Desserts Michigan Cuisine
• Don’t mix the crust
Old‐Fashioned Rhubarb Pie
too well! The fewer Contributed by Dave’s mom Joyce and sister Barb
strokes you use over‐ (they also made the double batch of pies shown in
all, the better it will the picture to the left), this recipe for rhubarb pie
turn out. has been around for quite a long time, possibly a
century or so. It’s quite simple to make and, if care
• Also, be sure not to is taken, will come out perfectly almost every time.
use too much motion If you’ve never tried a freshly‐baked, still‐warm
to roll the crusts out piece of rhubarb pie topped with ice‐cold whipped
either, for the same topping, here’s your chance.
reason as the above
• If the rhubarb is fairly Grandma Saeger’s Farmhouse Kitchen Pie Crust
tart you may want to
go ahead and leave the
3 cups unsifted unbleached all‐purpose flour Large mixing bowl
salt out of the crusts.
1 tsp salt (see the notes) Pastry cutter or fork
1 cup shortening Rolling pin
• Unless you add 1/2 cup cold water 9” pie pan
strawberries as de‐
Extra flour Sharp knife
scribed elsewhere on
this page, this is not a Dump the flour and the salt into the mixing bowl and mix them together. Using a spoon, spread
fruit pie. Why? Be‐ pieces of the shortening throughout the bowl. Cut the shortening into the dry mixture with the
cause rhubarb is actu‐ pastry cutter or fork. Add the water to the bowl, and mix till doughy.
ally a vegetable. Most
people don’t know this Divide the dough into two balls. Sprinkle some of the extra flour onto a surface for rolling. Also
and have made the sprinkle some on the outside of one of the dough balls. Use your hands to begin spreading out
wrong assumption, the dough, then use the rolling pin to roll it out until it’s about 12” in diameter and 1/8” thick.
similar to thinking
tomatoes are vegeta‐ Roll about half the rolled‐out crust back over the rolling pin. Pick up the dough with the rolling
bles when they’re pin and roll it onto the pie pan. Use your fingers to form the dough to the inside of pan, then use
actually fruit. Got it? the sharp knife to trim the excess dough from around the edge of the pan. Roll up this excess
Good! dough, dip it in some sugar ... and eat it, washing it down with some milk.
Making A Strawberry‐Rhubarb Pie
Strawberry‐rhubarb pies have become extremely popular in recent years. They’re a bit sweeter than
a classic rhubarb pie, and seem to be well‐liked by those who can’t quite enjoy the tartness of rhu‐
barb. Just replace one or two of the four cups of diced rhubarb with cleaned and diced (or sliced)
strawberries, completing the rest of the pie as described. As rhubarb and strawberry seasons don’t
quite match, these two ingredients might be difficult to find at their peaks of freshness at the same
time. But once you make this recipe this way, you’ll find the search is well worth the effort.
Michigan Cuisine Desserts
Creating The Filling, and Finishing The Pie Notes:
Ingredients Equipment • We’ve mentioned
1 1/4 cups sugar Large mixing bowl cutting the leaves off
5 tbsp unsifted unbleached all‐purpose flour Fork the rhubarb. Be sure to
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon Sharp knife do this. The leaves
1/8 tsp salt contain something
4 stalks rhubarb called oxalic acid,
2 tbsp raw tapioca which is toxic. Please
1 tbsp lemon juice don’t make the mistake
2 tbsp unsalted butter of using the rhubarb
Extra sugar leaves as someone will
likely become very ill.
Preheat an oven to 425 degrees F. Dump the sugar and flour into the large mixing bowl, mixing
them well. Add the cinnamon and salt, continuing mixing until everything is well‐distributed.
• Poor‐quality rhubarb
Measure out 2/3 cup of this mixture and sprinkle it over the bottom and inside of the crust
will totally ruin this
dough in the pie pan, making sure not to get any on the flat edge.
recipe, so don’t even
think of making this
Rinse the rhubarb and remove any leaves or brown edges. Dice the rhubarb until you have 4
pie if you can’t find
cups. Spread this 4 cups of diced rhubarb into the pie pan on top of the dry mixture. Sprinkle the
tapioca on top of the rhubarb, sprinkle the lemon jive over the tapioca, then dot with small
squares of the butter.
• The way we describe
this recipe it’s cer‐
Roll out the second dough ball like the first. When you have half of it rolled over the rolling pin,
tainly old‐fashioned in
spread some cold water around the edge of the crust already in the pie pan. Roll the second crust
both its flavor and
loosely over the rest of the pie. Use the sharp knife to trim the excess dough from around the
presentation. But if
edge of the pan. Also cut a few 2” long slits in the top crust so steam will release while cooking.
you want to add some
With the ends of the tines on the fork, press down on the edges of both crust doughs together to
creativity to the top
seal them shut. As before, roll up the excess dough, dip it in some sugar, and eat it, washing it
crust, go right ahead!
down with some milk.
This pie would be
incredible if it were
Place the assembled pie on the bottom rack of the oven and bake for 30—40 minutes. In checking
to see if it’s really done cooking, jab a fork into the pie. The rhubarb should be still slightly ten‐
and topped with a
der but not soft, and definitely not still crunchy.
Immediately after removing the pie from the oven, lightly sprinkle the top crust with some of the ex‐
• This pie is best in the
tra sugar. The sugar should stick to the crust and partially caramelize while also staying a bril‐
spring when rhubarb
liant white color.
is at its peak for flavor
… not too sweet with
Let the pie cool at least 5 minutes before serving it topped with ice cold whipped topping.
just enough tartness
to be enjoyable in lar‐