Rhubarb Pie

Betty Crocker Cookbook, 1972. 

I am a fruit-pie alamode junkie.  My favorites, in order, are rhubarb, blackberry, raspberry, and blueberry (I like others too, these are just my favorites).  This will sound snobby, but I've reached a point where I only use fresh fruit, rarely frozen and NEVER canned fillings, which are just god-awful once you've started using fresh ingredients (except for pumpkin pie).  Also, most of my recipes don't call for "cooking" the fruit prior to assembling the pie - just toss with sugar and flour and dump in.

My favorite pie pans are the el-cheapo Ecko brand from Target.  As I've mentioned elsewhere on this website, their dark-gray color absorbs heat better, browning the bottom of the pies and helping to cook the filling so it isn't very runny.

Most recipes suggest crimping a strip of aluminum foil around the outer edge of the pie to prevent the edge-crust from over-browning, which you remove for the last 15 minutes of baking.  This seems pretty necessary to me.  I have found some simple "pie guards" that you can get that do the same thing.

For some reason it is really common to make a strawberry-rhubarb pie (mixing the two fruits).  Although I think those are delicious too, there really isn't any reason not to use all rhubarb, which I usually do.


Pastry for two-crust pie
1-1/3 to 1-2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups cut-up rhubarb (1/2-inch pieces) I've found 7 medium length stalks is about right.
2 tablespoons butter or margarine

Stir together sugar and flour.  Turn half the rhubarb into the pastry-lined pie pan and sprinkle with half the sugar-flour mixture.  Repeat with remaining rhubarb and sugar-flour (this will seem like a lot of sugar, you'll think you're making a sugar-pie).  Dot with butter.  Cover with top crust, cut slits in crust for steam to escape.  Sprinkle sugar over top crust.  Cover edge of crust with 2- to 3-inch strip of aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning; remove foil last 15 minutes of baking.  Bake at 425 degrees, 35 to 45 minutes or until crust is nicely browned and juice bubbles through slits.  Serve warm with ice cream.  Try to avoid eating half the pie in one sitting, like I typically do. 

Note on sprinkling top crust with sugar:  I've found the easiest way to do this is to load a soup-spoon with sugar, hold it over the pie crust and tap it gently on the side; you get a pretty even sprinkle.  If you want to try something different, after about 20 minutes of baking, lightly and carefully spritz the top of the pie with water (using a simple hand-sprayer).  The water will dissolve the sugar and you'll end up with a crunchy sugar-glazed crust.