Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Rhubarb is one of the easiest things to grow in a garden and, once established, it provides you with delicious tart stems. I have seen recipes using rhubarb in savory dishes as a vegetable or souring agent but most of the time people use rhubarb for dessert applications. My all time favorite use of these red and green stems is the humble rhubarb pie, sometimes with the help of that other spring fruit delicacy: the strawberry.
My recipe is simple: line a large baking dish with your favorite pie dough, cover with chunks of rhubarb, dust with lots of sugar, cut strips of dough and weave them to make a pretty top crust, brush with egg wash, dust with a bit more sugar and bake for about 45 minutes in a medium oven (e.g. 375º). It is so easy that I do not feel I have to measure my ingredients or worry too much about cooking time. The worst thing that can happen is that your pie turns out to be too sour, in which case a dusting of icing sugar or a melting scoop of ice cream can make wonders, or that it is too sweet, in which case the addition of cream will help while adding decadence to an already wonderful dish.
For those wishing follow recipes a bit more closely or to learn more about rhubarb, from its place in history to tips on growing your own, have a look at the Rhubarb Compendium. It is a fabulous website, every fruit and vegetable should have a similarly informative page on the web.