• On the Menu: Comida Futura's Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

    This week we've got our eyes set on West Texas as we're planning at trip to Marfa Myths Festival in Marfa, TX, with a genre-spanning lineup in film, art, and music that's got our bags packed and ready to head to the high desert. With Marfa in mind, we asked Krista Steinhauer of local restaurant Comida Futura to share a special recipe — a strawberry rhubarb pie that that's become a West Texas favorite, perfect for the early days of spring. 

    Steinhauer is a visual artist-turned-cook who first became a name in the Marfa food scene in 2006 when she co-opened the beloved falafel cart The Food Shark. A few years later, she evolved the Shark down the street into a brick-and-mortar cafeteria. A restaurant made for locals and designed for lunch breaks, Comida Futura is an upgraded riff on the classic cafeteria line. In a town as small as Marfa (with a population under 2,000, and literally in the middle of nowhere), "Part of the motivation for the truck was to bring a vegetable-based (but not strictly vegetarian) menu to this area at a time when you could hardly find a salad for lunch," Krista explains. "With the cafeteria, I wanted to give locals wholesome, clean food, lots of veggies, and serve it all in a visible and visually-appealling way." Exclusively open weekdays and serving lunch only, it's a utilitarian model that exists to serve the community. As Krista sees it: "The best way to service a town? Feed 'em lunch!"  
    Photos by Alex Marks

    Above: scenes from inside the Comida cafeteria

    Comida Futura's Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
    For crust:
    2.5 cups flour
    .5 cups cold shortening
    1.5 sticks cold butter, cut in small pieces
    1 tsp salt
    1 tablespoon sugar
    4 tablespoons ice water 
    4 tablespoons cold vodka

    For filling:
    3.5 cups rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
    3.5 cups sliced strawberries
    1 cup sugar
    .25 cup tapioca flour (may sub cornstarch or arrowroot powder)
    Pinch of salt
    Zest of one small orange, plus the juice
    .5 teaspoon orange blossom water
    .25 teaspoon cardamom
    Pinch of black pepper
    1 tablespoon butter

    Put all ingredients besides water and vodka in a food processor and pulse lightly until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Place in a bowl, sprinkle with the ice water and vodka, and mix in with a fork until it begins to come together. Turn the dough out onto a cutting board, divide into two mounds and form each into a fat disk. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour.  

    Preheat oven to 425 and move rack to bottom-third position.

    Prep the filling by combining all ingredients except the tablespoon of butter and mixing together in a big bowl. 

    Roll out the bottom pie disk with a rolling pin and fit into a pie plate. Dump in the filling and dot with the tablespoon of butter. 

    Roll out the second dough disk and place on top, evening out the edges with scissors or a knife. Fold the edges together and crimp or decorate as you like. 

    Last, make little slits in the top crust for vents, brush the top with milk, sprinkle with a little sugar, and put in the oven. 

    Bake at 425 for 25 minutes, then decrease the temperature to 375. Last, bake another 30-40 minutes, until the juices from the fruits start to bubble out of the vents. When the top is browned and the pie is ready, let it rest for 3-4 hours before cutting. Trust us, the waiting is the hardest part!

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