 6
For the pie dough:
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cardamom (optional)
- 8 tbl (1 stick) cold butter, cubed
- 2 tbl - 4 tbl ice water
For the filling:
- 3 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered (about 1 lb.)
- 1 1/2 cups chopped rhubarb (about 4-5 stalks)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbl corn starch
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tsp ground cardamom or cinnamon
- 1 tbl milk or heavy cream
In a food processor, pulse together the flour, salt and cardamom. Add in the butter, and pulse a few more times until butter is the size of peas. Slowly drizzle in the ice water and pulse a few more times, just until the dough starts to come together.
Dump out onto a clean surface, and shape into a disk with your hands. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour or (preferably) overnight.
Unwrap the dough and lay on a lightly floured surface for 10 minutes to soften the dough slightly. Roll out to 1/8” thickness. Using a pizza cutter or knife, cut into even 1-inch squares. Transfer the pie squares to a plate lined with parchment paper, and put in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
In a 9” skillet or similar size baking dish, combine the fruit, brown sugar, corn starch, lemon juice, salt, and cardamom. Mix together and pat down the surface as flat and even as possible.
Arrange the pie squares on top of the fruit, overlapping the edges slightly. Brush with the heavy cream.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 - 35 minutes, or until top is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Let sit until cooled before serving with ice cream or whipped cream!