I love pie. All pie. Pies named after cakes (I’m looking at you, cheesecake), pretty pies, ugly pies. Pies are the shit. In my humble opinion, one pie beats them all and that is my grandma’s rhubarb pie. I said just rhubarb. Not that strawberry rhubarb junk – plain old rhubarb, sugared and layered between two pie crusts. It is the perfect combination of lip-puckering sweetness that allures me to eating two slices and sopping the remaining juice up with my tongue. Yup, I’m a plate licker.
However, Grandma’s all the way up in New York, therefore, I realized if I wanted it bad enough, I was going to have to make it myself. An easy feat for experienced bakers. A huge challenge for me. Rhubarb is typically not grown native in the South. Apparently it prefers cooler climates which resulted in the lovely Kroger grocery attendant to become quite befuddled when my bag-o-rubarb showed up on her conveyer belt. Also, pie crusts are tricky and need to be handled with care which is why I turned to Tupelo Honey’s cookbook for advice. And advice I received. Advice I will pass on to you in the form of my favorite of all the pies – rhubarb pie.
Classic Rhubarb Pie
Yields: 8 slices (or 4 if you consider two slices as one, like I do)
Difficulty: Medium, simply because making a pie crust is an art really.
Nutrition: It’s a pie. But as rhubarb is technically a vegetable, this is a vegetable pie, thus making it healthy (ish)
For the filling:
- 4 cups rhubarb, washed, and sliced into half inch chunks. (PS, this is rhubarb…)
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 heaping cup white sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
For the crust (adapted from Tupelo Honey Cafe’s recipe – makes 2 crusts, you’ll use both for the pie)
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1/2 cup ice water
- In a bowl, combine rhubarb, flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Stir around and set aside.
- In another bowl, combine the flour, salt, and sugar.
- Using a dough cutter, cut the butter into the flour mixture until the the mixture resembles course meal, about pea-size.
- Slowly add the ice water into the mix stirring until it begins to combine.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and divide it into 2 pieces.
- Wrap each piece in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. I am impatient and decided to stick the dough in the freezer for 15 minutes. This seemed to work fine as well.
- Once the dough has cooled, roll out one piece on a floured surface until its about 10 inches in diameter (depending on your pie pan). Roll the dough around the rolling pin and transfer to the pie pan.
- Tuck the dough into the pan and pour the rhubarb/sugar mixture on top plopping the pieces of butter atop the mixture.
- Roll out the 2nd piece of dough and repeat the steps, placing the dough on top of the rhubarb mix.
- Using a fork (because I don’t know how to do any fancy stuff yet) pinch the two crusts together.
- Cut slits on top of the mixture for steam to escape and place the pie pan on a cookie sheet to prevent massive spilling (it can happen).
- Bake for an hour or until the crust is golden brown.
- Allow the pie to cool for a while otherwise it runs all over. I actually waited overnight (a fluke, as I usually would never wait that long) and it was perfect the next day.
- Serve with a glass of milk – I don’t know why but it’s perfect.
Warning: This pie is intense and may not be for everyone. I love refreshingly sour/sweet things (think, lemon drops & sour patch kids) but I know others may not, so if sour-ey/sweet goodness isn’t your thing, feel free to add 4 cups of cut up strawberries and another cup of sugar and have yourself a sweet-fest.
Happy Friday to everyone!