Before this year I couldn’t have even told you what Rhubarb looked like, how to spell it, let alone how to cook it. I had heard of it briefly in pairings with strawberries but no one I knew ever brought it to the church potlucks or holiday dinners. Rhubarb just doesn’t run in my family. Then I started dating a boy who happens to be in love with said Rhubarb. But, no I did not get jealous! I decided that my energies would be better spent testing my hand and tackling this unknown foe in the kitchen. (How very mature of me!)
As soon as I found some at the market, I quickly filled up my arms with the light green stalks and handed them to the farmer at Gaining Ground Farm with a big smile on my face. My excited scrambling for Rhubarb weighed in at over 3 lbs. I took my find and went home happily.
Then it set in…Three pounds! What ever am I going to do with three pounds of Rhubarb! I don’t even really know what this stuff is! Quickly, I remembered that one of my goals for the summer was to can lots n lots of jam. And then I recalled a dire plea I’d recently heard from a little bird to make something with last seasons frozen cherries that were taking up space in the freezer. My dilemma was quickly solved with strawberry rhubarb jam (recipe will follow soon) and a cherry rhubarb pie!
Daring the Domestic note: Honestly I think this pie might be the best pie I’ve ever made. The crust was flaky and tender, and the filling was chunky but the perfect amount of sweetness! Plus it was my first time making a Lattice crust and its not nearly as daunting as it might seem. Let me know how it works for you!
Cherry Rhubarb Pie adapted from Smitten Kitchen
3 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening, cut into pieces
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
10 tablespoons (about) ice water
3 1/2 cups 1/2-inch-thick slices trimmed rhubarb (1 1/2 pounds untrimmed)
3 1/2 cups pitted cherries frozen or fresh
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
Heavy Whipping cream (for glaze)
1. Combine flour, sugar and salt in processor. (Or you can grate frozen butter and vegetable shortening into flour mixture.) Using on/off turns, cut in shortening and butter until coarse meal forms. Blend in enough ice water 2 tablespoons at a time to form moist clumps. Gather dough into ball; cut in half. Flatten each half into disk. Wrap separately in plastic; refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
2. Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine first 7 ingredients in large bowl. Toss gently to blend.
3. Roll out 1 dough disk on floured work surface to 13-inch round. Transfer to 9 inch pie dish Trim excess dough, leaving 3/4-inch overhang.
Roll out second dough disk on lightly floured surface to 13-inch round. Cut into fourteen 1/2-inch-wide strips. Spoon filling into crust. Arrange 7 dough strips atop filling, spacing evenly. Form lattice by placing remaining dough strips in opposite direction atop filling. Trim ends of dough strips even with overhang of bottom crust. Fold strip ends and overhang under, pressing to seal. Crimp edges decoratively.
Brush glaze over crust. Transfer pie to baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Bake pie until golden and filling thickens, about another 25 minutes. Transfer pie to rack and cool completely.