Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Rhubarb Pie- Straight From the Garden!

While taking a stroll through my Grandmother's garden, I came across a spectacular undergrowth of rhubarb plants, growing wild and abundant. Their gleaming red, sturdy stalks were not obscured by their wide, fan-like leaves, and the sheer size of the plant inspired me to bake what I used to hate: Rhubarb Pie!

Notorious for its sour, bitter taste, as a child I shied away from the odd-looking, tough vegetable. But when sweetened with sugar and enclosed in a flaky crust, something magical happens.

I obtained the recipe from a 1970's version of the Betty Crocker Cookbook, and added my own adjustments to veganize it. The recipe I used calls for 3 cups of chopped rhubarb, so thankfully it grows like a weed.

P.S. When this was finished, I may or may not have gone at it with a fork.

Fresh Rhubarb Pie

Oil Crust for a 8 Inch Pie
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup canola oil

2-3 tablespoons cold water

Measure the flour and salt into a bowl. Add oil, mix until particles are the size of small peas. Sprinkle in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing until the flour is moistened and the dough almost cleans the sides of the bowl. (If dough seems dry, 1-2 tablespoons of oil can be added in addition). Gather the dough together and press firmly into a ball.
Shape the dough into a flattened round. Place between 2 strips of parchment paper.
Roll the pastry 2 inches larger than the inverted pie pan. Peel off top paper and invert the crust into the pan, easing it in slowly. Peel off top paper and finish the edge with your fingers. Set aside.

Pie Filling
1 cup sugar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon grated orange peel

3 cups cut-up fresh rhubarb

1 tablespoon Earth Balance Spread

Oven to 425 degrees. Stir together flour, sugar and orange peel. Pour half of the rhubarb into the pastry-lined pan. Sprinkle with half of the flour mixture. Repeat with the remaining rhubarb and sugar. Dot with Earth Balance. Cover the edge with a 2-3 inch strip of aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning. Remove the foil for the last 15 minutes.
Bake 40-50 minutes or until the crust is brown and juice begins to bubble.

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