May 21 2008

Quick and Dirty: Rhubarb Pie

Published by at 6:32 pm under Recipes

Rhubarb is in season, and that means if you go into your local supermarket (or to your local sister’s house), you’re probably going to see it featured front and center in the produce section. Rhubarb is not to everyone’s taste, but it has enough of a following that if you are on the hook for a dessert or something for your Memorial Day Shenanigans, a rhubarb pie is a low-fuss option. Especially if you don’t make your own pie crust. Like me. Because I suck at pie crust.

So, you’re going to need:

  • 5-6 good sized stalks of rhubarb. You’re going to want to end up with 6 cups of rhubarb pieces, and I find that this number of stalks will get you there. Look for stalks that are relatively thick, and don’t have too many crusty spots on them. Ideally, the outside should be smooth and have a nice sheen to it.
  • 2 pre-made pie crusts. They’re in the refrigerated section, near the canned biscuits.
  • 2 – 2 1/3 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 9-inch pie pan
  • Preheat your oven to 425°F (218°C).

Begin by washing your rhubarb and trimming off the ends. Then cut the stalks into 1-inch pieces – yeah, they look big and thick, but they’ll cook down. You’re going to need to have 6 cups of chopped rhubarb. Set aside your rhubarb pieces and get out a big mixing bowl. Put your sugar and flour in the bowl and mix it together.

Now, put one of your pie crusts into your pan and work it down so it’s snug. Put half of the rhubarb in it, then sprinkle half of the flour/sugar mix on top.  Add in the rest of the rhubarb, and then the rest of the flour/sugar. Don’t be worried if the filling is above the edge of your pan a bit, remember, it will cook down. Dot the top of the filling with the butter.

Once you’ve got all your filling settled and your butter dotted, put your top crust on and pinch the edges of the two crusts closed. If you’re the lady in my Betty Crocker cookbook, this is where you embellish the edge with twee little cutouts of leaves or a nice braid of dough, but if you’re me, this is where you press the edges with the tines of a fork and call it good. You also need to cut a few slits in your top crust so steam can escape. No need to make these huge, just a few little cuts will do the job.

You probably also want to cover the edges of your pie with tin foil (pain in the ass) or a nifty pie crust shield (usually costs only about $4.00). You’ll remove your foil or shield in the last 5 minutes of cooking so your edges can brown up. I neglected to cover my edges because I am Frazzle Brained Sally today, so mine are all dark. The pie’s still good, though!

Before you stick your pie in the oven, you could also give the top crust a LIGHT dusting of sugar. This will not only sweeten the crust, but make attractive sparkles. I normally do this, but see above re: Frazzle Brain Sally.

OK, time to bake. Stick your pie in the oven and bake it for about 55 minutes, or until the filling is oozing up out of the slits in the top crust. Remove and cool on a wire rack. Don’t cut into it while it’s warm! Let it cool and give the filling time to set up and do it’s filling best.

Once cool, you can wrap the pie in aluminum foil and freeze it, if you’re someone who likes to hoard pies against the threat of cold winter nights. Once you’re ready to eat, pop the frozen pie (minus the foil wrapping) in a 400°F (204°C) oven for 20 minutes. Let the pie cool for 30 minutes to 1 hour before eating.

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