BLUEBERRY RHUBARB PIE
Photos of his gorgeous pie endeavors are plentiful via Instagram.
A lot of folks ask me about non-food-processor crust techniques, and Christopher’s old-fashioned method will serve you well! Take it away, Christopher——
First and foremost, Rob is the coolest for inviting me to write as a guest on his blog dedicated to the best dessert there is. Enjoy this recipe I created for a sweet and tart pie for the late spring.
When I make a pie I like to start with the freshest ingredients. I went to the farmers market and quickly discovered that it’s the beginning of the season for rhubarb and blueberries; Thus, I made a blueberry rhubarb pie.
2 1/2 CUPS unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 TSP salt
1 1/2 TBSP sugar
2 STICKS cold unsalted butter
1 CUP water
2 TBSP cider vinegar
1 CUP ice
For the double crust, start by adding the flour, salt and sugar into a large bowl. I cut up the butter into about 1/4 inch pieces and use a dough blender and my hands to incorporate everything together. Be careful not to over-blend; I like to leave coffee bean sized pieces of butter in the mixture. In a separate small bowl add the ice, water and cider vinegar. The cider vinegar adds just a little bite to the crust. Add a small amount of the ice water mixture to the flour mixture and mix it in well. Repeat this process until the dough forms a ball. Split the ball of dough into two, roll each of them up in plastic wrap and set them in the refrigerator while you make the pie filling.
4 STALKS rhubarb
2 CUPS blueberries
1 baking apple
1/2 CUP brown sugar
1/2 CUP raw sugar
1/2 CUP arrowroot (or soft wheat flour)
1 TSP ground cinnamon
1 TSP allspice
1 PINCH of salt
For the filling, start by washing all of the produce. Cut up the rhubarb into about 1/2 inch pieces. Peel and core the apple and then grate it with the small part of the grater. Mix the grated apple with juice from the half lemon. In a large bowl toss together with your hands the rhubarb, blueberries, grated apple and lemon, sugars, arrowroot, cinnamon, allspice and salt. During this process squeeze some of the blueberries with your fingers to release some juice into the mixture. Set the mixture aside while you roll your crust. This is a good time to pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.
Pull the dough out of the fridge and unwrap it. It should feel chilled and a bit more firm. Spread some flour on your working surface and begin to roll your dough into an 11-12 inch circle and about an 1/8 inch thick. Place the dough into your pan. A trick my grandmother taught me is to fold the dough in half, then place it over the pan, and then unfold it. It makes moving the dough easy without tearing it. I like to use a cast iron skillet because it helps the pie to bake evenly and gives the crust a nice seasoning.
I really like to make a lot of work for myself in order to make a pie look pretty. My favorite way to do that is by making baby lattices. Set the pan aside and roll out your second ball of dough into another 11-12 inch circle. Then use a pizza cutter or a knife to cut the dough into long 1/2 inch strips.
Pour the filling into the pie pan and then you can begin weaving the crust. Start by laying one strip of dough just left of center. Lay the second strip over the first one at a 90 degree angle just below the center of the pie. Lay the third strip parallel to the first strip and over the second strip.
Fold the second strip back to lie the fourth strip next to the third strip. Repeat this process until the pie is covered with strips of dough perpendicular to the second strip.
Fold back every other strip of dough to lie down the next strip parallel to the second strip of dough. Place the strips back over the strip you just laid down and pull back the opposite strips to lie down the next strip.
Repeat this process until the dough is completely weaved and ready to be crimped.
Tear off the long ends of the strips of your lattice and then fold the bottom layer of your dough over top of the ends of the lattice. Pinch the dough together so that it stays in place. Crimp the edges either with a fork or you can use your forefinger and thumbs to create a U-shape around the pie.
1 large egg
1 TSP water
1 PINCH of salt
1 TBSP demerara sugar
Before I place the pie into the oven, I make an egg wash by mixing together in a small bowl the egg, water and salt. Spread the egg wash evenly over the outer surfaces of the lattice and crust with a pastry brush or your fingers. Sprinkle the demerara sugar evenly over the lattice.
Place the pie into the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes until the crust looks golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Let it cool for 2-3 hours. Serve it warm or at room temperature. This pie will keep refrigerated for four days or at room temperature for two days.