Serve up Imen McDonnell's sweet strawberry and rhubarb feast for a sensational summer picnic...
Strawberry and rhubarb pie with wild Irish rosewater glaze
YOU WILL NEED
* 600g rhubarb stalks cut into 1/2-inch pieces (trim away and discard the leaves, which are toxic; trim ends)
* 400g strawberries, stemmed and sliced
* 125g caster sugar
* 1/8 tsp salt
* 2 tsp orange zest
* 23cm double-crust pie pastry
For the glaze
* 100g sugar
* 2 tbsp cornflour
* 180ml homemade wild Irish rosewater (see recipe below) OR bottled rosewater from a speciality or health-food store
1 Preheat your oven to 200?C. In a large bowl, gently combine?the rhubarb and the strawberries with the sugar, salt, and orange zest. Let sit for 10 minutes.
2 Make the glaze by combining rose water, sugar and cornflour in a saucepan, stirring over low heat just until sugar is completely melted. Remove from heat and set aside.
3 Roll out your pastry dough and line the bottom of a pie dish with it. Trim to 1/2 inch from the edge. Pour the filling into the pastry lined pie dish. Evenly tip the rosewater glaze over the filling. Roll out the second pastry dough, punch venting holes all over the top and then place pastry over the pie.
4 Trim the edges to 2.5cm from the edge of the pie dish. Tuck the top crust edges over the bottom crust edges and use your fingers or a fork to crimp the top and bottom edges together. (If you want, for a nice golden crust, use a pastry brush to brush a thin layer of egg white or cream over the top of the pie.)
5 Place pie on the middle rack of a 200?C?oven, with a baking sheet on a lower rack to catch any juices that might spill over. Bake for 20 minutes at 200?C, then reduce heat to 176?C, and bake an additional 40-50 minutes longer. The pie is done when the crust is nicely browned and the filling (that you can see through the venting holes) thick and bubbly.
6 Remove from oven and let cool on a rack.
7 Serve warm or cold. If you do cool to room temperature, the juices will have more time to thicken.
To make wild Irish rosewater
The wild Irish rose (Rosa rugosa) can be found in hedgerows throughout the countryside. To make your own rosewater, find a bush that is not located on a busy road (ie, unlikely be contaminated by pollution). Pick the petals 2-3 hours after sunrise, when the morning dew has evaporated.
YOU WILL NEED
* freshly picked rose petals (about a cup), but not the stem and leaves
1 Wash the rose petals thoroughly to remove bugs and dirt particles.
2 Place the petals in a large pot of distilled water.
3 Add just enough water to cover the petals (too much water will give you very diluted rosewater).
4 Cover the pot with a lid and simmer on a low heat - the water should be steaming hot, not boiling.
5 Allow the water to steam until the petals have lost their colour and the water has taken on the hue of the rose petals. You will see the rose oil floating on the surface.
6 Strain the water and collect it in a container. Store it in a refrigerator, where it will last for six months.
Love this? Then pick up our brand-new July/August issue to read Imen's foodie tips for planning the perfect summer picnic - part of our beautiful Outdoor Entertaining supplement. On shelves now, for the combined price of €3.99!