My very , very favorite pie - ever, in the whole world - is Rhubarb Pie. Just plain rhubarb pie. Not Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie. But rhubarb in its tart and tangy glory all by itself. Nothing is better. Other things may possibly be as good but for my taster nothing is better. Every spring I see at least one or two recipes published in magazines for rhubarb mixed with something (as if it is not even edible without another - better? - fruit), always the understudy, never the star. A concept that leaves me scratching my head because I absolutely love simple Rhubarb Pie. In the hope that I can help to raise the profile of my beloved favorite at least a little I am sharing the recipe that I have made and loved my whole life. It is easy and old-fashioned and tastes amazing warm from the oven with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream melting on the side.
(10-inch two-crust pie)
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup lard
1 Tbsp cold water
2 Tbsp vinegar
Mix the salt and flour together well. Cut the lard into the flour and salt until the mixture is rough and the bits are the size of small peas.
Whisk together the cold water, vinegar, and egg. Pour over the flour mixture and mix quickly and lightly with a fork until the mixture comes together loosely. Gather it into a ball. Divide the ball in two equal parts. Roll one half into a circle with a rolling pin on a flour dusted pastry cloth and fit into a 10-inch pie plate.
5 cups cut-up fresh rhubarb (cut into 1/2" lengths)
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp nutmeg
3 Tbsp butter
Stir together the flour, sugar and nutmeg. Arrange the cut-up rhubarb in the pastry lined pie plate. Pour the flour mixture over the rhubarb - the mixture will sift down through the rhubarb pieces. (Gently shake the pie plate to facilitate the sifting and use your fingers to coax the flour mixture more or less evenly over the filling.) Dot with the butter. Cover with the remaining pastry which has been rolled out on a pastry cloth. Seal the edges and flute. Cut slits in the top to allow steam to escape.
Bake for 40-50 minutes at 425 degrees F. Pie is done when the top is browned and the juices bubble up through the slits in the pastry crust.*
*I have learned to bake this pie with a cookie sheet under it to catch the almost inevitable overflow. It is a juicy, delicious pie but makes a mess of the oven unless you take this precaution.