Now that I am a pie-master* I figured that I could do something I’d wanted to do for years. I was going to celebrate Pi Day with an actual Pie actually made by my actual self!
I added extra sugar to the pie crust, which made it better. Is it the best? Probably not, but it suffices. I did cut back a little on the sugar for the filling but I wouldn’t do that next time. Rhubarb’s tart, y’all.
Also, I decided to take Hollywood’s advice and mix the pastry with my hands. I’m a very hands-on baker usually, so it seemed right. It only got weird when I added the cold water because the mixture was quite slimy until the water was fully integrated.
This time I decided to use a smaller pie tin. I only have 2 sizes, so I really hoped that it would be fine. I’m pretty sure I rolled my crust too thin**, but the filling was a bit too much. The solution to this is obvious, of course. No, I’m not going to buy another pie tin or put in the correct amount of rhubarb – next time I’ll simply make a mini-pie or 2 to go along with the big pie!
I did not attempt a lattice this time ’round. Instead I went with a full cover. However, that’s a bit boring, so I decided to cut some diamonds in the crust. Then I decided to put little ‘pi’s around the edges, in honour of Pi Day. I still had a bit of pastry let over, so I cut out diamonds to adorn the rest of the crust.
Also, I forgot to do an egg wash. Turns out the egg wash makes the pie look much more finished (and prettier).
Rhubarb-Vanilla Pie (modified)
Preheat oven to 375. Put the tray in the bottom third of the oven.
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup cold butter, cut into small cubes (1/2 in)
- 2-3 Tbsp ice-cold water
Mix together flour, sugar & salt. Rub in butter until finely crumbled. Add water, 1 Tbsp at a time until pastry forms. Separate into 2 pieces, wrap with plastic & chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes. While that’s happening…
- 600g frozen rhubarb
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
Combine rhubarb and sugar in a large saucepan, over high heat. Boil, then reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring often, until mixture is very thick (20 to 35 mins?*****). Stir in vanilla and cool for 5 minutes, or however long it takes you to roll out the pastry for the bottom & transfer to the pan (be sure to get it to the edges!). Fill with the rhubarb mixture.
Roll out the second pastry piece and put over the top of the pie. Crimp the edges with your fingers or a fork. Use remaining pastry for decorations.
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 Tbsp water
Beat egg and water in small bowl. Brush over the top of the pie.
Bake pie in lower third of your oven, at 375F until golden brown (50-60 mins). Transfer pie to a rack & cool at least 1 hour.
Happy (Belated) 3.141592 Day!
*Pie master in that I’m the best pie-maker in my house. My cat has yet to figure out the rolling pin.
**The recipe probably stated how thick to roll out the pastry, but I didn’t pay attention***
***I just checked and it had no note of how thick the bottom pastry should be. Vindication!
****This is half the original recipe, so if it’s not enough for you then you could double it.
*****The recipe says “until mixture is reduced to 2 1/2 cups, but how is a person supposed to know that? Should you take out the boiling mixture and put it in a measuring cup? But it’s boiling?!