Culinary Arts Project

Chef Stu’s Apple, Rhubarb, Berry Pie

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
4 TB sugar
1 cup of butter (2 sticks)
6 TB iced water

10 strawberies, cleaned, quartered
1/2 cup blueberries
2 stalks of rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch slices, or 1 cup of rhubarb pieces.
1 lemon, juice of
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/2inch cubes
1 cup white sugar
1/3 cup of flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 T butter, cubed.
1 egg and a TB of milk/cream, mixed for egg wash

CRUST: Use store-bought crust if you don’t want to make your own, but it’s pretty easy. Combine flour, salt, sugar, and the two cold sticks of butter in a food processor and pulse till the butter is pea sized shaped (I use a manual pastry blender, but I’m old school). Now by hand, add 4TB of the ice water, mixing with a fork, adding the next 2BT slowly if needed. If you can crunch the dough in your fist and and it holds together it got enough water. If not add another tablespoon or two. Make two hockey pucks of the dough (one a bit bigger), wrap in plastic and refrigerate for an hour (up to 48 hours). Remove from fridge 30 min before using.

THE PIE: Roll out the larger disc and line pie plate. Use a fork to puncture holes (this is called scoring) all over the bottom, to prevent air bubbles and ensure even heating.

FILLING: Prep berries and rhubarb and put in large bowl. In a separate bowl, add lemon juice. Peel, core and dice the apples adding to the lemon juice as you go (so the apples don’t brown). Add the apples and juice to the berries. Add sugar, flour, cinnamon. Mix slowly until uniform. Fill pie.

Roll out smaller dough disk and cover the pie. Make 5 slits for air holes. Paint crust with egg wash. Bake at 350F for 45-50 minutes, until crust is golden.

– crust: substitute half of the butter with lard (even more flakier)
– filling: substitute half of white sugar with brown sugar (deeper sweetness)
– filling: add tsp of ground cloves (slightly more mature tasting)
– filling: add tsp of nutmeg (slightly more mature tasting)

Culinary Arts Project

Kitchen Tidbits: Vongole Posillipo

Kitchen Tidbits coverI’m so excited, my book, Kitchen Tidbits is now available through Amazon! The book is filled with the tips and tricks that I picked up while studying at the International Culinary School in New York City. All proceeds from the book are being donated to the Nikibasika Development Program in Uganda.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to my amazing teachers and classmates who taught me so much.

Kitchen Tidbits inside credits

I’m currently testing recipes for Joanne Moscani-Piano’s father, and one of the recipes is his popular clam dish (Vongole Posillipo). The full recipe will be out in his cookbook, but it’s one of those wonderful “seven ingredient” recipes: evo, garlic, clams, plum tomatoes, oregano, pepper, parsley. Yum. You can serve this over pasta as well.


  • Why don’t some clams open: Clams are alive when you put them in the pot and are aggressively holding their shells shut. During the cooking they die and stop holding the shells together so they open. If they don’t, then they were dead before (and probably rotten) and have rigor mortis which holds the shell shut.
  • 4 flavors: very basically, I think of always balancing 4 flavors: sweet, sour, salt, pepper. More on flavor profiles to come, but I find this to be one of the most fundamental things about cooking:
    • Sweet: e.g. onions, carrots, sugar, maple syrop
    • Sour: e.g. balsamic, lemon, tomatoes
    • Salt: e.g. anchovies, parmesan, bacon, kosher salt
    • Pepper: e.g. dijon, thai chili, tabasco, red pepper flakes, pepper
  • Don’t add salt to a clam dish. The salt water released by the clams will be salty enough. In fact, Chef Pietro recommends diluting with a little water to take down the salt profile.

What secret ingredient do you use for sweet, sour, salt, pepper?

Buy now: Amazon (Canada) or Amazon (USA)