STRAWBERRY RHUBARB MASON JAR PIES
I love picnics and I love fruit pies in the summer, especially mini pies. Growing up, summer was so special growing up in the Midwest. I especially remember the picnics we would have in the forest preserve. My father would come home from work, mom would have the dinner packed and we would find the perfect picnic table in the woods. We didn’t have mason jar pies at the time but how perfect these would have been. Dessert is always my favorite part of a meal. After our picnic dinner, we would go to the pond with bamboo fishing poles, dad would use bacon…. yes BACON, on the end of the pole and we would catch a few small fish. Dad would take them off the hook and throw them back in. One of the preserves we would visit had trees with acorns and dad always carried a pocket knife. We would find the perfect acorn, dad would take the top off, use his small knife to carve the insides out, poke a small hole in the side and add a wood match. Me and my sister would have little acorn pipes at the end of our picnic. Those were times I will cherish forever.
What’s not to like about a little mason jar pie that you can easily transport on your picnic with no fuss, no muss? When strawberries and rhubarb are in season, combining the two is a wonderful combination. These strawberry rhubarb pies are so easy to make, without having to line Mason jars with pie crust and trying to get it to bake evenly, while watching the filling spill over the sides in the oven. I’ve made mine foolproof and no spill! My filling is cooked on the stove top and placed in mason jars and then topped with a crust that has been previously baked. It’s delicious and so easy to make. I’m sure my dad would approve, though his favorite pie was Banana Cream. Enjoy!
3 cups rinsed and sliced fresh strawberries
1 cup rhubarb, chopped into ¼ inch pieces
¼ cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon grated lemon peel
¼ teaspoon salt
Using your favorite pie crust recipe or ready-made crust, using cookie cutters or the lid, cut out shapes to place on top of pie jars. Place on baking sheet and bake until lightly brown. Watch closely. It doesn’t take long (5-10 minutes, depending on size).
In a medium saucepan, add ¼ cup of water and lemon juice. Combine dry ingredients, lightly mix and then pour over the berries and rhubarb to coat. Heat the mixture in the pan over meium heat. Continue to stir mixture until it is bubbling, the berries and rhubarb are soft and the mixture resembles pie filling.
Let cool slightly before transferring to Mason jars. Carefully spoon the warm mixture into mason jars. Cap jars and refrigerate several hours.
When ready to serve, unscrew tops of Mason jars and top strawberry rhubarb pie mixture with baked pie crust cut-outs. Dig in!