Living in summer holiday mode, it’s easy to forget that chores still need doing, and in this weather (it’s forecast to get to 34C where I am today, and 39C by later in the week! Eek!), that very much includes watering the garden. My poor rhubarb plants are really struggling, so I decided it’s time to give them a helping hand by picking some rhubarb and making a pie. Aren’t I thoughtful?
So here’s one from the archives for you – the Very Best Rhubarb Pie Recipe around (according to my family anyway!). See the variations at the bottom for rhubarb & blackberry pie and rhubarb & apple pie.
- 670g fresh rhubarb, chopped finely (about 1 cm widths) (this is about 5 or 6 cups, but it’s hard to be exact since it depends how you cut it.)
- 260g (1&1/3 cups US) white sugar
- 45g plain flour (6 US tbsp, 4.5 Aussie Tbsp)
- 280g plain flour (this is about 2 & 1/4 US cups, or a little over 2 metric cups)
- 1 tsp salt
- 120ml light olive oil (~1/2 cup) (any vegetable oil would do really)
- 90ml milk
- Optional: an egg and some sugar for the top of the pie.
Preheat the oven to 230C (450F). Lightly grease a 9 inch (approx 23 cm) pie dish.
Assuming you’ve already chopped the rhubarb, we’ll start with the pastry:
- Dry: Mix the flour and salt in a bowl.
- Wet: Measure the olive oil separately and then add the milk, but don’t mix it together.
- Pour wet ingredients into dry and gently mix (I used a fork) until you have an even dough.
- Divide the mixture into roughly 1/3 : 2/3.
- Place the larger ball onto a large piece of wax paper, and place another piece of paper over the top, then roll it out.
- Peel off the top sheet and flip pastry over into the 9 inch pie dish.
- Peel off the bottom sheet and press pastry into the dish. If there are bits hanging over the edge either use them to fill in any holes in the side or add them to the other ball. Later you will repeat this process to make the top of the pie.
Now the filling:
- Mix together the flour and sugar. Sprinkle roughly half of this into the bottom of the pie, making sure to cover the whole of the pastry (this soaks up the juices and makes sure you end up with a yummy crisp pastry, not a soggy one. Don’t worry, the sugar managers to sweeten the rhubarb plenty without being directly mixed with it.)
- Fill the pie with your chopped rhubarb.
- Sprinkle the remaining flour-sugar mixture over the top of the rhubarb.
- Roll out and flip the top piece of pastry the same way you did the bottom one. Seal it around the edges, and slice three or four holes in the top to let the steam escape.
- Optionally beat an egg and use a pastry brush to brush the top of the pie with it, then sprinkle some sugar over the top. This creates a lovely attractive finish to your pie.
Baking: Cover the pie lightly with some aluminium foil to prevent the pastry burning and bake at 230C for 15 minutes, then reduce temperature to 175C (350F) and remove the foil, and bake for another 40-45 minutes. Serve hot or cold (or warm). Absolutely divine when left to cool a little and then served with a scoop vanilla ice cream and/or some pouring cream. Yummy.
Sometimes I substitute some chopped apple or blackberries for some of the rhubarb (depending on what I have on hand).
Blackberry and Rhubarb pie: Make as above, but reduce rhubarb to about 200g, and add 350g of washed blackberries. Reduce sugar to 1 cup. You can fiddle with the balance to suit your tastes and what you have available too.
Rhubarb & Apple pie: Make as above, but substitute some sliced tart green apple (like granny smith) for some of the rhubarb. Add a tsp of cinnamon if desired.