Friday, April 15, 2011

Rhubarb, oh how I love thee, let me count the ways......

I love rhubarb....this is new for me, our love affair only started last spring. I grew up categorizing it among the other "old people foods"(all of which I love now), acorn squash, zucchini, sweet potatoes, rhubarb, beets and so many more that I am to embarrassed to admit to.

Well as you may not know rhubarb is a very versatile food, you can make desserts, sauces, glazes, compotes and chutney out of this heavenly ingredient. We even made a rhubarb sauce to top off salmon the other day and that tangy, sweet freshness was almost enough to send me over the edge.

So if you love me and you have rhubarb that you are not enjoying feel free to drop it by or tell me to come get it because I am not fortunate to have my own plants. My dad tried to plant some for me but it didn't make it. Maybe next year. But for now I am buying it from the grocery and they know what they want for it, as my grandma would say:)

In honor of this lovely ingredient I thought I would share the recipe for the pie I poured my tears into yesterday. I am proud to report there are only two pieces left, and no I didn't eat it all myself. I am enjoying it for breakfast though....don't tell anyone.

Rhubarb Berry Pie

The crust
2 cups flour
2 tblsp sugar
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter cold and cut into small tiny cubes
7-10 tblsp ice water

Get the dry ingredients put together in a bowl. Next cube the butter. Use your fingers and/or a fork to combine the tow together until it resembles a coarse sand. I don't prefer to use a food processor because I think this often results in a tough crust and that is already an easy enough mistake to make when making a butter crust. So get in there and get can do it:) Slowly trickle in the water and combine together until it forms a ball.

Then break into to balls. One bigger than the other. The smaller one will become a lattice top for your pie. If even the phrase lattice top freaks you out feel free to make two equal size balls and make a traditional top for your pie.


Throw the balls of crust in the fridge until you need them again.

The most important part of the whole baking process is to love what you are creating. I swear to you it will know if you don't and you will turn out with a gross product:)

Next up the filling.

about 2 1/2 lbs of rhubarb - cut into 1 inch pieces
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup orange juice (freshly squeezed is the best option)
2 tsp grated orange peel
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup of jam - I used a raspberry jam, strawberry is the more traditional choice but really any berry jam would work.

Combine the rhubarb , sugar, o.j., orange peel, and spices in a large and deep skillet.
Cook over medium heat until liquid starts to bubble. Reduce heat to medium and cover, continuing to simmer for 8 minutes. If you like your rhubarb to have a little more crunch cook for less time.

Once you have completed the simmer stage strain over a bowl and return liquid to the pan.
The color is so pretty.
O.k. people you are now going to perform what us kitchen folk like to call a reduction. You are going to take this lovely liquid and turn it into almost a syrup. You are going to boil the liquid on its own for a good 8-10 minutes you want to be left with 2/3 cup of syrup when you are done. When that is complete mix in the jam and let cool on the stove for 15 minutes or until cool. At this point the smell will be taking over your home and if you don't eat all of the prepared rhubarb you will be lucky.

This is when I roll out my crust and get it put into my pie pan. You can also cut your strips for a lattice top.

Lastly mix the rhubarb in with the syrup and pour into your prepared pie shell. Top with your lattice. And voila. I like to brush my lattice with a bit of cream to give it some glisten in the cooking process.
375 degrees for about 50 minutes. I like to place a cookie sheet underneath to avoid bubbly messes.

Its delicious as usual let me know if you try it.

1 comment:

The Mom said...

Please stop buying rhubarb. Come over and get some already.