Monday, June 20, 2011

Rhubarb Pie

Rhubarb, also called "the pie plant"  holds the special honor of being the first fruit to ripen in the garden for pie making.  It  does well in the Pacific Northwest, with our wet and mild climate.  My rhubarb plants will produce big, beautiful, bright red stalks all summer long and into the fall.   If I keep them well watered, they'll continue to produce, that's the real secret to keeping your rhubarb going, is water, and sun for nice red stalks.  I've grown rhubarb every year for many years, and have given or traded starts every year too. 

Rhubarb pie is easy to make, just like all fruit pies.  Master and memorize the crust recipe, then all you have to do is cut up and measure fruit and sweetener and bake. 

To make rhubarb pie;

Cut up your rhubarb into 1 inch pieces, the mixture should consist of approx;
4 cups rhubarb
3/4 to 1 cup sugar
1/4 c flour
I usually err on the side of less sweetener, but rhubarb definitely needs some sweetener. You could also use honey if you  have it, use about half the amount.  Let the fruit meld with the sugar while you're making the pie crust.  I usually make about 12-16 cups of cut up rhubarb and eyeball the amount I'll need.  You want your fruit mounding a little in the pie plate, not a lot mind you, or you'll have juice spill over the sides.  It's always a good idea to put a cookie sheet under a fruit pie too, just for catching spills in the oven.

Pastry for Crust:
2 cups flour (I make mine with whole wheat pastry flour)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup cold butter
6 to 7 tablespoons cold water
I use a small cuisinart to make my pastry, it is so easy and turns out good every time.  I then make a ball of the dough put it into a plastic bag, flatten it a little with my hand and refrigerate for 10 minutes, after it's chilled, flour your surface, roll it out and place it in the pie plate, fill with fruit and bake in a 375 to 400 degree oven.  Cover the side crusts with foil for the first approx 50 minutes, then remove and bake an additional 30 minutes, check regularly the last 15 to 20 minutes, pull it out when the crust is golden brown.

I like to make a little extra dough, just to make sure I have a nice full crust, and if I have any left over I let the kids make tarts or butter and cinnamon sugar baked treats.  Because my pie plate is a double size, I double the recipe.
my husband took this picture of me heading into the house with an armload of rhubarb for pie making, actually I stopped outside before going in, and cut off the big beautiful leaves.  Wishing I was set up and had time to make some concrete leaves.  That's a project I do later in the year when weeding, digging and planting the seeds are over, usually around late Aug/early Sept.  This time of year rhubarb is for pies, jams and sauces.  For some reason I have found that when I freeze rhubarb I rarely use it.  I will use the rhubarb jam regularly throughout the year on yogurt, toast, and muffins.  So this year my plan is to make lots of rhubarb jam, and not freeze any.  I also gave some rhubarb to my Mom, and she made a strawberry-rhubarb pie for a family get together, and it was delicious.


bluetick said...

This is a great photo of you! Must have been the weekend for pie making...I made a blackberry pie this weekend. Your mom's pie looks yummy!

Jewel said...

Thanks Tracy, I made this pie, and my mom made one later in the week that we had at my daughters for Father's day. Mine was just rhubarb because the strawberries in my garden aren't ripe yet. My mom made strawberry-rhubarb, which is one of my favorite all time pies...yum! Good to see you.

Nancy from the Weathered Pane said...

I have 8 HUGE rhubarb plants.... and have tried my hardest to keep up with them. But you can only eat so many pies and jam... I had the best rhubarb salsa, though, that we're going to try canning this year.