Monday, June 3, 2013

Rhubarb Pie

I had some rhubarb in the fridge so I decided to make a pie. It's disappearing fast enough so I think that speaks to how good it tastes. Fern and Ryan remarked on how sweet it was but I pointed out if it had any less sugar it would be too tart. They agreed. The filling has to be cool going in so I make the filling first and put it in a sink with cold water to cool down faster.

Rhubarb Pie Filling

5 cups diced rhubarb
2 cups+ sugar
pinch of salt
1 heaping tablespoon flour

Add the sugar, salt and flour to the rhubarb in a pot on medium low heat. Mix thoroughly to get the flour evenly coated on the rhubarb.  It should cook down into a thick sauce. This might result in unwanted little dumplings so it might be better to sift and fold the flour in after the sauce is made. Either way I taste it to see if more sugar is needed. It might take 3 or 4 cups depending on how tart the rhubarb is. It will take 3 cups of filling for the pie. When it tastes good put it aside to cool.

Pie Pastry (makes 1 double layer pie)

2 cups flour
1 cup lard - softened
3/4 tsp salt
1 egg
2 tablespoons cold water
1 tablespoon vinegar

Use a pastry cutter or knives to cut the lard into the flour until it is the texture of course oatmeal. The small lumps of lard will flatten out when rolled and cause a layer of pastry to form. The moisture escaping as steam causes the layer to rise.

Whisk the egg, water and vinegar together. Pour a small amount of egg mixture into the dough and use a fork to mix it in. Don't use all the liquid, it's too much. Use only enough to form the dough into a ball.   The dough should stick to itself but not the baker's hands. If the dough has the correct moisture, cover it and chill 30 minutes. If it's too wet, leave uncovered and chill 30 minutes.  If it's still sticky wet more flour might fix it or it could be started again with fresh ingredients. When I screw up really badly I start again if I can.

Cut the chilled dough in half and put the smaller half back in the fridge. Flatten the dough and lay it on plenty of flour.  Sprinkle plenty of flour on the dough and start rolling. Add more flour as it expands and keep the edges floured as the dough rides over it. The pastry needs to be larger than the pie dish to cover the bottom, sides and top edge. A pastry scraper or best of all a long palette knife will make it easier to loosen the pastry from the rolling surface. Lift and roll the pastry onto the rolling pin, then unroll it on the pie plate. Centre the dough in the dish, then use a fork to puncture it all round and on the bottom to prevent over rising pushing the filling out. Brush melted butter over the bottom and sides of the crust so it won't get soggy from the filling.

Roll out the top layer with the second half of the dough as before.  The top can be a little smaller, just wide enough to cover the top edge.  Fill the pie then transfer the top with the rolling pin. Wet a finger and run it lightly around the top edge of the bottom crust. Use a fork to press the top and bottom together all around the pie. Use a sharp knife to cut the excess dough off all around the outside edge of the pie plate.  I rolled this extra dough out and made another small pie with the leftover filling.  Brush whisked egg over the top to increase browning.  Bake at 450ºF for 10 minutes and 400ºF for 30 minutes. If the top isn't browned, leave in longer. When it's done put it on a rack to cool completely.  If it's still warm when cut, the filling will run out.

I served it with a scoop of home frozen home made yoghurt. Delicious!

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