Every spring, once my rhubarb is ready for picking, I will bake a string of strawberry-rhubarb custard tarts. My aunt always did the same thing, but she never combined strawberries with the rhubarb. It was pure rhubarb-studded custard in her pies. Now, I can't imagine not including strawberries. They give additional sweetness, allowing me to cut back on the sugar.
But in desperation, for the first time ever, I did not bake my customary tart. Instead, I made my first double-crust rhubarb pie, believing the 7 cups of rhubarb needed for this recipe would help to significantly reduce the copious amounts of rhubarb growing in my garden (insert laugh). It did not. Yes... rhubarb is on the daily menu at my house in all types of sweet and savory concoctions.
Also, when you make this pie allow ample time to cool before slicing into it. Unfortunately, I didn't do that (I couldn't wait and I should have known better). I was extremely disappointed with my first piece, saying I would never make this recipe again. The next morning however -- for breakfast ;-), it was a different pie! The juices had set-up; the bottom crust wasn't soggy -- totally opposite from the night before. It was delicious, and I was sad to see it disappear so quickly. A rush to eat and a rush to judgment.
• Pastry dough for one double-crust pie (recipe HERE)
• 2 pounds rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
• 1 cup sugar
• 3 tablespoons cornstarch
• dash of salt
• 1 tablespoon salted butter, cut into small pieces
• 1 egg, beaten
• Coarse, raw sugar for sprinkling (optional)
2. Heat the oven to 425˚F. In a large bowl, toss together the rhubarb, sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
3. Fill the bottom crust with the rhubarb mixture and dot with the butter. Place the second crust on top. Lift the edges of both top and bottom crusts and gently turn them under, all the way around the pie dish. Crimp the edges. Brush the crust with some of the egg. Cut vents into the top crust. (Or do as I did, and cut out small shapes from the top crust before placing over the rhubarb). Sprinkle the top crust with raw sugar.
4. Place the pie on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce oven to 375˚F and bake until the fruit mixture is bubbly and the crust is golden, 55 to 60 minutes. Remove from oven and cool before eating!
• This rhubarb pie is delicious served with vanilla bean ice cream.
• If you would like to make the crust that Beth Howard uses, go HERE.
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