Growing up, I didn’t eat a lot of rhubarb.
Maybe there wasn’t a lot of rhubarb in West Texas as that time because fruits and vegetables didn’t fly around the world like they do today.
My favorite way to enjoy rhubarb is, like most people, in a pie. I love this recipe for Perfect Rhubarb Pie because it’s so simple. Tart, but sweet (like me!). I know the recipe looks long and involved, but that’s the fault of the delicious Vodka Crust. Use a refrigerated pie crust, if you prefer.
I’m going to be taking some time off to pursue some other writing projects. I’ll be posting some of my previous recipes with (much) better images. I’ll be checking my email so please leave comments, suggestions and share my recipes (please!).
Thanks for the fun.
prep: 40 minutes, plus 1 hour resting in refrigerator
bake: 35 to 40 minutes
for the vodka crust you’ll need…
2½ cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch slices
½ cup cold solid vegetable shortening, cut into 4 pieces
¼ cup vodka, cold
¼ cup cold water
for the rhubarb filling you’ll need…
1¼ cups sugar
4 Tablespoons arrowroot (find it in the spice aisle of the grocery store)
¼ teaspoon salt
5 cups rhubarb, cut into ¼-inch pieces
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon demerara sugar (optional)
let’s get to it…
Mix half of the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor for 2-seconds. Add the butter and shortening and pulse about 10 to 15 times or until the dough looks like cottage cheese and there is no loose flour. Scrape the bowl and then add the remaining flour and pulse 5 or 6 times.
Remove the dough from the food processor and place in a medium bowl. Sprinkle the vodka and water over the dough and fold until the dough sticks together and all of the liquid is absorbed. Divide the dough into 2 balls and flatten into 2 4-inch disks. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
While the dough is resting, mix the sugar, arrowroot and salt together in a bowl. Add the rhubarb and lemon zest and toss gently to combine. Set aside.
After the dough has rested, move oven rack to the lowest position and place a baking sheet on the rack. Preheat oven to 425°F.
Dust the rolling pin and work surface with flour. Remove one dough disk from refrigerator. Roll dough in a circle to a uniform thickness (about ⅛-to-¼-inch thick), about 1-inch larger than an upside down 9-inch pie plate. (Turn the pie plate upside down on the dough to measure it). Place rolled-out dough into pie plate and press gently into form of plate. Trim excess (but don’t throw it away!), leaving about ½-inch overhang.
Pour the rhubarb mixture into the pie plate.
Dust the rolling pin and work surface with flour one more time. Roll dough in a circle to a uniform thickness (about ⅛-to-¼-inch thick), about 1-inch larger than an upside down 9-inch pie plate. Cut out flowers or shapes with a small cookie cutter. Place second rolled-out dough on top of rhubarb mixture, being careful not to tear the dough where you made cutouts. Roll up and pinch the edges so you have a nice thick fluted edge (use the extra trimmed dough if necessary).
Brush half of the beaten egg on top of crust. Place the little cutout shapes on top of crust. Brush with remaining egg mixture and sprinkle with demerara sugar if using.
Place the pie on the preheated baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350°F and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until top is golden brown and the rhubarb is tender (poke a skewer through one of the holes in the crust to check). If crust browns too quickly, cover with a piece of foil. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack at least 1-hour.