Granny T’s Rhubarb Pie
May 30, 2011
Aunt Suzy says . . .
My Mom, a.k.a. Granny, is a great pie baker of the traditional persuasion. What I mean is that she had a few basic pie recipes – nothing fancy – that she was well known for because they were so outstanding. Growing up I didn’t appreciate this because I definitely liked cake better than pie. If I did like pie, it was the cream or custard variety where I’d eat the filling out and leave the crust. Now it’s the opposite! I prefer pie, love the crust and fruit filling trumps cream/custard. When rhubarb season rolls around it heralds the fruit pie-baking season for me. Last year, we posted all kinds of fancy rhubarb dessert recipes. Time to appreciate the basic approach of this timeless and classic rhubarb pie.
This is one of my favorite pies! I don’t think I’ve ever actually made it, but mainly because I haven’t needed to…you can usually bet that there will be one of these at my Dad’s house this time of year, and more than once, sort of like apple pie in the fall. So if I get a craving, I can just invite myself to dinner. But I completely agree with Aunt Suzy…sometimes a basic, classic pie just totally hits the spot. And this one fits the bill!
This recipe is geared to a 9-inch pie plate. Adjust quantities up or down for other sizes. Line the oven bottom with foil and preheat to 425°.
Your favorite pie crust for a 2-crust pie (see Margaux’s)
3-4 cups rhubarb
1 scant cup sugar
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter, in chunks
NOTE ON THE AMOUNT OF SUGAR: We like our rhubarb pies on the tart side, adding less sugar to the filling and then sugaring the top crust. You will want to add a little more sugar to the filling if you like things on the sweeter side.
Roll out half the crust and line the pie plate with it. Mix the rhubarb, sugar, orange zest and flour in a bowl and turn into the crust. Dot with the butter chunks – don’t forget! I can’t tell you how many times Granny or I have had to poke the butter through the holes in the top crust. 🙂
Place the top crust over the filling. Crimp the edges and then cut slits in the top crust. If you want to get fancy, you can cut a beautiful pattern into it. Margaux’s other Grandma had a lovely traditional family pattern that she used. My Mom took a more practical approach, cutting a few slits to make sure the steam escaped. Sprinkle sugar over the top crust.
Place the pie in the pre-heated oven. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes, then turn the heat down to 350° and bake for another 30-45 minutes until done. (Electric ovens seem to finish closer 30 minutes, gas ovens take longer. Start checking after 30 min.) Don’t forget to turn the heat down after the 15 minutes!
Enjoy warm or room temperature, plain or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. And don’t forget to leave some for breakfast (of champions)!