Matt and I have this running joke.
It’s about when we met. I always said I lived in north Uptown of Minneapolis. He said I lived in south Downtown because I lived about a mile from him and he was “downtown”. I lived a mile from the heart of Uptown. The hipsters were riding my buses. I had a girl that I would look at riding to school everyday with her rainbow Mohawk. I definitely lived in Uptown.
I loved Uptown Minneapolis. It’s special there not just for it’s colorful people (which do add a lot of fun) but there is a string of lakes each a few miles around, that always would run. I still think this is my favorite place to run. With a canopy overhead, sailboats, beautiful houses to look at, it is the perfect juxtaposition of peaceful connection with nature and excitement of city life. Uptown is full of restaurants and shops. Some are obnoxiously loud and popular but some a little off the path, quaint. Café Lucia was one of them.
I only made it to Cafe Lucia a handful of times when I lived in Minneapolis. Remember that talk we had recently about trying to live like a student? Yeah that’s why or I would have gone as often as my friends would have accompanied me. But Cafe Lucia is amazingly delicious and when I was looking into a rhubarb pie recipe to try, it made me smile when I found their recipe. It is a bit different because you let the strawberries, sugar, cornstarch and rhubarb stand for a while. Yeah, they just hang out in your pot for a bit. It’s important so that the rhubarb softens and the cornstarch can really do it’s thing. Then you cook the strawberries and rhubarb further allowing the rhubarb to soften and it to form an almost jammy center (you will want to eat this all). We were very excited to eat our pie. It was dinner. I’m an adult, I can do that. We were starving. I didn’t wait the full cooling time and it did make a bit of a mess. So if you want pretty, do wait for it to cool completely or stick it in the fridge overnight to really set.
- ***Makes two crusts, if you are confident in your pie crust abilities, you can make half but having a little extra is nice just in case it doesn't turn out as planned or if you want crust around for another pie.
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter, cold
- ¼ to ½ cup cold water (I used 6 tablespoons)
- 4 cups rhubarb cut into ½ inch pieces
- 4 cups strawberries, cut half or quarters depending on size
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
- ⅔ cup oats
- ½ cup flour
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1½ cups heavy cream
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ tablespoon Grand Marnier
- Mix together flour, salt, and sugar. Cut butter into ½ inch pieces and add to flour. Using a pastry blender, mix until a coarse meal forms. Add the cold water 1 tablespoon at a time and mix until dough forms a ball. Divide the dough in half and wrap each disk with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest in the refrigerator at least one hour, preferably overnight.
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to fit into a 9½-inch pie plate. Crimp edges and refrigerate 20 minutes. Line the pie crust with foil and pie weights (or dried beans). This is incredibly important, put a significant amount of beans to fill pie and push lightly against crust or it will shrivel. Bake at 375°F until crust is set, about 15-20 minutes. Remove pie weights and foil and bake until light brown, about 5 more minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and nutmeg in heavy saucepan. Let stand 20 to 30 minutes. Place over heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and simmer until juices are thickened, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Allow both crust and filling to cool somewhat before pouring filling into crust.
- Combine oats, flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Add butter and mix until crumbly. Cover top of pie with the oat mixture. Bake at 375°F for 30 to 35 minutes, until bubbly. Let cool to room temperature before slicing into pie.
- Beat the cream and sugar together until the mixture starts to thicken. Add the vanilla and Grand Marnier and beat until the cream forms soft peaks.