Strawberry-Rhubarb Calzones

Susan from Food Blogga

Makes 4 calzones 

1 1/4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 4 tablespoons water
1 1/2 pounds fresh rhubarb, sliced into 1-inch pieces (about 5 cups)
1 1/2 pints fresh strawberries, roughly chopped (about 3 cups)
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 pounds store bought pizza dough or Food Blogga's basic pizza dough (it's fool proof!)
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw)
2 teaspoons anise seed
1 egg with a couple drops of water, lightly beaten, for egg wash

Add all filling ingredients (except strawberries) to a medium sauce pot and bring to a boil. (Rhubarb releases a lot of water when it cooks, so no liquid is necessary.) Reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes. Then add strawberries and simmer another 1-2 minutes. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, so the filling has time to thicken. The filling should have a thick, slightly jam-like consistency. If you find it's too watery, then simply strain it before adding it to the calzones. (But don't throw that sauce away! It's delicious.) A too-wet filling will make the calzone crust soggy.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

When the dough is ready, divide it in half, then cut each half into 2 pieces for a total of 4 calzones. Working on a lightly floured surface, roll one piece into a 8-10-inch oval. Sprinkle with half of the anise seed and sugar crystals and lightly roll them into the dough. Flip the dough over (sugar side down) and place about 1/2-3/4 of a cup of the strawberry rhubarb mixture a bit above the center of the oval (avoid over-stuffing the calzones, as the fruit mixture with leak out). Fold the dough to form a half-moon; seal the edges together by pressing down lightly. Then using your fingertips, fold the edge of the dough up, and pinch around the edge to create a seal. Brush the top and sides with the egg wash, sprinkle with remaining half of sugar and anise, and pierce the top a couple of times with a fork.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the bottom is crisp. Let cool for 15-20 minutes before slicing. Eat warm or at room temperature.