Thursday, May 6, 2010

Rhubarb Pie

I've been bad all week and it's only Wednesday.  The rhubarb pie thing started this morning when I had the idle thought that I'd love to make one and I'd love to eat one.  This was one of my estimating days.  I have two jobs for my company.  One job is as commerical HVAC estimator.  I look at plans and estimate our costs, submitting our bid to general contractors.  That was today.  The other job is operations manager.  I oversee certain functions of the operations of our business. 

Anyway, about the time I started thinking about Rhubarb Pie, I started smelling it.  The tart and the sweet together.  The little tingle at the nose.  All day I smelled it as I worked with plans and my scaling ruler.  I never said I wasn't nuts.

By mid afternoon, I knew I'd be skipping yoga and making a rhubarb pie.  I rushed home complete obsessed with the idea.  I've known people who have trouble with pie crust.  I was destined to make pie crust.  I have pie crust karma.  I simply love the stuff.  To me, it means a comfortable, warm and safe house where everyone is happy and everything will be okay.  Obviously, my mother made a lot of the stuff when I was a kid and that's where all this emotion comes from.  I still have hopes that I am influencing someone in my life this way.  We'll see. 

But the recipe is no mystery.  It is the one inside my old reliable cookbook.
2 c. all purpose flour
1 t. salt
2/3 cup shortening.
6 T. ice cold water.

Flour and salt into a large bowl.  Then the shortening.  I promise you ice water is best. I literally start with water with ice in it and measure the water into the bowl.

Mix with a spoon for a little while, but soon your best tool is clean hands.  Take off your rings, wash your hands and dive in.  It feels good.  Squish it together then press down with your palm. 

When it is fully incorporated, cut it in half.

Now the fun part.  Flour the center of your board. Don't have a board?  Wash your counter well and do it there.  My board is marble, but my mom used a wood board made by my dad.  We called it the Bread Board.  Don't let this be about something new to buy.  People have been making pies since before there were stuff to buy.
A sprinkle of flour on the top and use the rolling pin to make a flattened circle.  Roll first from the upper right corner to the lower left corner. 
Then roll again to from the upper left corner to the lower right corner.  Turn it over and turn it a quarter turn.  Sprinkle with flour again and roll again.  Part of my rolling ritual is to rub the top with my hand each time.  The surface should be cool and dry.  If it is at all sticky or moist add flour and rub. 
Here is one of the many places in life that you have the opportunity to enjoy yourself.  Take the opportunity.  Be the dough.  Feel the zen of the dough.  

Continue until you have a thin pie crust.  Fold it in half and lay it in a prepared pie plate.  You can prepare it by spraying it with cooking spray or just dip into the shortening with fingertips and rub the pan with shortening. 
4 cups rhubarb, cleaned and sliced.  I've got it in my colander.  The colander is in a bowl in my sink.  Pour the kettle of hot water over the rhubarb.  Actually, I dumped it into the bowl to soak and soften for a few minutes while I rolled out the other pie crust.  Then I drained off the water by dumping the rhubarb back into the colander. 

1 1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. all purpose flour
1 egg with about 2 t. of cold water.  
I whisked it a bit with my new french whisk.

Combine the sugar, flour, softened rhubarb and egg mixture in the bowl and turned it into the crust.

Lay the top crust over.  

And crimp.  Cut away the extray crust.  Make sure to eat a little of the raw dough.  It's good for you. Bake for 40 - 50 minutes at 350 degrees or until the top is lightly browned. 

You may notice to the left of this picture that I have a helper.  He is really never far away, but he is particularly helpful when he thinks there is food.  Can't imagine why he would think he is going to get anything!  Yummy and just what I needed.  The taste of spring. 
My mom made Strawberry Rhubarb Pie which was our all time favorite.  I have her recipe.  As soon as local strawberries are ready, you know what I'll be doing.  Good medicine for whatever is ailing you.  Remember to take your medicine.

No comments:

Post a Comment