CSA Recipe #6 – Fresh Rhubarb Mini-Pies

[NOTE: I totally forgot to schedule this one to go up, but I figured that I might as well publish it late and round-out the CSA challenge (it wasn’t really a challenge).]

Along with the strawberries, choosing the rhubarb was a no-brainer choice of all the CSA offerings.  There are lots of other recipes out there for rhubarb, but now that I can make pie I want to make pie ALL THE TIME!

A while back I bought a kitchen scale and it was a fantastic purchase.  I had no idea how much I would use it.  So after cutting up my rhubarb I measured it on it the scale.  I had almost 200g – barely 1/3 of what my recipe called for (which was already less than the original recipe needed).

Never one to be deterred, I cut the filling recipe down to 1/3 and decided to make 2 small pies.  I made the full crust recipe, though, so I still have some left-over crust in my fridge for more pies or quiches.

Rhubarb and Vanilla Pie Recipe Found Here!

Notes:

  • Fresh rhubarb is different to cook than frozen, but it took about the same amount of time to make the filling (about 20 mins).  I’d keep going ‘Is this done already?’ and then waiting and then going ‘Oh, no it totally wasn’t done. But is it done now?’.
  • Do the egg wash because your pie will look a lot better. A trick, if you have extra crust, is to use the left-over egg to make quiche.
  • I used a thicker crust than normal for the bottom of the pies because I wanted them to hold their shape outside of the tin.
  • I can lattice really well when it’s only 4 strips.  Someday I may work my way up to 9.

Rhubarb-Vanilla Pie

I went 33 years without ever making a pie. I prefer cakes and cupcakes anyway, so why bother? With pies you have to make pastry for the top and bottom, and you’ve got to make the middle part. There’s so much that can go wrong!*

But I figured that I would never be marriage material if I couldn’t knock out a pie every once in a while.

Just kidding! Being single means more pie for me!

I decided to make a rhubarb-vanilla pie because I had a recipe for it**. I also had really delicious Mexican vanilla extract, which had been a gift from a friend who went to Mexico (it has real vanilla pods inside).

I tried to make my pastry in my little food processor, but it was too small and I had to keep scraping the sides. I think I could do half the recipe without problem.  Then again, Paul Hollywood recommends making pastry with your hands so you know the feel of it…

I used less rhubarb (because they sell it in bags of 600g instead of 750g, and I couldn’t be bothered to purchase an additional bag, let alone measure it), but I didn’t think to change the amount of sugar or vanilla. This cut back on the tartness of the rhubarb, so not a big deal.

Also, making this filling is probably similar to how you make jam, so I could probably make jam! Oh yeah, I’m totally marriage material now!

pie1
Jammy-goodness.

Side note: if this is your first time working with pastry DON’T GO FOR THE LATTICE!  No matter how easy the recipe makes it looks it will not be that easy! The filling will stick to the pastry and the strips will tear! Lattice-weavers, I tip my hat to you.

Thankfully I had some left-over pastry so that I could cut out small stars to cover over the breaks in the lattice. When in doubt, try to hide your mistakes.  And it worked!  I even had someone compliment on how pretty the stars looked.

pie3
I must have showed them a different picture…

You may notice the strange edging around the pie.  This is because my plate was too big and I didn’t have enough filling to take it to the top.  So instead of a horizontal edge I had to have a vertical edge.  Would the extra 150g of rhubarb have made a different?  Who knows.

The crust was okay (I made a note to add more sugar next time), but the filling was pretty great. In all, I thought it was a very successful first attempt at pie making.

As long as it’s edible it’s a win!

*let’s not even bring up soggy bottoms.

**which had been cut out of a magazine and taped into a recipe book and ignored for years.