by Heather Harris Brady
I came up with this recipe when I was trying to get around using a pie glaze with artificial red dye. I try to avoid the artificial dyes whenever I can, and I was thinking of all the naturally red things I’d made when I hit upon hibiscus punch. The dried flowers give off a beautiful red color and a nice faint floral note that accents the strawberries.
If you have trouble finding the dried flowers in your grocery store any Mexican/latino market should have them. I included a rhubarb cream layer at the bottom of this pie, but if you want to make it entirely with strawberries you can. This is a refrigerator pie, so it’s great for the hot days when you don’t want to heat up the kitchen.
Strawberry-Hibiscus Pie, Makes one 9″ pie
One crumb pie crust (storebought or made with vanilla wafers)
- For the bottom layer:
- 4 oz. cream cheese
- 1 c. diced rhubarb
- 1/2 c. water
- 1/2 c. granulated sugar
- 1/3 c. heavy cream
- 1 pkg. unflavored gelatin, soaked in 1/4 c. cold water
- For the glaze:
- 1 c. dried hibiscus flowers (also called Jamaica flowers)
- 2 c. water
- 1/3 c. sugar
- 1 pkg. unflavored gelatin
- 1-1/2 quarts fresh local strawberries, cleaned and sliced in half
Make the hibiscus water: Combine the flowers and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and then set aside to steep for an hour.
Strain the flowers out with a fine strainer. Reserve 1/3 c. of the water and set it all aside.
Combine the 1/2 c. water and 1/2 c. sugar in a saucepan. Poach your rhubarb pieces over medium heat.
When they are just tender (about 8-10 minutes), take them off the heat.
Add the hibiscus water you reserved earlier, for color, and the soaked gelatin. Let cool to room temperature.
Beat the cream to soft peaks, then beat in the cream cheese.
Fold in the rhubarb mixture…
…and turn it all into the pie shell. Refrigerate until the bottom layer is set (at least an hour).
When you’re ready to finish the pie stir one package of unflavored gelatin into 1/2 c. of the hibiscus water. Heat just until it’s dissolved and stir it back into the rest.
Put your hibiscus glaze into the refrigerator until it’s barely started to set.
Arrange your sliced strawberries over the bottom. I start with one layer and then start tucking them in from there.
Spoon the hibiscus glaze over the top. I did one layer of glaze, let it set in the refrigerator, and then touched it up with a second layer.
Refrigerate until the glaze is set and serve.
This pie keeps nicely in the refrigerator for up to four days.