Thursday, May 27

Rhubarb Cream Pie (with love)

Throughout my childhood, I dreaded one thing throughout the summer... rhubarb. My grandpa lives on a farm and amongst other food crops, rhubarb grows abundantly on his farm, and our family sees its fair share of it throughout the summer. Though I used to dread the plant, somewhere over the past couple years I have learned to love the herbaceous plant.

Rhubarb is a funny food: you either can't get enough or can't get far enough away. Its tangy-sour flavor, though harsh on its own, makes it a great pair for sugary sweet fruits like strawberries. In my pie recipe, I have explored several alternative combinations of sweet and tangy. Rhubarb season lasts from late spring through much of the summer, which allows much room for experimentation!

Rhubarb Cream Pie (with love)
For the pie crust:
1/2 cup of butter, chilled
1 1/2 cups of flour
1 1/2 Tablespoons of white sugar
About 1/4 cup of cold water

1. Combine the flour and sugar in a large bowl and mix. Then, cut the butter into small pieces and add to mixture. Using either a pie cutter, the back of a fork or your clean hands (this is my favorite method!) blend the mixture into pea-sized pieces. 

2. Add cold water, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough can form together. Knead the dough gently, until it forms a uniform ball. Let set while making the filling. When finished with the filling, roll out the dough to make a uniformly thick crust. Gently lay the crust into a 9" pie pan.

For the filling:
1 cup of white sugar
1 cup of sour cream
3 eggs
2 Tablespoons of flour
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg 
1/4 teaspoon of salt
About 15 stalks of rhubarb, chopped
A handful of brown sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

2. Beat the sugar, sour cream, eggs and flour together. Stir in the vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Fold in the chopped rhubarb. Pour filling into unbaked pie crust, and bake for one hour. In the final 15 minutes, sprinkle brown sugar over the top of the pie, for a sweet and crispy topping! 

Alternative One:
Replace sour cream with 1 cup of vanilla yogurt. Reduce the sugar to 3/4 cup and remove vanilla extract. Add 1/4 cup of raisins. 

Alternative Two:
Replace sour cream with 1/2 cup of strawberry yogurt. Reduce the sugar to 3/4 cup. 

All of these pies are GREAT with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Perhaps with these recipes, you too can love rhubarb (if you don't already!). 

Happy eating! 

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