My “in-house taster” grew up with his grandmother baking rhubarb pie. I have no idea why I even attempted to make a pie perfected by his grandmother. I guess the fresh rhubarb at the farmers market wooed me into the mindset of, “Yes! I can make a pie!”
I consulted my 1983 paperback edition of The Fannie Farmer Cookbook and realized that the recipe wasn’t all that complicated. My notes are in italics.
Fannie Farmer Cookbook
Basic Pastry dough for 9-inch two-crust pie – I used store bought pie crust. (I know, I know.) After several failed attempts, I finally found a pie crust that did not have lard in it.) But, I did attempt the lattice effect
1 1/4 cups sugar
4 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups 1.4-inch piece rhubarb stalks – I only had about 3 cups worth of chopped rhubarb. I could have added strawberries to bulk it up a bit but wanted to attempt a “pure” rhubarb pie.
2 tablespoons butter
Preheat the oven to 425.
Line a 9-inch pie pan with half of the pastry dough – I followed the directions on the frozen pie crust package by basically taking them out of the freezer to defrost for 15 minutes. One stayed in the pan. The dough for the top was taken out of the pan and placed on wax paper.
Combine the sugar, flour, and salt in a bowl.
Add the rhubarb and toss well.
Pile the rhubarb filling into the lined pie pan and dot with the butter. Don’t forget to dot it with the butter before the next step.
Roll out the remaining dough and make a lattice top.
Much like when one realizes that they have to use the bathroom after putting on a snowsuit, I realized that i had forgotten to put on the butter before I put on the lattice top. So…this is how I fixed that.
Crimp the edges. Bake for 10 minutes…
…then reduce heat to 350 and bake for 30-40 minutes more, until the filling is tender when pierced with a skewer and the crust is browned. I ended up putting some foil on the edges to prevent them from being too browned about 10 minutes after reducing the heat of the oven.
Although I only had three cups, versus the required four cups, of rhubarb, it was still a substantial pie. I ‘ll admit, I could never match a grandmother-made pie, but this pie actually came out quite good and it was much appreciated by my in-house tester. In fact, he had a large slice for lunch the next day. Best of all, I was quite impressed with how easy this was to make. Maybe next time I try to attempt to make the crust….or maybe not.