Hurray! Home-grown spring fruits and vegetables are beginning to make their appearance! My mother-in-law recently brought me a very decent amount of rhubarb and asparagus from her garden, so I thought this would be the perfect time to share a rhubarb pie recipe. We are and have been enjoying a lot of rhubarb desserts. The question is do I make a rhubarb cake or rhubarb crisp next?
I used rapadura to sweeten my pie and it worked great. Next time I might try decreasing the sugar amount and using some stevia in replacement. I should mention this pie isn't overly sweet, more like just sweet enough. Some recipes I've seen use 2 parts rhubarb to 1 part sugar, wow, that would be much too sugary for my taste buds as I prefer to taste the fruit. The vanilla ice cream or whip cream you serve with it (which I say is a must) adds all the extra sweetness you'll need, if you need it at all.
When picking rhubarb try to get stalks that aren't any thicker then your thumb. The thicker they are the more bitter and stringy they are. Young, fresh rhubarb works the best.
What You'll Need - one 9" covered pie
Whole Wheat Pie Crust
3 cups organic whole wheat or spelt flour
1 tsp. sea salt
2 tbsp. rapadura - optional, but works well with this pie
1 cup cold, organic butter
12 tbsp. cold, organic milk
6 cups rhubarb, washed and cut into 1/2" pieces
1 1/2 cup rapadura or white sugar
1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp cornstarch (I did try arrowroot the first time I made this pie and didn't have much success. I'm going to try it one more time with a couple of changes. I'll update the recipe it it works.)
1/4 tsp. sea salt
2 tbsp. cold butter
2 large mixing bowls
Pastry Blender or two knifes
Measuring cups and spoons
9" pie pan
Rimmed cookie sheet lined with tinfoil
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
1. Follow the instructions for making the whole wheat pie crust from my previous post:
2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together your rhubarb, sugar, cornstarch and salt.
3. Roll out your bottom pie crust so that it's at least 2" larger than your pie pan when the pan is upside down. See the picture below.
4. Place the rolled out dough into your pie pan and fill with your pie ingredients, then chop your 2 tbsp. of butter and place on top.
5. Roll out your top crust so it's about 1" larger than the top of the pie. You can either place it directly on the pie and cut several 2"-3" slits in the top to allow steam to release or you can cut it into strips to do a lattice top. As you'll be able to see from the following pictures I decided to do a lattice top.
Trim your edges of excess dough, then crimp them with your fingers or the tines of a fork.
6. Optional Step: Brush the top of your pie with milk, cream or an egg yolk mix with 1/8 tsp. of water then sprinkle a little sugar on top.
7. Place your pie on your cookie sheet that has been lined with tinfoil. This is in case the juices from the pie overflow. You don't want them to get on the bottom of your oven and start to smoke, unless you like that natural smoke flavor in your pie! :-) I've made that mistake before and it's so frustrating, because once the juice starts smoking there's nothing you can really do about it, except clean your oven really well before you use it next time.
I'd also recommend covering the edges of your pie with tinfoil so they don't burn. They will bake much faster then the rest of the pie.
8. Put your pie in a pre-heated 425 degree oven and bake for 30 minutes. Then turn your oven down to 350 degrees. and bake the pie for an additional 30-35 minutes. If you covered the edges of your pie with tinfoil, remove it when you turn the temperature down.
Allow the pie to cool completely before serving and make sure there is a large scoop of vanilla ice cream or whip cream to go with it!