Literary Feasts – The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey


Literary Feast Banquet Image @ Linus's Blanket

Eowyn Ivey’s The Snow Child takes place in 1920’s Alaska. The main characters, Jack and Mabel, are having a difficult time in their marriage, and an even harder time taming the Alaskan wilderness to create a successful homestead. Most times they have to turn to nature to supplement their diet.

Thankfully, though, they had rhubarb pie.

When the weather was fine and the bugs were miraculously scarce , they ate outdoors. Jack and George would build an alder fire in a pit early in the morning and then roast a hunk of meat from a black bear Garrett had shot in the spring. Esther would bring potato and beet salad; Mabel would make a fresh rhubarb pie and spread a white tablecloth. The two women would walk together arm in arm and pick fireweeds and bluebells. In the background they would hear the men talking and laughing as the flames in the pit sputtered and flared with the bear fat drippings.

Check out the video of the making of Strawberry Rhubarb Pie from the  The Joy of Baking.

I have only been lucky enough to have had any type of rhubarb pie once, and this was a couple of years ago. It just doesn’t sound that appetizing, rhubarb. Strawberry seems to be a popular pairing for it, though I saw a few recipes for blueberry as well.


Photo credit:


This recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Pie is from Bon Appetit (1997) appeared on


For crust

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 10 tablespoons (about) ice water

For filling

  • 3 1/2 cups 1/2-inch-thick slices trimmed rhubarb (1 1/2 pounds untrimmed)
  • 1 16-ounce container strawberries, hulled, halved (about 3 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg yolk beaten to blend with 1 teaspoon water (for glaze)

Make crust:
Combine flour, sugar and salt in processor. Using on/off turns, cut in shortening and butter until coarse meal forms. Blend in enough ice water 2 tablespoons at a time to form moist clumps. Gather dough into ball; cut in half. Flatten each half into disk. Wrap separately in plastic; refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled. Let dough soften slightly at room temperature before rolling.)

Make filling:
Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine first 7 ingredients in large bowl. Toss gently to blend.

Roll out 1 dough disk on floured work surface to 13-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter flass pie dish. Trim excess dough, leaving 3/4-inch overhang.

Roll out second dough disk on lightly floured surface to 13-inch round. Cut into fourteen 1/2-inch-wide strips. Spoon filling into crust. Arrange 7 dough strips atop filling, spacing evenly. Form lattice by placing remaining dough strips in opposite direction atop filling. Trim ends of dough strips even with overhang of bottom crust. Fold strip ends and overhang under, pressing to seal. Crimp edges decoratively.

Brush glaze over crust. transfer pie to baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Bake pie until golden and filling thickens, about 1 hour 25 minutes. Transfer pie to rack and cool completely.

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  1. Mmmm… my Nonny used to grow rhubarb and she made the best apple-rhubarb pies. The tartness of the rhubarb mixed with any sweet fruit in a pie is delicious.

  2. Rhubarb pie is totally a new recipe for me. I love the video of making strawberry rhubarb pie.
    I must say I’m loving this concept of literary feasts.

    Thanks for this lovely recipe.


  3. Rhubarb pie in one of my favorites. I even mention it in my new novel … LOL. My Grammy grew her own and we made pies and rhubarb applesauce. I’ll never forget those days.

  4. Wow! it look so delicious . I will definitely try this recipe someday. And thanks for the video of making strawberry rhubarb pie. Love it!

  5. I have never had Strawberry Rhubarb pie, but was surprised to discover from a friend who knows plants that there is rhubarb growing wild close to our property! I haven’t gone out to check yet, but it might be interesting to cut some and make a pie out of it!

  6. I’m so hungry right now because of this delightful pie. How much is the total cost for this? I’ll try to make for my special someone.


  7. ZOMG. I grew up on Strawberry Rhubarb because my parents grew Rhubarb in our backyard but hadn’t had it since I was a child until recently. My husband (who calls it Rhubar) is in LOVE with this pie so thank you for posting a recipe for me try out. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

  8. The picture of the pie made my mouth water. I hope we can make that over the weekend. I know my kids will love it.

  9. I definitely want to read the book. I’ve been hearing a lot about it in the last few weeks. The rhubarb pie looks good too and I have to confess that I’ve never eaten this kind of pie before.