Rhubarb pie or rhubarb crisp? Maybe even rhubarb bread? Hey, I’d forgotten about that one. So which one did I decide to make last weekend? Pie! I decided that finding rhubarb in Georgia was a rare enough treat to justify making my all-time favorite dessert. Yum!
So here’s the story (complete with lessons learned and practise-makes-perfect mistakes). Sunday afternoon found me picking up two pounds of very expensive rhubarb stalks from the grocery store. I was concerned with the quality and freshness when I first saw the package, but in my excited state I decided to throw caution to the wind, as well as 1o bucks, and take my chances.
Upon returning home and cleaning the rhubarb I discovered that some of the stalks were spongy, while others were overgrown with a wood like texture. Like many veggies and fruits, rhubarb (a vegetable) is best used when fresh, crisp and young. My experience shows that stalks around one inch across or smaller with a bright juicy appearance are the best to work with.
Fear not dear readers…I was able to salvage 2 cups worth of chopped pieces from a few fresh stalks I found in the bundle! It fell short of the 3 cups the recipe called for, but it worked out fine. One cup of strawberries would have been an excellent filler but I didn’t have the time to make another trip to the store.
By the way, I harbour no ill will toward my friendly southern grocery store produce associates for selling such poor quality rhubarb. They just don’t know rhubarb down here.
Anywho…here’s the nitty-gritty of how to create this delightful dessert and my results. First things first, make a batch of 2 crust pie dough. I threw away my first batch of pie dough because it was too crumbly to roll out properly. I was so nervous about adding too much water that I ended up not adding enough water. For a moment, I had hoped to use that dough for rhubarb tarts, but dry dough is hopeless so into the trash it went.
The second batch of pie dough was fantastic! I recommend the 2 crust pie dough recipe found in the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. This time around I used the recommended amount of water. You have my permission, however, to buy premade dough at the store if the thought of making homemade pie dough brings fear to your heart. I understand completely.
I split my dough in half, formed it into two balls, wrapped them in wax paper and popped them in the fridge to chill while I created the rhubarb filling. Chilled dough is easier to work with.
Now onto the rhubarb pie filling. Wash and dry your rhubarb stalks. Start off by chopping about 1 pound of rhubarb stalks into small pieces. If you don’t have 3 cups yet feel free to chop up a few more stalks or add some strawberries. Toss the chopped rhubarb into a mixing bowl.
In another bowl, mix together one egg, 2 tablespoons of flour and 1.5 cups sugar.
True confessions time…I accidentally tossed the 2 tablespoons of flour into the rhubarb bowl instead of mixing it with the egg and sugar. It still worked.
Add the chopped rhubarb to the sugar, egg and flour mixture. Mix it up so all the chopped rhubarb has been coated. Let it sit on the counter while you prep the pie plate. Moisture will be drawn out of the chopped rhubarb, and it will begin to look frothy.
Pull those dough balls (or pre-made pie crust) out of the fridge, roll them out and place the bottom crust in your pie plate. Notice (in the very first picture) that I used a disposable tin foil pie plate. My neighbor Jane always did this when she gave away treats to her friends. She never had to worry about tracking down her dishes.
Give the sugary mix a good stir and pour it into your prepared pie crust. Scatter about 5 to 6 thin tabs of butter on top of the rhubarb filling.
Place the top crust on the pie. Trim off the overhanging dough and pinch the top and bottom layers together in whatever pie crust pinching fashion works best for you. Jane advised me to push the pinched dough inwards toward the middle of the pie. This helps to contain any juices that may leak out during baking. Sprinkle a tablespoon or two of white sugar on the top crust. Be sure to make your mark in the top crust (aka…poke a few holes in a cool shape).
Bake time is 50-60 minutes total. 30 minutes at 375 degrees, followed immediately by 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees. My recommendation is to use aluminum foil to protect your pie crust edges. I rip off about a foot of foil and tear that into 3 somewhat equal pieces. Loosely wrap each one around the crust. During the last 10 minutes or so of baking remove the foil so the crust can brown up.
When the timer goes off and the top of your pie crust is a light brown, pull it out of the oven and place on a cooling rack. I recommend letting the pie cool down to a warm temp before slicing. This allows the juice to gel.
I love this pie served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, whipped cream or just plain. Store any leftovers in the fridge or covered on the counter. I had a tiny cold slice for breakfast the next morning. Pure heavenly goodness!
Jane’s Rhubarb Pie (Sara at https://theprudentendeavor.wordpress.com/)
Oven temp/time: 375 degrees for 30 minutes, 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.
The Crust: 2 crust pie dough (homemade or pre-made)
- 3 cups chopped rhubarb
- 1 whole egg (or 2 egg yolks)
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1.5 cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Prepare your 2 crust pie dough. I recommend the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook 2 crust pie dough recipe. Split into 2 balls, wrap in waxed paper and store in fridge while you make the filling. You’ll need a standard sized glass or disposable pie plate.
- Mix the egg, flour and sugar. Add the chopped rhubarb to the sugary mixture. Mix it up so the rhubarb is throughly coated.
- Pour this sugary rhubarb mixture into the prepared uncooked pie crust.
- Cut 1 tablespoon of butter into smaller pieces and sprinkle on top of the filling.
- Put the top of crust on. Jane said to pinch it and push the edge towards the middle of the pie to keep the juices inside the pan while it bakes. Sprinkle with sugar. Use a knife to mark your mark on top (or cut some boring slits).