Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Too Tart Rhubarb Pie

I am always losing this recipe. So I'm going to post it here so I don't forget it.

Martha Stewart pie dough via Cooking for Geeks.

300 grams flour
Two cubes Butter
59 grams ice cold water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar

Grate the butter into a bowl.

Add flour, sugar and salt.

Stir

Sprinkle the water on mixture. Use hands to knead until it holds together.  Roll into two balls, wrap in plastic and put into the fridge for a half hour at least.

Filling

2 pounds rhubarb chopped
Scant cup of sugar
Third of a cup of cornstarch
1 teaspoon good quality cinnamon
Pinch of salt

Stir until all of the corn starch is dissolved.

Roll out one ball of dough put into the pie pan. Pour in the filling. Bake at 375 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit 4 about an hour.

I was originally inspired by Michael Ruhlman's Bebop a rhubarb pie recipe in his book Ratios. But it never ever quite worked for me. I usually burnt the pie and it was far too sweet.  Then I read about making pie dough in Cooking for Geeks. I grew up hating pie crusts because my mother always skimped on the butter. I didn't know what the problem was all I knew was I really hated dry, tough crusts.  This recipe actually makes enough pie crust for two pies. I usually freeze the extra dough for a later pie.  It's the entire cube of butter in the crust that makes this so delicious. If you were trying to cut back on fats I recommend just baking this filling in ramekins.  It's better to just skip the crust then to make a bad crust.  I forget how much sugar Ruhlman originally called for it in his book. 1 cup of sugar still leave the pie painfully tart but I like it that way.  Another thing that really irritates me about the original recipes is that they call for using a food processor for the pie dough. Obviously ladies have been making pie dough long before the food processor was invented.  Normally I love to buy ridiculous kitchen appliances. But for some reason I haven't gotten around to getting a food processor mostly because I don't have room for it. And I have been able to get along without it. This is not a plea for a food processor. Just make sure your butter is very cold or possibly frozen before you start grating it.

I have never seen a rhubarb plant. If somebody would ask me to describe what it is I would say its a cross between strawberry, lemons and celery. When I was young my mother's cousin Marla  would send these ridiculous boxes of things for the holidays. Most of the time we weren't sure what to do with the odd assortment of treasures and garbage. Occasionally included in the box would be a jar of her homemade rhubarb preserves. The preserves were a wonderful combination of tart and sweet and other flavors I couldn't put my finger on. She said that the rhubarb plants grow like weeds in her St Paul backyard. I imagine that Minnesota must be some sort of Garden of Eden if she considers a magical plant like rhubarb to be a weed. I just paid for $4.99 a pound for rhubarb this week. I probably wouldn't torture a rhubarb virgin with this version of pie.  Just as I have learned never to waste artichokes on artichoke-rubes.  (Twice I have had people turn their noses up at artichokes, oh the horror!) I usually get my rhubarb at the Andreotti Family Farm. Terry says she grows it right there.  So maybe there is hope that I can turn my yard into a rhubarb Garden of Eden.

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