Saturday, June 13, 2020

Don't Mess With My Rhubarb Pie!

When you bake with fresh, homegrown eggs,
the orange yolks make for a very yellow custard.

The pastry recipe I like to use for pies comes from The Harrow Fair Cookbook, "Prize-winning Recipes Inspired by Canada's Favourite Country Fair" (edited by Moira Sanders and Lori Elstone, published by Whitecap Books in 2010). 

This being the season of rhubarb -- lots and lots of rhubarb -- I discovered the only rhubarb pie recipe in the cookbook is Rhubarb Custard Pie. Normally, I'm a purist in all things food related, and so my rhubarb pie contains only rhubarb. But looking at 4 cups of chopped rhubarb (with nine cups already frozen in the freezer), and seeing that the recipe calls for 4 cups of rhubarb, I decided to give it a try.  

It makes a big, sweet pie so likely best for sharing. 
The recipe for the pastry follows the recipe for the pie. 


1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (which I don't have so I sprinkled ground nutmeg) (*you can really taste the nutmeg in this so adjust according to how much you like nutmeg)
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
3 large eggs, beaten
4 cups sliced fresh rhubarb (is there a difference between sliced and chopped??)
2 Tbsp unsalted butter 

Preheat over to 375 degrees F.
Combine the sugar, flour, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl. 
Add the eggs and mix well. Stir in the rhubarb and mix well.
Roll out one disc of Favourite Pie Crust (see recipe below) and fit into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate, trimming the pastry to 1/2 inch. 
Dot the filling with butter. Apply a lattice crust (the cookbook provides instructions for this but I still screwed it up - lattice is harder than it looks). 
Whisk together the egg and milk. Brush the lattice with the egg wash, then sprinkle with sugar. 
Bake for 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325 degrees F. Bake for an additional 45 minutes or until the custard is set and the crust is golden brown. A toothpick inserted into the centre of the pie will be slightly sticky when removed, but the custard should look set. 
Cool to room temperature before serving. 

EGG WASH for crust: 

1 large egg
2 Tbsp milk
1 Tbsp granulated sugar 

The filling and the bottom crust. 


2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 cup lard, cubed
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 large egg
2 tsp white vinegar
Ice cold water

Sift together the flour and salt in a large bowl. Incorporate the lard and butter using a pastry cutter or a food processor. The crumbs should be the size of peas.
Beat the egg and vinegar together in a liquid measuring cup. Add enough ice cold water to equal 1/2 cup of liquid. 
Pour the liquid over the dough. Knead, or pulse in the food processor, until the dough comes together in a ball. A little extra water may be required to incorporate all the flour (I find this to be so).
Divide the dough into halves. Shape each half into a flat disc and wrap it in plastic wrap. Chill the dough for at least 1 hour prior to rolling. 

A very deep golden brown in my too-hot oven. 
But look at that wonky lattice! Good enough to eat. 

This cookbook -- The Harrow Fair Cookbook -- includes the recipes for 7 pies that took First Place at the fair (including Rhubarb Custard Pie and my all-time favourite, Raisin Pie), and I think this might be the summer and fall I make the other six pies as well. 

Happy pie baking! Happy pie eating! 

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