Thursday, July 1, 2021

Simple Rhubarb Pie

 The simplicity of a rhubarb pie is the epitome of late spring and early summer.

Happy blog-day to me! It is crazy to think this little hobby project of mine has been around for 14 years - and in that amount of time I've gone through more rounds of school than I can count, began and ended a career as a Home Economics teacher and definitely improved my cooking, baking and photography skills. Thanks to those of you who have come along for the ride, and to those of you that are just dropping in! 

Now, in the spirit of my off-and-on tradition of presenting a Canada Day / blog anniversary pie, I bring you a quintessentially local one, made with only rhubarb from my backyard. Normally, you'll see rhubarb blends in pies - strawberry, blueberry, and my favourite: cherry. But my mentor and colleague specifically asked for a rhubarb pie this year, as as I was leaving my position at the school I made it my mission to present her with one as my going-away gift. 

Now, for the uninitiated, rhubarb is a stalky vegetable that (at least around here) grows like weeds, is tart and slightly two-faced as the leaves are toxic. It is incredibly versatile, making it's way into sweet and savoury applications throughout the year. To stand alone in pie, though, it needed a decent dose of sugar - making it unlike our standard apple pies where its fruit + pastry without anything else. However, the key is to add only enough sugar to take away the tannic sourness without completely obscuring the flavour! Because this was a special occasion pie, I upped the ante with a sprinkle of coarse sugar on the lattice as well.

You absolutely need to bake this pie on a tray though - the rhubarb has a lot of moisture and it will bubble over! Once it's cooled and chilled though, it slices beautifully and is the perfect foil for a scoop of ice cream.
Simple Rhubarb Pie 
Makes one (10") pie
Adapted from Little Sweet Baker
600g fresh rhubarb, diced
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp honey
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Dough for a double crust 10" pie - I used homemade but storebought will do! 
1 egg, beaten
coarse sugar (optional but recommended)
  1. Heat the oven to 425F.
  2. In a bowl, stir together the rhubarb, sugar, honey, flour, starch and cinnamon until well combined. Set aside.
  3. Roll out half the dough and fit into a 10" pie pan placed on a rimmed cookie sheet. Roll out and cut remaining dough into strips for a lattice.
  4. Spoon the rhubarb filling into the pastry shell, spreading evenly.
  5. Weave the lattice pieces overtop of the filling.
  6. Brush top with beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar. 
  7. Bake for 15 minutes, then drop the oven temperature to 375 and bake another 30 minutes. If the crust is browning too much you can tent with foil.
  8. Cool completely (and ideally, chill) before serving.

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