Rhubarb makes for such a perfect pie that it is sometimes called the “pie plant.” When baked, the stalks of the vegetable become soft, pale pink, and delectable.
Recently I was treated to a perfect rhubarb pie made by my friend, Matthew. The recipe for the pie crust is his mother’s, and he grew up on an apple orchard in Illinois, so you can be certain it will come out golden and flaky. For more tips on making pie crusts, visit Martha Stewart.
The recipe for the rhubarb filling comes from Fannie Farmer’s The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book, first published in 1896. Ms. Farmer introduced the concept of using standardized measuring spoons and cups, as well as level measurement.
makes 5 layers (2 needed for the pie)
4 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold butter
3/4 cup crisco
1 tablespoon white or cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar and salt, then add butter and crisco with a fork until crumbly:
2. In a separate bowl whisk together the vinegar, egg, and water.
3. Combine the 2 bowls and mix with a fork until the dough forms. Separate into 5 equal portions. Wrap in wax paper or freezer bag and store in the freezer until ready to use.
(for a fat pie, use 4 cups. Adding Strawberries also optional)
3 cups rhubarb, chopped to just the right size
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1. Mix all ingredients together.
2. On a cool, floured surface, roll out dough until it is just large enough to fit the pie plate. Place the first layer in the pie plate: it helps to fold it in to quarters then unfold in the plate. Leave the excess hanging.
3. Fill with rhubarb mixture. Cover with the second piece, and cut the excess with about an inch around the outside perimeter. Pinch the top and bottom together in an attractive wavy pattern and then poke holes in the top with the tip of a knife.
4. Bake pie at 350 for 50 minutes. Wrap the edges of the pie in aluminum foil for half of the baking time to prevent edges from browning.