May 5, 2006

Rhubarb Days

It just isn't spring without rhubarb. I make two or three rhubarb pies or crisps every year at this time. Last year I also made a rhubarb coffee cake. This year I made two pies, one to take to my friend Jane's for dinner and one just for us. I didn't have quite enough rhubarb so I threw in some strawberries and blueberries. I use the recipe from the old Joy of Cooking for fresh berry pie, simplify and cheat a little and add tapioca. This is it:

4 cups chopped rhubarb
1/4 cup flour
1 cup sugar
juice of a lemon
2 tsp quick-cooking tapioca
two Pillsbury pie crusts (ha!)

Mix all this together gently with your hands (because I love to mix stuff with my hands!) until it all seems quite damp and well-mixed. Let it sit 15 minutes. Meantime, preheat oven to 450. Take out two Pillsbury pie crusts (ha!) and let them come to room temperature. Lay out the bottom crust and put filling in. Cut the other crust for the top into strips, and make a fake-out lattice crust by simply laying them on one way and then perpendicular to that. None of this business of actually weaving them. If you don't know what I mean, then just prick a bunch of holes in the crust and slap the thing on, smoothing out the sides or fluting them to make the crust look endearingly homemade. Bake at 450 for 10 minutes and then lower heat to 350 for 35-40 minutes.

There, you have one mighty fine rhubarb pie. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream. Looks lovely on a blue plate.

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