You know what’s awesome?
Pie, of course!
You know what’s cuter?
Rhubarb is in season and I’d never cooked with it before, so I was sure to buy a few stalks the first time I saw it. I decided to just do straight-up rhubarb, no berries, no nothing.
Well, all right, a little brown sugar, lemon juice and spices. But that’s it.
The pie crust is a simple pate brisee (all butter) crust and bakes up very pretty and flaky. It doesn’t have a lot of flavor on its own, though – I’d prefer a sweeter tart crust in general but this is fine since the tart rhubarb filling is meant to be the focal point.
I made some disappointing ice cream a few days ago – it was meant to be mango-blackberry-mint but came out more mint-berry-ugly. It’s still edible, though, and I figured that some sweet, minty ice cream would be a good contrast to the rhubarb, so I piled tiny little melon-baller scoops on top. I also sugared some mint leaves and stuck them in there.
All in all? Tasty! I wouldn’t eat the pie without at least a little sweetened whipped cream, but the ice cream goes very well. I’m not providing the ice cream recipe because I’m not happy with it, but I would recommend serving with a vanilla, mint or berry ice cream. Or just the whipped cream. Mint leaves also optional, but almost the best part.
Tiny Rhubarb Pies
First, Make the Crust Dough:
- 2 1/2 cups AP flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut in 1/2″ pieces and frozen for 15 minutes
- 1 tsp fine salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 4-6 Tbsp ice water
In food processor or with pastry cutter, combine the flour, butter, salt and sugar and pulse/cut until the butter is the size of peas and the rest of the mixture is slightly pebbly. Mix in the water 1 Tbsp at a time until the dough just comes together. There will still be visible pieces of butter in the dough. Divide in half and form each piece of dough into a disk. Wrap each disk in plastic and refrigerate 1 hour-2 days (I let mine chill overnight).
For the Pie:
- Dough disks
- 4 stalks rhubarb (about 10-12″ each)
- 2-3 Tbsp dark brown sugar
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 2-3 Tbsp AP flour
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 Tbsp milk
- Pinch vanilla sugar (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 and butter the inside of a large muffin tin (6 large muffin indentations), as well as two small ramekins. Remove one disk from the fridge and allow to thaw out a little bit while you prepare the rhubarb, but not more than 15 minutes. Clean the rhubarb and chop off the ends. Slice each stalk in fourths the long way, then chop into very small pieces. Toss with brown sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, ginger and flour, set aside. Remove the second dough disk from the fridge (again, not for longer than 15 minutes) and roll the first disk out to 1/8″ thickness. Cut in eighths and press into prepared baking vessels. Fill with rhubarb mixture. Roll out second disk of dough and cut in 1/4″ strips. Weave lattice top onto each pie. Combine egg yolk and milk in a small bowl and mix well. Brush onto lattice and sprinkle with vanilla sugar, if desired. Bake 30-40 minutes, until the rhubarb mixture slightly bubbles and the crust is golden brown. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before eating. To remove the pies from the muffin tin, run a sharp knife around any leaked rhubarb goo – the pies should pop right out otherwise.
I’d love to get some more rhubarb and try other things with it. I think next I’ll try making some drinks with it – there have been a lot of really yummy-looking homemade sodas and cocktails floating around lately. But next? A Very Special Tropical Dessert for tomorrow’s big season finale, and a do-able flavor combination that I discovered in my Idea Notebook.