Rhubarb is in season! It’s not that common in the supermarket, but fortunately my parents have it in the garden every year and they brought me some of this pink-and-green gold. This rhubarb pie recipe is pure nostalgia for me – I could smell the pies from my childhood as I was peeling away at the stalks. There’s nothing quite like the sour-sweet smell of this fresh fruit! Rhubarb can be quite different in taste (from sweet to sour) and color (from green to very pink). The kind we have is quite sour, so I used a lot of sugar – use according to the kind you have. You could also substitute with another firm fruit like apples or pears.
This recipe is originally from a cute little cookbook by two ladies called Liesbeth and Bie. I had to recreate it from memory, since I don’t have the cookbook and couldn’t find the recipe online. Usually improvising ratios is a ‘no go zone’ for desserts, but I relied on the usual quiche ratios and just added in sugar and flour from memory. You can do a ‘lazy version’ and replace the homemade crust by a storebought one. Enjoy this wonderful pie!
For the crust:
155 grams all-purpose flour
90 grams cold butter, in cubes
60 grams fine sugar
2 egg yolks (save the egg whites)
For the filling:
500 grams of rhubarb, peeled and diced
250 ml cream
3 or 4 heaped tablespoons of sugar
1 heaped tablespoon of flour
1 teaspoon of cinnamon (or more if you really love cinnamon)
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
powdered sugar, for dusting
1 pie tin of about 25 cm diameter
dry beans, or rice, or lentils for blind baking weight
Start with the crust. Sieve the flour, then add in the butter cubes. Rub with your fingers until you have a crumbly mixture and mix in the sugar. Add the egg yolks and, using a fork or knife, bring to a more or less consistent dough. Because this gets pretty crumbly, I use a shortcut to avoid the traditional mess when trying to make a ball: spread out a sheet of plastic wrapping foil. Fold your batter into a ball as good as it gets, then transfer to foil. Add the rest of the crumbly stuff and form into a ball using the plastic foil to press it all together. Let it sit in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Put the ball between two sheets of baking paper, beat into a disklike shape and roll out until it’s a bit larger than your tin. Grease the tin, dust with flour and transfer the crust to the tin. Put a baking sheet on top with beans or rice as weights, put in the oven for 10 minutes (this is called blind baking, it makes your crust crunchier). Remove the baking weight and brush egg white over the crust (this prevents your fluid batter from seeping into the crust later). Bake for 10 more minutes.
Meanwhile, dice the rhubarb and prepare the filling by mixing all the ingredients except the rhubarb in a bowl. Spread the rhubarb out over the baked crust, sprinkle with some more sugar and then add the liquid cream mixture. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until firm. Let it cool down a bit before serving and dust with powdered sugar. Also great with some vanilla ice cream!