Yes, dear readers, I am living the cliche. This afternoon I baked a lovely, delicious, fabulous rhubarb pie. Of course, if you are my Facebook friend, you already know that. And if you’re reading this post on Facebook because I have my RSS feed importing to my page, you should really try my actual blog, the graphics are much better.
Anyway, rhubarb pie. I have not had rhubarb pie in two years, so this week at the Farmer’s Market I got two big beautiful bunches of fresh organic rhubarb and decided to make a pie from the recipe my mom and grandmother and everyone else in my family uses.
What? You think rhubarb is gross or not that great? That is because you have never had it with this recipe. Josh thought he didn’t like rhubarb pie until he had my grandmother’s and now his response is, and I quote, “AWWWWWWWWW YEEEEAHHHHH!!!!!” This way, it is the perfect mix of sweet and tart, full of punchy flavor and fantastic texture. Of course, it is even better at 5am when you sneak down to the kitchen to snag a piece of the cold leftover pie for your breakfast before the rest of your family can do the same. At least that is how it happens in my family.
This is not a pie to make when you are expecting company, unless you have enough rhubarb on hand to make at least three pies. If you only make one, you will find yourself resenting your guests for eating all the pie and leaving you none for thirds or breakfast. Or breakfast thirds.
For the record, I only ate the one small piece of pie below and will not be having seconds or thirds, not because I don’t want to, but because I’m exercising Admirable Restraint in order to maintain my Girlish Figgah (at least as well as I can while pregnant!)
Best Rhubarb Pie Ever
Note: This recipe is adapted from “The New Good Housekeeping Cookbook” published 1963
For the crust (and yes, this pie deserves a homemade crust. You deserve it too. It’s not that hard, really, and it’s so worth it):
2 and 1/4 cups sifted all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbs shortening (recipe says “not butter” but I’m not sure why, I happen to have butter flavored shortening so that is what I used)
1/3 cup cold water (like put an ice cube in it cold)
1. In bowl, mix flour and salt. With pastry blender (looks like a rounded series of knives with a handle at the top, worth having if you make pie crust much) or two knives, scissor-fashion, cut shortening into flour until the texture is like coarse meal.
2. Sprinkle water, 1 Tbs at a time, over different parts of mixture, tossing quickly with fork until particles stick together, when pressed gently, and form a dough that clings to fork. Dough should not be wet or slippery.
3. With cupped hands, lightly form dough into smooth ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate up to 30 minutes. Divide dough in half, form into two balls. Roll each ball out on a lightly flour surface using a floured rolling pin making a circle about 12 inches in diameter, or about 1.5 inches wider than your pie plate turned upside down. Put one round into pie pan, making sure there are no cracks or holes in it where juices could seep through. After filling the pie, put the other round on top, fold edge of upper crust under edge of lower crust, press together around the edge. Cut a few slits for venting.
For the pie filling:
2.25 cups sugar
1/4 plus 1/8 tsp salt
8 Tbs flour
6 cups fresh rhubarb, cut into one inch long pieces
3 Tbs butter, cut in small bits
1. Heat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Arrange half rhubarb in a 9 inch pie plate fitted with the bottom pie crust.
3. Mix sugar, salt, and flour, sprinkle half of the mixture over the rhubarb in the pie.
4. Add the rest of the rhubarb, then sprinkle with the rest of the mixture. Dot top with the butter pieces.
5. Cover with top crust.
6. Bake 40-50 minutes until filling is tender and crust is nicely browned. Serve warm or cold (see above!)