Updated: Apr 2, 2019
Wondering who this new celebrity chef Hattie Holter is? Don’t bother searching for her on the internet! Hattie Holter and her husband Frank owned a homestead farm in Burnett County, Wisconsin. Their farm was the last house we passed on our way to our family cabin in the area. As a child in the 1970’s and 80’s one of my favorite cabin memories was the Arna Town Hall Bake sale each Saturday from the first weekend of May to Labor day. Local residents would bake all sorts of family favorites – bread, dinner rolls, pies, cakes, cookies, brownies, doughnuts, jams, jellies and more. You could also buy fresh eggs and any fruit that was in season. It was such a treat to drive down the dirt road and walk into the old town hall – visit with the retired farmers and their wives, share a cup of percolator coffee (Frank would say “Just a dime in the kitty buys you a cup of joe!”) and listen to the local gossip.
And then there was the business part – picking out the dessert for the evening meal at the cabin, or the eggs for breakfast the next morning. My favorite were the rare homemade cake donuts – Marie, a lovely white haired lady from the Town of Markville made them just before opening time – since she lived across the road from the town hall… they moved fast and we had to get there early, But even if we missed out on the doughnuts, there were always other desserts – cakes, sweet breads, coffee cakes, and bars.
But the pies were the crowning glory of the bake sale. Following seasonal produce schedule, we were treated to all sorts of fruit pies – Raspberry, strawberry, blackberry, apple and more. The berries came from the brambles that line the dirt roads in Pine and Burnett Counties (which we still harvest from every year)… Apples came from apple trees originally planted by homesteaders in the earlier part of the century – they were far from the “fruit stand beauties” we know of today!
Now – Specifically Hattie’s Strawberry Rhubarb Pie – so special because Rhubarb and strawberries were the first fruit available in the spring season. Every farmhouse had a rhubarb plant in the yard and it sprung to life before the final snow melted. Hattie and Frank’s farm also had a wild strawberry patch next to the barn – and while the strawberries were tiny little alpine variety – no bigger than the tip of your pinky finger – they packed a great punch of flavor. Some of the first pies of the season were more rhubarb than strawberry!
This Recipe is my version of Hattie’s Pie – developed from my taste bud memories. Pretty simple, really, and I’ve kept the crust a no-fuss fork crimp – down to earth just like the folks I met in Markville on those warm summer days.
This homespun Strawberry Rhubarb pie is a staple in recipe boxes in the Midwest. Strawberries and added sugar offset the tartness of the rhubarb. A touch of vanilla rounds out the flavor. And of course, the sprinkle of sugar on the crust and a dollop of vanilla ice cream make this a perfect end to an early summer meal! This recipe makes enough filling for a regular 9 inch pie pan. If you would like to create a deep dish version, increase proportions of crust dough, berries, rhubarb, sugar and cornstarch by 25-50%.
2 pods Pappy's Frozen Pie Dough Thawed but still chilled
2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced (Frozen strawberries will work as well)
2 cups fresh rhubarb, sliced
1 cup sugar
5 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg for egg wash of the crust
1 tablespoons decorator sugar for crust topping
1. Assemble ingredients and preheat oven to 425 degrees
2. Roll out bottom crust and place in regular 9" pie tin.
3. Combine Rhubarb and Strawberries in a large mixing bowl.
4. Add sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, and salt. Mix well making sure the cornstarch is mixed throughout the fruit.
5. Roll out top crust - it should be a circle about 12" in diameter.
6. Stir the fruit mixutre again to ensure the sugar and cornstarch are evenly distribute. Pour mixture into prepared pie crust tin. Fold the top crust in half, then again. Place the folded pie crust on top of the fruit mixture.
7. Trim the excess crust and crimp as desired. Cut steam vents in the crust - make them large enough for enough steam to escape, which helps the pie filling thicken.
8. Beat the egg with a tablespoon of water. BRush the top of the pie and sprinkle with sugar.
9. Place on top of a cookie sheet to catch any filling that escapes. Place in oven. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Lower oven temp to 375 and complete cooking for 35-45 minutes, or until crust is brown and the filling is bubbly. If crust is browning too quickly, protect edges with aluminum foil strips.
10. When pie is done, cool on wire rack until room temp.
11. Slice and servie with vanilla ice cream.