3.09.2011

Grandma's Rhubarb Pie



(
Be sure to enter my St. Patrick's Day giveaway HERE.)


Finally, after a year, I'm getting around to posting my mother's (and her mother's) rhubarb pie recipe. Sorry about the delay. It's not that it's such an uncommon recipe, but many other recipes call for tapioca or some other fruit like strawberries along with the rhubarb. Not my mother's recipe. She was a purist. She'd pick it out of the garden and we'd have it stewed for lunch and a pie for dinner. 


                                                                                    

 I love her recipe, but wanted to put a bit of a twist on it. Last year, a couple blogs posted some mini pies made in those wonderful Ball jars. The small ones. (Take a look HERE and HERE.) It was such a cute idea and I have always loved individual desserts like this, so I thought it might be fun to take Mother's whole pie recipe and turn it into individual servings. 


It was a success flavor-wise...in fact a smashing success. And fun to eat. However, when these cooled, the fruit had shrunk about 1/2 inch below the crust. I noticed
cherries and apples were used in the blogs I mentioned above and they probably don't shrink like rhubarb does. Still, I remain completely enchanted with these little Ball jar pies and will continue to make them with rhubarb; if you're as determined as I am, here's how to avoid some of my problems: be sure the pie crust is sealed to itself and not the jar so the shrinkage won't be quite so noticeable; another suggestion would be to pile the rhubarb up higher in the center which should also help. In addition, if you find the juices run over or leak through the crust, it will make it difficult to remove the pie in one piece from the jar. So just serve it in the jar, which is really a cute presentation. 

I made a couple jars with the crust on the top only, wanting to see the fruit through the sides of the jar. We thought it was fun served like that and there is less pie crust to deal with.....both in terms of pressing it in the jar and in calories.  :)  Obviously you have to serve it in the jar if you make it this way. The rhubarb was nice and red and looked pretty peeking through the sides of the jar. 


As far as ingredients are concerned, here's mother's rule of thumb for a making a rhubarb pie: for every cup of sliced rhubarb, there should be 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon flour. And when you make the crust, use shortening. Not butter, shortening. I use Crisco. (I suspect she and her mother used lard in their crusts.) Please note that while I made mini pies for this post, the recipe below is for one regular pie. 



Little Rhubarb Pies





Ingredients for the crust

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
2/3 cup vegetable shortening, plus 2 tablespoons
6 tablespoons ice water 

Ingredients for the filling

5 cups sliced rhubarb
1 1/4 cups sugar
5 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1  1/2 tablespoons butter. 

Method for the crust:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Make the crust: before measuring the flour, stir it to leaven with air and then measure out 2 cups. Combine the flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl and fluff with a fork. Cut the shortening into the flour with a fork or pastry blender. Stop as soon as the sheen of the shortening disappears and the mixture is a bunch of coarse pieces. Sprinkle a tablespoon of ice water at a time over the dough, lifting and tossing it with the fork. When it begins to come together, gather the dough, press it into a ball and then pull it apart; if it crumbles in your hands, it needs more water. Add a teaspoon or two more water, as needed. 

Gather the dough into two slightly unequal balls, the larger one for the bottom crust and the smaller one for the top. Flatten the larger ball, reforming any frayed edges with the sides of your hand. Dust with flour and roll the dough, starting from the center and moving toward the edges. Take a knife or thin spatula and quickly work its edge between the crust and the counter top. Lift the dough to the side; dust the dough and counter top with flour. Roll again until the diameter is an inch or 2 larger than that of the pie pan. Lay the rolling pin a third of the way from one of the edges. Roll the crust onto the pin and then unroll the crust into a 9-inch pie pan and press it into place. Place in the freezer. 

Method for the filling:

In a large bowl, blend the rhubarb, sugar, flour and cinnamon. Pour into the crust-lined pie pan. Dot with butter. 

(If you are going to make the mini-pies, cut the dough to fit the jar...there is a lot of crust when you make these. Work with it, flattening it as much as you can to fit the sides. And then just pile in the rhubarb and top it with a lattice crust.)

For a single large pie: roll out the top crust. Dab the rim of the bottom crust with water to create a glue. Then roll out the top crust and cut it into strips and interlace the pieces to form a lattice top. Bake for 15 minutes; reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and bake 25 to 30 minutes more, or until a bit of pink juice bubbles between the the lattice strips in the crust. Serves 8.  (Time will vary if you use the individual jars.) With pies like this, the juices always run over, so line a pan with foil before baking.



74 comments:

  1. Barbara, I know your love of rhubarb and I've been waiting this year for it's debut. Your little pies are adorable with the lattice strip tops. It's always nice to know the story behind the recipe. My mother was a purist too.
    Sam

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  2. I'm the daughter of a rhubarb pie purist mother!! And I've never liked it mixed with anything else. I saw those little individual pies last year as well and am, once again, inspired to prepare a pie or two in that way. Thanks for the helpful hints and the recipe. Rhubarb hasn't arrived here yet--soon, I hope!

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  3. OMG These are absolutely lovely and delight dear Barbara and what lovely picture!
    Specially your mother and daugther picture!! absolutely nice post! gloria

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  4. These are the cutest things ever! Could I replicate this with apples do you think? There's no rhubarb here!

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  5. Love that rhubatb oozing out of the pie. Is it rhubarb season yet?

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  6. Perfect pies! I really love the fact that they contain a lot of rhubarb. Yummy! Family recipes are the best.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  7. Love this traditional recipe of your family. Like the individual servings. Lovely family click!

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  8. I love these!! They are so adorable!!!

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  9. It will be awhile until we have fresh rhubarb and I always look forward to a pie like my grandmother used to bake. She didn't add any other fruits either. Love your little pies, Barbara, I bet they were time consuming to assemble.

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  10. Those lattice strips never fail to charm me. Recipes that we grew up with are so special and I really appreciate you sharing this one with us. I don't cook as often with rhubarb as I might because it sometimes seems a bit soggy or not sweet enough but I have to try this. Serving the pies in jars is a wonderful idea.

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  11. Those are so cute!!! I love rhubarb!

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  12. I am smitten!! I can't wait for rhubarb to show up so I can make my own.

    Sweet photo too of Tracy and your mother.

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  13. Mini-pies are adorable. I really love that you put the ratio in there for scaling the recipe up or down... very helpful. I like things sour though and have always made my pie on the tart side! I do love seeing the old recipes shared... I think I've said before, anytime someone says it's a classic I know it will be great.. 3 generations give it a lot of creds, I should say! I am now trying to make bottomless pies to save a few calories... this would be a sweet way to do it.

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  14. These are flat-out adorable. Well, first, I love rhubarb. Deeply. And second, I love individual desserts--who doesn't? I would serve them in the jars, I think they look absolutely perfect that way (and saves on another plate to wash).

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  15. The presentation here is just stunning. I'd be happy to get this at any restaurant (and I'm not really a rhubarb person). What a sweet treat!!!
    *kisses* HH

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  16. WOW, I love rhubarb pie! One of the features to my grandma's back yard was the rhubarb plant. Your pies look great!

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  17. Hi Barbara,

    As a child I never really like rhubarb and now I love it.
    I like the idea of the pies cooked in the jars, the red through the glass and the lattice top, looks divine.
    Your Mother and Tracy are so beautiful and it is a lovely photo.

    Happy Wednesday
    Hugs
    Carolyn

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  18. Those are darling, Barbara! No wonder you're smitten with them. :-) And I love your picture very much. :-)

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  19. Hi Barbara. I love rhubarb. I like them raw with sprinkles of sugar but often I get stomach ache afterwards because of their sourness. Worth it though :)
    The pies look wonderful. I haven't seen any rhubarb yet at my local market, but I cannot wait until they're in season here.
    Have a nice day.

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  20. Rhubarb pie has been a favorite since childhood. I miss the days when I could harvest it in my mother's or even my own garden!! These are soo darn cute!

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  21. Hey Barbara, I love that photo of your daughter and mother-that's sweet.
    Oh, and your rhubarb pies look so cute. I've never seen this before-pies baked into little jars. That's so neat! Ooh, and I'm sure delicious...;)

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  22. What a super picture :) And those pies, delicious! Love them in the little jars, love that presentation!

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  23. beautiful post and delicious pies!

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  24. oh my gosh, they're so adorable! i love this!

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  25. I can't wait for the rhubarb to come in...

    I love the little jars, would make a great gift...

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  26. These pies are adorable and mouth watering! Thank you for sharing your mom's recipe!

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  27. Oh Barbara! These mini rhubarb pies are so delightful! I adore the fringe lattice topping and how the beautiful rhubarb filling.

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  28. These are darling Barbara. You have to love family recipes!

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  29. rhubarb is at its absolute best in a pie--thanks for sharing a recipe so near and dear to your heart!

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  30. Suc a wonderful, inspiring post Barbara. Your pies look so wonderful and there's nothing like a pie for lifting the spirit.

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  31. Whoa! I definitely adore the idea of serving the pie in those jars! So cute. Even with shrinkage.

    The rhubarb pie sounds delicious. No frills attached, just bare-bones good.

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  32. You have no idea how inspired I am by pie in the jar!

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  33. I so miss our rhubarb patch! We used to bake with it a bit but now that I KNOW how to bake, I really miss it. I LOVE the jar, how cute! Thanks!

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  34. I've been hearing everywhere lately that pie is the next "in" dessert. Well, well, I must say, with pies like these I can understand why. Ingenious, Barbara and GREAT helpful tips.

    Now you know I'm not much of a baker however, I'm saving this post just in case I get the courage.

    Thank you so much for sharing...Family recipes really are the best:) You did your family proud!!!

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  35. I love the mini-pies! I can't wait for rhubarb to become available in the northeast.

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  36. What adorable, individual pies! Rhubarb always reminds me of my mother because she grew it in her garden and each year we had sauce but she wasn't much of a pie maker. I still love rhubarb because of her and would love to try your grandmother's pie!

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  37. sweet treat.
    hope that you had fun with your mom.

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  38. I had never seen this idea of baking in jars..it's so original..Then, there is no rhubarb in Argentina, or at least there wasn't when I was a child..so it's a flavor I don't know very much.And I haver never cooked rhubarb...so I will bear in mind your mother's tips. Thanks!

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  39. this looks great and love the way you cooked them, my Dad grows Rhubarb :-)

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  40. Mmm, these are beautiful, Barbara. What a lovely presentation.

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  41. What a super sweet photo and I adore the creativity of baking in the jars. Very inspiring post.

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  42. What a beautiful recipe. And it looks like so much fun to eat!

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  43. nice...these sound good and what a neat way to do them in the jars...

    tore a ligament in my foot coming down the mountain...ugh...but getting better...

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  44. So cute!! And by the looks of it, I would say mom's recipe is pretty darn amazing!

    Blessings-
    Amanda

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  45. I never use rhubarb, I didn't know that it can be used for pies. Looks great!

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  46. These little rhubarb pies look so good! Thank you so much for sharing this special recipe!

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  47. I love family recipes and what lovely pies. I've made salad in jars but, never pies. Thank you for sharing.

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  48. MY GOSH, that is so CUTE! I love desserts that you don't have to share!

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  49. So adorable to make these in little glass jars. Makes each pie so special. This is way better than any cupcake. ;)

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  50. Rhubarb pie is my favorite, and my mom would make it for me without strawberries...just the way I liked it. We would also have it cooked and served at dinner. Growing up in Michigan it was always one of the first things that came up in the garden. Our neighbor would give us a bunch that he just picked...I would munch on a stalk dipping it in sugar...ahh...such memories. Here in Florida I just saw some fresh rhubarb in Publix for the first time...five bucks a pound! What's with that?

    I love the mason jar pies...they are so special. I've never seen them like that before!

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  51. My husband loves rhubarb sweets and I have never tried them in a pie. Those mini pies in jars (are those normal marmalade jars?) look freaking good with that beautiful golden colour.

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  52. Those are beautiful. Now I want Ball jars.

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  53. I love the jars and that you kept the pies JUST as rhubarb only :)

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  54. Oh Barbara! Look at these perfect little pies!!! And I like the idea that there are NO OTHER fruits inside....we had rhubarb growing in our yard in California, and here in Minneapolis, it is EVERYWHERE! Rhubarb Crisp is a favorite here in the Mid-west. THANK YOU FOR STOPPING BY my anniversary blog; we had a grand celebration. I just can't believe we are growing "OLD" and that many years have past us. DO YOU HAVE SPRING YET CHEZ TOI? WE ARE STILL BURIED UNDER SNOW! This is the most snow fall on record for us!!! I NEED SOME SPRING NOW! Have yourself a lovely weekend,kind and sweet friend! Anita

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  55. How cute. I'd never have thought to bake them in little jars. I'm trying to grow rhubarb at the moment, it's a dwarf variety growing in a pot, so it's very slow, hopefully I'll have enough for pie soon :)

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  56. These are so cute baked in the jars! And they look delicious too - I really have to try rhubarb - and soon!

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  57. What sweet little treats! Who wouldn't be excited to get one of those?

    ps: your daughter is stunning!

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  58. Hey daaahling, just wanted to let you know I'm doing a give away on my blog for $80 Amazon gift card :), do stop over and enter!
    *kisses* HH

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  59. I really love the mini pies and the tips you shared with us. My husband loves rhubarb and we'll be putting your information to good use. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  60. I love your mini pies.
    Mimi

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  61. Barbara- these rhubarb pies in a jar are delightful. Your mother would have been proud.

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  62. Oh my goodness these are darling! I love the fact that they even have a lattice top crust, these are really little works of art.

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  63. Nostalgia. I still have my mother. She is 80 and that pic of your mom with your daughter brought me up short. Tears. I do so appreciate the love in our family and the recipes. Rhubarb is definitely a favourite here and as I have so much of it, I will try this coveted family recipe next rhubarb season. I love the jar idea with the little bit of pastry. I love the cute mini pies with the truck load of pastry. I so appreciate this post.
    :)
    Valerie

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  64. wonderful we start to have rhubarb on fresh market here in Paris pierre

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  65. I've actually never had this kind of pie but from the pictures I definitely want to now!

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  66. I absolutely love family recipe. Not only they taste good but all have a story to tell.

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  67. I love individual desserts, and these tiny pies are no exception. Your lattice is so cute on these! I know your family recipe is spot on, and I can't wait to try it. :)

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  68. Mommy...pie and great memories. Ahhh.

    I really love the way these treats were put together.

    My Nonna was the Rhubarb purist in the family...and quite frankly it was the only place I used to have this type of treat. Hubby of mine isn't too crazy about this fruit...sigh.

    Have a great Sunday Barbara.
    Ciao for now,
    Claudia

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  69. I love that you have taken your Mom's recipe and given it such a fun twist by serving it in those cute little mason jars. I've never had a purely rhubarb pie before, it's always been mixed with berries, etc. I would definitely love to give this a go.
    Love the pic of your Mom and Tracy.

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  70. Love..love..love the little pie idea! I'm going to have to try rhubarb pie this year once it arrives in the market.

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  71. Oh my goodness Barbara this is the best! I love how they look in the jars! The recipe is wonderful...a real gem. I love the sweet picture of your mother and daughter. Just lovely!
    The scones look amazing too!!!
    sending hugs

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  72. these are so, so cute Barbara and i think i love rhubarb almost as much as you do! in fact, i planted a few more varieties of rhubarb because i didn't think i had enough last year!! a great recipe and a great presentation that i can't wait to try!

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  73. Hi Barbara, I have been away for over 2 weeks on vacation in Costa Rica, and am at last getting caught up with the cooking exploits of my food blogging friends. Thank you for posting your "rhubarb purist" mom's recipe--love it in the jars. I feel the same way---enjoy the rhubarb by itself. It makes me pucker, but I love it!

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  74. Is it weird that I starred this post in my reader before even reading it? I've been waiting for your awesome family rhubarb recipe and can't wait to try it! Looks absolutely delicious :)

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