If you had asked me a couple of years ago, I probably always would have said that I prefer city-life over living in the country side. But I think in the last couple of years it has become rather obvious that I love being surrounded by nature. The thought of moving to a place with only a handful of neighbours still gives me chills but at the same time, I am dreaming of a small house by the lake with nothing but trees, meadows and flowers around. If I need to de-stress I take a walk through the woods. When I was living in Barcelona, I missed the greenery and the birds singing, now that I am back I miss the bars, restaurants and the nightlife. I guess the grass really is greener on the other side.
What I am trying to say is that whenever I am back at my parents or visit my boyfriend’s family, it is like a small vacation for me. This weekend it was my boyfriend’s birthday so we packed our things and made our way to the countryside. We´ve been having rather grey and rainy days but just in time for his birthday the sun came out and it turned out to be a really beautiful day. I didn’t mean to blog any of the recipes actually but with all the sunshine and happiness I felt like I had to take out my camera and capture as much of it as possible.
There were three cakes and I made two of them. Every year my boyfriend wants “something with strawberries” and this year I interpreted that as strawberry-lemon-cake and strawberry-rhubarb-pie. His brother also brought strawberry-almond cake with pistachios. I think the strawberry-rhubarb-pie won, judging by the amount left at the end of the day. It was a close call though, with the other cakes coming in at second place. The recipe for the pie is actually from Joy the Baker while the strawberry-lemon-cake is based on a recipe from Linda Lomelino´s book. But because the pie was so popular, I´m going to share the recipe here as well, a bit adapted though regarding ingredients and European measurements. I added the last stalks of rhubarb we still had but since it is pretty much out of season, you could just use strawberries. Or any other fruit you like, cherries, peaches, blueberries…
(Recipe adapted from Joy the Baker)
For the crust:
300 g all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. sugar
A pinch of salt
250 g cold butter
120 ml buttermilk
For the filling:
700 g strawberries
4-5 stalks of rhubarb
150 g sugar
35 g corn starch
A pinch of salt
½ tbsp. ground ginger
1 egg and sugar for topping
1) In a bowl, mix flour, sugar and salt. Add cold, cubed butter and with your fingers, work the butter into the flour mixture until you have small crumbles. Add the buttermilk and using a fork, bring the dough together. Place the dough mixture on a lightly floured work surface. Divide in two and knead well. Wrap each dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
2) For the filling, wash and cut strawberries and rhubarb. In a bowl, mix strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, cornstarch, salt, lemon juice and ground ginger. Let rest for 10 minutes.
3) To assemble the pie, roll the bottom crust out on a well-floured surface. Transfer to a pie pan and trim the edges. Spoon the filling into the piecrust. Roll out the second crust and slice into strips. Use the strips to weave the lattice on top of the pie. Directions can be found here. Whisk the egg and brush the pie crust, then sprinkle with sugar.
4) Bake the pie in the preheated oven for 15 minutes at 200°C. Reduce heat and bake for another 30 minutes at 150°C until the pie is golden and the filling is bubbling. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before serving.