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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Rhubarb Pie with Pat-a-pie Pastry and Recipes

red and richly priced--$3.99/lb

Rhubarb Pie is one of my absolute favorites. If you don't know what rhubarb looks like, I can tell you--it looks like red celery stalks. If you don't know what it tastes like I can tell you succinctly. If you like the sweet tartness of lemonade, that is the same taste of rhubarb--sweet and tart.

I would never defile rhubarb with strawberries or any other fruit. No, I would not use Jello, either in my rhubarb pie. A bit of sugar is all it needs!

From the selection above, I chose 5 stalks, hoping there would be enough. I paid $5.51 for my selection. Yikes, using my Pinecone Research money, I could pay for it. Can you see why I am so desperate to find some rhubarb or seeds? Baker Seeds was out. They were too expensive anyway.
five stalks-$5.51 cents!

I washed all five stalks and cut them into 1/4 inch pieces. Recipe books say to cut them in 1/2 inch pieces. You can put the pieces in a pie, raw like an apple pie, but someone told me how to cook it when I first made one 40+ years ago, so I did. I wanted 4 cups of chopped rhubarb this time, but did not buy enough.

3.5 cups chopped rhubarb
Recipe I used from my head:
3.5 cups chopped rhubarb (should have been 4 cups)
less than 2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup water
glob of butter, maybe 2 inches off the stick, probably a little less

Put all this in a pan or pot and cook until is still a bit firm but almost mush. Then, eat a cup of the rhubarb with a glass of milk.

If you put the sugar over the raw, chopped rhubarb and let sit overnight, you could use 1/4 cup water. Don't let it scorch.

Here are a million gillion rhubarb pie recipes. The first one should be a good one, nearly like mine. The rhubarb is 4 cups and put in the pie raw. Follow the directions exactly about putting half the sugar flour mixture in the bottom of the crust and then some on the top of the fruit.
Okay, I have my mixture cooked up. The next step is to fortify myself for pie crust making. I suggest you do the same. I took one cup of the hot mixture with flour/sugar/butter and put it in a cereal bowl. Along with a glass of icy cold milk, take it to your favorite chair and eat slowly, savoring every bite, following bites by cold milk.

Back in the kitchen, I made a crust that requires no rolling. It was my son's favorite. I remember him asking when he was about three-years-old, "Do you have any more of the cookie left?" He ate the rhubarb pie and occasionally made faces over the too sweet rhubarb. Okay, maybe it was a little tart. But, we all liked it.

The crust recipe is from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook that my mother bought for me when I went off the college in 1964. Four students lived in a college-owned, single-family dwelling along with a dorm mother who as only 21.

Better Home and Gardens recipe

my ancient sifter--1966 model
the only one I have ever owned

There was no milk in the house, so I used water. I used a bit more sugar than the recipe called for. Somehow, there was not enough crust.


flour mixture ready to pat into pie pan
pat-a-pie crust is patted
It's not really pretty, but I don't care since my back was hurting so.


ugly but delicious pie

This was delicious, but so thin because I did not buy enough rhubarb. The next time I have rhubarb pie, I will either take out a bank loan or grow my own rhubarb. 

Usually, this is a decent looking pie. I am not sure what happened, but I believe I must have used self-rising flour years ago. There should have been more rhubarb, but at the exorbitant price, I would have had  $10 pie!  The cup of cooked rhubarb would have helped...lol. The rhubarb to crust ratio was too heavily weighted toward crust. I enjoyed every mouthful. Thankfully, exbf did not like the one taste he took!

I failed in the beauty contest for pies, but this is a winner for taste! Have you ever made this crust?

Your turn
Does anyone raise rhubarb? Do you like rhubarb pie? I am on a quest for rhubarb so I can have somenext year! Got any rhubarb stories? Baker Creek seeds is out of rhubarb seeds. Got any seeds you will sell?



11 comments:

  1. I've never had my rhubarb go to seed, or I would mail some to you. Sorry. Try asking on craigslist if someone is willing to split theirs. It spreads by the root.

    The pie looks delicious. I always tell my peeps I don't cook pretty, I cook good, lol. We eat some ugly stuff around here, lol!

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  2. Linda I have seeds from our rhubarb plants here which are very very healthy producers. Drop me a mail and I will send some out to you.

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  3. Wendy,
    Thanks. I like pretty but good is better any day. Yes, I do eat ugly all the time...lol. Sometimes, things just end up pretty.

    Beth,
    I had asked on several trader sites and got no respnse. I did not even think about Craig's List!
    I will email you. Thanks so much. I had not even intended to ask on that post and went back and added the request.

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  4. Long time rhubarb fan here. And yes, I do grow my own. I agree to seek out someone who has an established plant to split or ask around at Agway for a root plant vs seeds. Grows best in Northern, cooler climates, BTW. We enjoy it come May/JUne and I freeze chopped rhubarb for Fall/Winter baking. I also home can rhubarb jams and rhubarb sauce to serve over cake. Yum!

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  5. CTMOM,
    I have asked at all public venues, including places that sell plants. I have mentioned seeds, splitting, sharing, buying. All individuals say they know of no one that grows it. Public forum type places? I get no response. I don't know what Agway is. I want to be able to can some for year round use. I have never made rhubarb sauce or jam, but I will if I can get enough of it!

    Maybe it will grow here in Alabama earlier in the spring. That is what people around here say--that it i too late to grow it.

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    Replies
    1. Alabama-that explains it! My Mom retired to SC, tried transplanting rhubarb there, no go, just too darn HOT. Best bet would be to purchase it frozen, or if you have a Northern friend who can bring you some. $4/lb is steep, I consider the $2.79 I've seen to be exhorbitant!

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    2. Here's a great link about growing rhubarb:

      http://www.rhubarbinfo.com/growing

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    3. Here's another on growing rhubarb as an annual in Texas:
      http://www.texasgardener.com/pastissues/julaug03/rhubarb.html

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  6. I think you can get it to grow and it would be an early spring thing. I will ask a friend down south if she has it but I think she has mentioned it before. I cannot believe the price they ask for it!

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  7. LindaM,
    I think it grew better years ago, according to some people I talk to. Of course, if the older people who grew it and ate it are dying, maybe the young folk don't grow it anymore or just let things grow up around it.

    I had someone tell me last June that it was all gone, that I was too late, as in what was growing had all been harvested around here.

    Thanks for asking your friend! I have only spent that much per pound on cherries. But, I only buy less than a dollar's worth of cherries.

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  8. CTMOM,
    LOL...yes, it's soooo hot here. I will look up those sites. I don't know anyone who lives in the North who would be traveling here. There is no frozen rhubarb in the stores. I have looked. I have asked, I have begged.

    The people who know anything about rhubarb say it does not last long early in the year. So, I am determined to have some and get it while it is putting out and before it dies back. Now, I am going to read those articles. thanks.

    Agreed on the price!

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