Rhubarb Pie – Grandma’s Spring Heritage

Spring officially arrives when the rhubarb is ready to be picked.

IM007289 Is there anything more beautiful than a hardy spring perennial breaking ground?  Even better is one that is delightfully edible.  Rhubarb also has fond memories for me of my grandmother’s garden.  Her pies were legendary and fresh rhubarb marked the beginning of fruit pie season.

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I am ridiculously proud of freshly baked pies cooling on my kitchen counter.  Have I mentioned that before?  These two double-crust rhubarb pies are grandma’s recipe except I make the crust with solid coconut oil instead of shortening for low cholesterol.  Sugar is sprinkled on the top crust before baking.  Aren’t they pretty?  One is for dinner with friends; the other will star at Sunday dinner following BBQ short ribs and potato salad.

We are not a rhubarb custard family; I did not know that variety of rhubarb pie existed until I ran into Amish and Mennonite tradition.  Grandmother passed along a simple fruit filling recipe.  This amount is for one pie; double for two: 4 cups thinly sliced rhubarb, 2 cups sugar, 1/3 cup flour*, and a dash of salt.  Mix and let sit for 15 minutes to bring out juice.  Mix again; fill crust.  Dot the filling with butter before putting on the top crust.   Dust top crust with sugar.  Bake pie at 400 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes.  Cover the crust with aluminum foil sheet the last 10 minutes or so if crust begins to get too brown.

NOTE:  If the rhubarb is especially crisp because of lots of spring rain, I increase the amount of flour from 1/3 cup to 1/2 cup.  In fact, I usually add more than the 1/3 cup of flour because if the filling is not set, the slices fall apart.  Make sure the pies are cool before serving.

The apple trees are beginning to bloom.    I’ll be baking apple pie by September.  Welcome spring.IM007292

About Sharon L. Clemens

Sharon and husband Merle and their children owned and operated a specialty shop and restaurant in a restored dairy barn for thirteen years in a village in Illinois. After closing their restaurant, they converted the barn into the family home and moved their shop to the garden level. They operated a collectable shop as a home-based business for another thirteen years before retiring to the country life. Sharon has been a special feature guest on the local NBC telelvision affiliate and has spoken professionally on topics relating to herb gardening and cottage lifestyle. In addition to conducting workshops and programs, Sharon writes a weekly cottage lifestyle e-newsletter called “Cottage Chat” and a Word Press blog: Seasons of Farm Grove. She has written five novels, The Younger Girl, Door County Cottage, Timeless-A Door County Love Story, Door County Cabin and Door County Escape, love stories with traditional values set in Door County, Wisconsin.
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