Sunday, March 05, 2006

Rhubarb Pie

I LOVE rhubarb pie. With ice cream on top? It's probably my most favorite dessert. I've heard that you can find rhubarb in the frozen foods section, but I've never encountered it. So I have to wait until the end of winter or early spring to enjoy it. I do have to admit, however, that my version, which I really enjoy, is not nearly as good as my roommate's. We use the same recipe but he has a great way with crusts and he's usually amenable to making one for me if I do happen to find rhubarb in the stores.

The recipe comes from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything, which is a great general cookbook to have. It's got a little bit of everything is more approachable than Joy of Cooking. Here's the recipe, which makes enough for a top and bottom:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
16 tbs (2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
5-6 tbs ice water, or more if necessary

Combine the flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl and whisk for a couple of minutes until thoroughly mixed. Add the butter and cut into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter. If you do not have a pastry cutter, you can rub the butter into the flour mixture. What you want is a texture like sand with some larger bits of butter. I then put the mixture into the refrigerator for about 10 minutes. Afterwards, I stir 5 tbs of the ice water into the mixture. Depending on the humidity of the kitchen, you may need anywhere from 5 tbs to 7. You are looking for the water and the flour mixture to come together and be a little sticky. Then you want to empty the bowl onto a counter that has been lightly dusted with flour. Work the dough until it becomes smooth; it should only take a few seconds. Cut the dough in half and form it into 2 balls, wrap them in plastic wrap and put them into the freezer for 15 minutes. When you take the dough out of the freezer, you want to roll them out into 2 10-inch disks. Place one of the disks in the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan.

And now it's time for the rest of the pie:

5 cups rhubarb, washed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup sugar, plus extra to dust on top
3 tbs cornstarch
pinch salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch ground nutmeg or allspice
2 tbs unsalted butter

In a large bowl, combine the rhubarb, 1 cup sugar, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg or allspice. Put the rhubarb mixture in the pie pan, dot with butter and cover with the second disk of dough. Cut slits in the dough so that the pie can vent. Brush the top of the pie with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Place the pie in the refrigerator and preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Once the oven has preheated, put the pie in and cook at 450 for 10 minutes. Then turn the oven down to 350 degrees and cook the pie for an additional 40 to 50 minutes until the top of the pie is golden brown. Cool the pie on a rack for 45 minutes before serving. (Though it's just as good piping hot from the oven if you can't wait.)


At 6:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks for the recapie i love rhubarb very very very very much


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