Autumnal Rhubarb Pie by Peggy Sanders
For the crust
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I like to use ½ to 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour)
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup butter (I was guided by Smitten Kitchen’s Pie Crust 102, particularly the advice to keep the butter cold and to use a pastry blender; for years I used my Cuisinart to cut the butter into the flour. No longer.)
About 6 tablespoons ice water
For the filling
5 cups sliced rhubarb (frozen, in necessary—partially thawed).
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
1 tablespoons crystalized ginger, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons sultana raisins
2 tablespoons dried cranberries and
2 tablespoons dried apple slices, broken into pieces
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon dried minced orange peel
1 1/2 tablespoons butter (optional)
Heat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Make the crust: Combine the flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl and fluff with a fork. Cut the shortening into the flour with a fork or pastry blender until the butter is in small, coarse pieces. Sprinkle a tablespoon of water at a time over the dough, lifting and tossing it with the fork. Work it until it comes together. With your hands, gather the dough into a ball and then pull it apart; if it crumbles in your hands, it needs more water. Add a teaspoon or two more water, as needed.
Gather the dough into two slightly unequal balls, the larger one for the bottom crust and the smaller one for the top. Flatten the larger ball, rounding the edges with your hands. Refrigerate for an hour if you have time.
Dust one of the rounds of dough with flour and roll it out, starting from the center and moving toward the edges. I use a pastry cloth (canvas) dusted with flour, but you can roll the crust on your counter top, too.
Take a knife or thin spatula and quickly work its edge between the crust and the counter top. Lift the dough to the side; dust the dough and counter top with flour. Roll again until the diameter is an inch or 2 larger than that of the pie pan. Lay the rolling pin a third of the way from one of the edges. Roll the crust onto the pin and then unroll the crust into a 9-inch pie pan and shift it into place. Place in the freezer while you make the filling.
Make the filling: In a large bowl, blend the rhubarb, sugar, tapioca, dried fruits and spices. Pour into the crust-lined pie pan. Dot with butter, if using.
Roll out the top crust. Brush the rim of the bottom crust with water to make sure the top crust adheres to the lower crust. Then place the top crust over the rhubarb; trim, seal and cut several vents. Bake for 15 minutes at 425; then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F. Bake 25 to 30 minutes more, or until a bit of pink juice bubbles from the vents in the crust.
Pairs Well With
Autumnal Rhubarb took third place in the Fruit Category.