In this pie, there are no strawberries to claim rhubarb's glory. Anne Dimock's simple filling formula calls for ¼ cup of sugar and 1 tablespoon flour for every cup of sliced rhubarb, plus a little cinnamon, an unlikely accent that brings out the rhubarb's fire. Her golden pie crust ratio is 3:1 flour to fat—feel free to adjust both the filling and crust up or down depending on the size of your pan. Adapted from Humble Pie: Musings on What Lies Beneath the Crust (Andrews McMeel, 2005) with additional notes from The Essential New York Times Cookbook (Norton, 2010). —Genius Recipes
- Prep time 10 minutes
- Cook time 40 minutes
- makes 1 (9-inch) pie
vegetable shortening (Dimock uses non-hydrogenated brands like Spectrum or Earth Balance, but use another fat like butter or lard if you prefer)
(or more) ice water
1 1/4 cups
1 1/2 tablespoons
unsalted butter (optional)
- Make the crust: Heat the oven to 425°F. Before measuring the flour, stir it to leaven with air, then measure out 2 cups. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt and fluff with a fork. Cut the shortening into the flour mixture with a fork or pastry blender. Stop as soon as the sheen of the shortening disappears and the mixture is a bunch of coarse pieces. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the water at a time over the dough, lifting and tossing it with the fork. When it begins to come together, gather the dough, press it into a ball, and pull it apart; if it crumbles in your hands, it needs more water. (It's better to err on the side of too wet than too dry.) Add 1 to 2 teaspoons more water, as needed.
- Gather the dough into 2 slightly unequal balls, the larger one for the bottom crust and the smaller one for the top. Flatten the larger ball, reforming any frayed edges with the sides of your hand. Dust with flour and roll the dough, starting from the center and moving toward the edges. Take a knife or thin spatula and quickly work its edge between the crust and the work surface. Lift the dough to the side; dust the dough and work surface with flour. Roll again until the diameter is 1 to 2 inches larger than the pie pan. Lay the rolling pin one-third of the way from one of the edges. Roll the crust onto the pin and then unroll the crust into a 9-inch pie pan and shift it into place. Place in the freezer while you make the filling.
- Make the filling: In a large bowl, toss the rhubarb, sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Pour into the crust-lined pie pan. Dot with the butter, if using.
- Roll out the top crust. Dab the rim of the bottom crust with water to create a glue. Place the top crust over the rhubarb; trim, seal, and cut several vents. Bake for 15 minutes; reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and continue to bake 25 to 30 minutes more, until a bit of pink juice bubbles from the vents in the crust.