I love rhubarb. It’s not something I grew up with, though. My family never baked with it, and it was kind of frowned upon, for some reason. Because of the sourness? Because of the texture? Because my grandma likes it? Grandma has good taste. I hear she likes gooseberry pie, too. I’ve never had a gooseberry. I better put that on my bucket list.
I only tried rhubarb a few years ago when I bought some from the grocery store. Now I buy it every spring from the store or farmers’ market. I’d like to grow pie plant someday. I’m envious of you if you have rhubarb plants. If you haven’t tried rhubarb yet, you must. Do not be afraid of it. Yes, it is sour. That’s what sugar is for.
A little sugar never hurt no one, amirite?! No, that’s not true. Sorry.
Unless you’re talking about kisses, like, give me some sugar, sugar. Kisses are nice.
Where was I? Oh yes, I baked a strawberry-rhubarb pie. I suppose I should try baking something only with rhubarb, but that’s really hard you see, because I love that strawberry-rhubarb combination so, so much. Whoever came up with that combo is a genius. I HAD to know who invented strawberry-rhubarb pie, so I did some research.
Well, I couldn’t find out who it was. The only thing I could find was about the first rhubarb tart recipe appearing in A New System of Domestic Cookery by Maria Eliza Rundell, 1807. Also, off topic, but I feel you should know this: rhubarb can be used as a strong laxative. So… if that applies to you… take that knowledge and run with it.
This recipe comes from United States of Pie, a cookbook completely dedicated to pie baking, by Adrienne Kane. I knew I wanted to review this book, because it’s completely up my alley; I love pie, pie history, and regional cooking.
The book is divided up into sections: pie crust recipes, pies of the Northeast, pies of the South, pies of the Midwest, and pies of the West. There are also helpful pie baking tips and stories throughout each chapter.
I’m excited to try the Concord Grape Pie (Northeast), Tar Heel Pie (South), Sour Cherry Pie (Midwest), and Black Bottom Pie (West) (What happens when you eat too much rhubarb).
This pie was great; I didn’t have any problems at all. The recipes is this cookbook are detailed - It would be really hard to mess them up. The crust is made from a sour cream pie dough, and the filling is simple; strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, flour and butter. I scalded my mouth from eating a slice hot from the oven. Ouch. I hate when that happens.
Recipe from United States of Pie by Adrienne Kane
Sour Cream Pie Dough
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4 tablespoons vegetable shortening, chilled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup sour cream
2-5 tablespoons ice water
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and the salt until well blended and free of lumps. Add the butter and the shortening, and toss gently to coat. With your fingertips, blend the mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Add the sour cream. Work the fats into the flour, rubbing them into the flour until the mixture resembles gravel. Sprinkle on the ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, starting with a total of 2 tablespoons and then gradually adding more water if needed. Blend with your fingertips, as quickly as possible, pulling the mixture together and creating a dough. The dough will become less sticky and more of a mass when enough water has been added. Finally, knead the dough minimally in the bowl to make sure it has just enough moisture. Divide the dough in half (One mound of dough should weigh approximately 11 ounces.) Place each half on a sheet of plastic wrap and seal it. Gently form each one into a disk roughly 3/4-inch thick. Place the wrapped dough in the refrigerator and leave it for at least 1 hour, or up to 2 days, before rolling it out. The dough can be frozen for up to 1 month and defrosted in the refrigerator before using.
Pie1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
Pinch of Kosher salt
12 ounces rhubarb, sliced into quarter-inch pieces (3 cups)
1 pound strawberries, cleaned, hulled, and quartered (3 cups)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon heavy cream (optional)
1 tablespoon turbinado or sanding sugar
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. In a small bowl, combined the sugar, flour, orange zest, and salt. Stir well, and set aside. In a medium-size bowl, toss the rhubarb and the strawberries together. Set aside.
On a well-floured surface, roll out one portion of the dough until it is about 1/8-inch thick and will fit a 9-inch pie plate. Gently pick up the dough, center it over the pie plate, and ease it into the plate. Let the excess dough hang over the rim. Spread half of the fruit mixture in the pie plate. Sprinkle half of the sugar mixture over the fruit. Repeat the layers of fruit and sugar. Dot the surface with the butter. Roll out the second portion of dough to the same size. Lay the dough over the filling. Trim the edges of both layers of the dough to leave a 1-inch overhang. Pressing the edges together, fold them under, and then decoratively crimp the perimeter. With a sharp knife, cut 5 vents in the top crust.
Bake the pie for 15 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 375 degrees and continue baking for 45-50 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Let the pie cool to room temperature before enjoying. Optional - For a lovely sheen on the baked pie, use a pastry brush to paint the surface with the cream. If you like, sprinkle the sugar over the cream. As the pie bakes, the sugar will caramelize, and it will crackle when you slice a wedge of the freshly baked pie.