For all of us rhubarb lovers, we don’t want any distractions in our pie and that means no strawberries. We want the tartness and the unique flavor of rhubarb to shine. I usually cook with lighter ingredients but this pie is made with a straight-up, full butter crust recipe. I have not modified it to make it lighter or healthier. In my opinion, homemade fruit pies should be made with the best in-season fruit and butter for a rich, flavorful, flakey crust.
Pie making is definitely an art and a science and I am trying to perfect the craft. Creating a flakey, crisp crust takes practice and an understanding of baking science. I’ve been reviewing a lot of pie making videos and cookbooks, and I found Erin Jeanine McDowell from Food52 to be especially helpful. Her book, The Book on Pie, is an encyclopedia on pie baking with 100’s of recipes and tips on baking all types of pies. If you need help making that perfect pie crust, I highly recommend her YouTube videos.
For Rhubarb pie, you need just the right amount of sugar to balance the extreme tartness of the rhubarb but not too much because you want sweet and sour in every bite. Overall, the ingredients are very few and very simple but the process does take time, definitely a weekend project. You can prepare the pie dough a few days in advance, wrapping it in plastic wrap and storing it in the refrigerator, which would make the process faster and easier. When cooking, I’m always evaluating the ROI (return on investment). Is the process and time worth the outcome? A homemade pie is 100% worth the effort!
A special shoutout to our friend Miles for prompting me to make this pie!
Straight-up Rhubarb Pie
Pie Crust (for bottom crust and lattice topping)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (300 grams)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 sticks butter, cold and cut into 1/2″ cubes
1/2 cup ice water
6 cups rhubarb, cut into 1″ pieces
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
Bottom Pie Crust
- Whisk flour and salt in a medium bowl. Add cold butter cubes, tossing each cube to coat them in flour. Smash each cube between your fingers, creating thin bits (about the size of lima bean).
- Drizzle 1/2 of the ice water over the flour/butter mixture and run your fingers through the flour to incorporate the water. Add additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time until mixture comes together but is not wet. Don’t over mix the dough.
- Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and gently fold or knead until it comes together. Divide into two disks. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out one of the pie dough discs, lifting and turning the dough to keep it from sticking. Roll dough so it’s 2 inches larger than the pie plate. Lay the dough into pie plate, cover lightly with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 10 minutes.
- Set oven to 425 degrees.
- While the pie dough is chilling for a second time, mix the rhubarb, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Toss until combined.
- Add the rhubarb filling to the pie plate lined with chilled dough.
- Remove the second pie dough disc from the fridge and roll out as you did in Step 4 but this dough can be rolled thicker and does not need to be as large as the bottom crust.
- Cut dough into long strips, about 1 inch wide.
- Place lattice strips on top of pie in one direction and then place strips going in the opposite direction to create the appearance of lattice.
- Using kitchen shears, trim the bottom crust of extra dough.
- With a floured fork, press the tines of the fork all around the edge of dough to secure the edges of the lattice strips to the bottom crust and to create a finished look.
Baking the Pie
- Place the pie plate on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake another 25-30 minutes or until top of pie is browned and the filling is bubbling.
- Cool pie on a wire rack for 2-3 hours before serving. You’ll be tempted to cut into it sooner but be patient! Allow it to cook completely before slicing it. This will be the hardest part of the recipe!