Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Looks like a celery pie, right? Rhubarb is a strange creature. I've somehow managed to avoid it my entire life until now, thinking it would be gross. I was so wrong. I still think it's a weird fruit (?) vegetable (?). What is it anyway? And do people ever do anything with it other than make pie? Seriously, I'm asking.
Thing is, most of the time when you encounter rhubarb in a pie, it's paired with strawberry. I don't like baked strawberries. I just don't. Baking takes all of the love out of them and they become these shriveled up tiny things. So, I've never been tempted at all to try that combination. Shriveled strawberries and some sort of weird pink celery baked together in a pie? Mmm, no thanks.
But rhubarb on its own, I thought that sounded appealing. And it's kind of pretty, isn't it?
What I didn't expect was the flavor. I tried a little piece of it raw just to see what it tastes like. I would recommend NOT trying that yourself. Any moisture that has ever been or will ever be in my body was immediately obliterated by that thing. But, baked? In a pie? With sugar and lemon zest? A whole different story. It's a little tart, a little sweet. Tastes like something lemony and refreshing and summery. I loved it. I used Rose Levy Beranbaum's recipe from my new Pie and Pastry Bible. Lovely. Easy and perfect. Here's a link where someone else posted the recipe, and BONUS, directions for how to make a lattice crust, which I opted not to do this time.
And, I'm happy to report that even though I vowed not to make another pie until we were well and truly into Autumn, my pie crust mojo is back.
Beautiful. Tender and flaky. I'm working on spending more time with my crust edges. Making sure they look beautiful, but also have the right thickness. I still have some work to do on that but I'm getting there. And I am discovering that refrigerating the pie for at least 30 minutes once it's ready to go in the oven really does prevent the shrinkage problem. *crossing fingers* At least so far. Incidentally, in the Beranbaum book, she has several different pie crust recipes using different kinds of fat, including duck fat. I might have to give some of those a try.
TGIP Rating--Rhubarb Pie--KEEPER. Rhubarb, I'm your newest fan. And maybe now that I'm no longer afraid of you I'll try a cherry rhubarb pie.
Next up: Pumpkin Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and Candied Hazelnuts--if I can get my friend Jonny to come bake with me. Time for Fall baking!