My grandmother always kept a small garden in her backyard and she always grew rhubarb in it. When the plant was in season, she would bake my dad rhubarb pies. I remember thinking what a weird name for a weird plant and refused to try it. I was such a picky eater as a child.
There’s my grandma circa 1980-something. She is a sweet sweet woman. A series of bad strokes has landed her in a nursing home where she can’t bake anymore pies. So, for father’s day this year I wanted to bake my dad a rhubarb pie. I called my aunt and asked for my grandma’s recipe which she quickly dug out and sent to me. I am very ashamed of myself to say that I didn’t use my grandma’s recipe. Sorry Aunt Diane for all the trouble but I just couldn’t pass this recipe up when I found it. It sounded so delicious, and mom and dad said it was.
This is my first ever time making a pie. I don’t care for pie myself, so I’ve never made it before. I apologize for a few things outright: 1. I didn’t do anything fancy with the pie crust. I just folded it over Jamie Oliver style. I’ve evolved into calling it “rustic” not “lazy” or “ugly”. And 2. I didn’t get any pictures of the finished pie filling, because I didn’t see the pie cut open. It was a gift. So you’re just going to deal with the picture above with a hint of the filling bubbling over the side (actually the “hint” ended up a big pool of burned sugar in my oven).
I thought about cheating with the pie and buying some Pillsbury pie crust; but then I thought that wouldn’t really count as making my first pie. So I turned to Martha Stewart for a pie crust recipe. It turned out great. The key is to keep the butter and the water ice cold and don’t over handle the dough.
Martha’s Foolproof Pie Crust
As seen on Recipe Zaar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1 tbsp. pcs., very cold
1/4-1/2 cup cold water
1. Put the flour, salt and sugar into a food processor and pulse once or twice.
2. Add the butter and process until the mixture looks grainy.
3. Then slowly, while pulsing, add the water until you can form the dough by pressing it between your fingers.
4. Decant the loose dough onto a piece of plastic wrap.
5. Using the wrap, fold the loose dough towards the middle and press with the back of your hands to form dough.
6. Split into two pieces and wrap each and chill for at least 4 hours before using.
7. Dough can be made ahead for up to one week.
After you’ve made the dough and tossed it in the fridge to chill. You’ve got a few hours to blow, then you can make the filling. This was really easy. It took me all of 10-15 minutes to make the filling and about everything I had in me not to eat it raw. It smelled sooooooo gooooood at this point with the lemon and the cinnamon. Yum!
As mentioned before, I didn’t go all Martha Stewart on the Martha Stewart crust. I just filled it the pie and folded ‘er up and popped ‘er in the oven. I thought she was beautiful in a way like every parent thinks their ugly child is beautiful. Man a Shins song just popped in my head. 10 cents if you can name it.
Grandma’s (but not my Grandma’s) Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie
Adapted from Food Network
2 1/2 cups chopped red rhubarb, fresh2 1/2 cups de-stemmed, washed and cut strawberries (in larger pieces)
1 1/2 cups sugar (1 1/4 cups for high altitude)
2 tablespoons minute tapioca
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons butter, cubed small
1 egg white beaten with 1 teaspoon water
Large granule sugar
Pie crust dough (see above recipe)
Roll out 1 piece of dough to make a bottom crust. Place into a pie dish. Put dish in refrigerator to chill.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Mix the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, tapioca, flour, zest and juice of lemon, dash of cinnamon, and vanilla. Mix well in a large bowl and pour out into chilled crust. Dot the top of the filling with the butter. Brush edges of pie crust with egg white wash. Roll out the other piece of dough and place over filling. Crimp to seal edges. Brush with egg white wash and garnish with large granule sugar. Collar with foil and bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes. Decrease temperature to 375 degrees F and bake for an additional 45 to 50 minutes, or until the filling starts bubbling. Higher altitude will take 450 degrees F and 400 degrees F respectively. I recommend placing a baking sheet on the lower rack below the pie to catch any drippings.
Let cool before serving.