This summer pie is a special treat, blending the tart-sweet flavor of fresh rhubarb with the golden pie crust. Be sure to remove the rhubarb stalk’s leaves because the leaves can be toxic.
Preparation time: 1 hour and 10 minutes (not including 2 hours refrigeration of crust)
Baking time: 45 minutes
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
1 1/4 cups shortening
2 cups cake flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup ice water
1/2 inch pat of butter
17 cups plus 1 tablespoon water
2 pounds (20 stalks) fresh rhubarb
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch
With a knife, cut the shortening into nickle-size pieces and place in a large bowl.
Add the cake flour and all-purpose flour.
Mix only enough to combine, or coat, the shortening nuggets with flour.
Add 1 teaspoon salt.
While continuing to mix, drizzle in the ice water.
Blend just until the dough comes together or starts to look like a thick paste.
Remove from the bowl and place on a flat surface that’s dusted with flour.
With your hands, pat down the dough into a rough rectangle about 1-inch thick.
Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
The shortening needs to chill and solidify, which makes the dough easier to roll out and work with.
Using your fingers, spread the butter back and forth over the pie plate until well covered.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and place it on a lightly floured flat surface.
Cut the dough in half and place half into the refrigerator.
Using a rolling pin, roll out half of the dough into a circle that’s a little bigger than the circumference of the pie plate.
That’s roughly an 11-inch circle for a 9-inch pie plate. Dust the dough and the counter frequently to prevent sticking — but use very little flour each time.
Place a rolling pin close to one edge of the pie plate.
Lift about 3 inches of the edge of the dough up onto the rolling pin.
Slowly roll the pin towards you while lifting the dough.
Gently place the rolling pin over one edge of the pie plate and unroll the dough over the entire plate.
Lift the edges of the dough so that gravity lowers it into the bottom of the plate.
With your fingers, press the dough into the corners of the plate.
The dough should cover the sides, leaving about an inch or two of overlap on the edge.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Bring 16 cups water to a boil in a large pot.
Wash the rhubarb and cut it into 2-inch segments.
Blanch the rhubarb 30 seconds in the boiling water and then drain.
Dropping it briefly in boiling water reduces its acidity and makes it easier to work with.
In a medium pot, bring 1 cup water to a boil.
In a bowl, mix the sugar and cornstarch together.
Pour into the boiling water.
Add the blanched rhubarb, stirring gently
Don’t stir too brusquely, or the rhubarb will shred.
When this mixture thickens, pour it into a wide bowl to cool.
When the mixture is thoroughly cool, pour it into the pie crust.
Remove the other half of the dough from the refrigerator.
Roll it thin.
Cover the pie.
Squeeze the edges of the dough together and crimp to form a fluted edge.
Whisk together the egg, 1 tablespoon water, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Brush the dough with the egg mixture.
Bake for 45 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.