Rhubarb Pie

When I was too young to know better, the only pie that I would eat was my mom’s lemon meringue – it was to die for and she made it, and everything else from scratch, something that I took for granted until the time of her passing…

Rhubarb Pie

I don’t remember when I had my first piece of rhubarb pie; as a clue, I do remember that my first taste of blueberry pie was not until the age of twenty-five. I realize that I really missed out on a lot of great flavors due to my finicky taste buds.

My food likes and dislike have changed significantly since 1960; the “like” list is far longer now and, at least in terms of pies, rhubarb is right up at the very top of that list. Heidi inherited a rhubarb plant that actually dates back several generations and every spring it has been a prolific producer of some of the finest stems I have ever tasted; the pies and crisps we make are simply the very best.

Rhubarb plant in the garden

And in the tradition of the way my mom did things, the pies are made from scratch; even the crust is a tried and true recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook that I inherited from my mom, and the rhubarb stems are harvested from our garden. Nothing frozen and nothing pre-made or pre-packaged.

The recipe below has produced the best rhubarb pie I have ever had – certainly as good as the ones my mom used to make for my dad, way back when I didn’t know any better. Rhubarb seems to be something that you either really like… or really don’t care for at all. But for those who like it (and I’ll steal a phrase here), “you’re gonna like this pie, I guarantee it!

Ingredients for Crust

  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup shortening
  • 5-6 tsp cold water
  • 1 tsp orange juice

Ingredients for Filling

  • 5 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 1 ounce or splash of triple sec or Grand Marnier
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 6 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp butter

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Begin making the crust by sifting 2 cups of flour and 1 tsp salt together; cut in shortening with pastry blender or fork till pieces are the size of small peas.

Sprinkle 1 Tbsp water over part of the mixture. Gently toss with fork; push to side of bowl. Repeat with the remaining water and orange juice until all is moistened.

Form into two equal balls. Flatten on lightly floured surface by pressing with edge of hand. Roll the first ball from center to edge until 1/8 inch thick.

Gently move the rolled pastry into a pie plate.

Add the triple sec or Grand Marnier to the chopped rhubarb in a bowl and distribute evenly. Set aside.

Combine 1 cup sugar and 6 Tbsp of flour in another bowl. Mix well and sprinkle 1/4 of it over pastry in pie plate. Heap rhubarb over this mixture.

Uncooked rhubarb pie ready for lattice crust

Sprinkle with remaining sugar and flour. Dot with small pieces of butter.

Cutting the strips for the lattice crust

Roll out the second pastry ball. Cut strips of pastry 1/2 - 3/4 inch wide with pastry wheel or knife.

Weaving the lattice crust

Lay strips on pie at 1 inch intervals. Fold back alternate strips as you weave cross strips. Trim lattice even with outer rim of pie plate; fold lower crust over strips. Seal and flute edge.

Ready to backe

Place pie on lowest rack in oven. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees, and continue baking for 40 to 45 minutes.

This pie can be served warm or cold.

As always, I hope to see you On the Lake!   

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