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Rhubarb Pie with Cardamom and Orange

April 29, 2015

The rhubarb in our garden is getting bigger every day, and I can’t wait until there’s enough of it to make some delicious summer desserts! Here’s one I made last year that I’m hoping to make again this summer.

This rhubarb pie recipe (from Bon Appetit Desserts) was supposed to have a lattice crust, but I decided to make it when I only had a single pie crust in my fridge, and I didn’t feel like making a second just for the lattice. :) So I used scraps from the single crust and cut out lots of dots to cover the surface with. I’m not sure if a true lattice would have prevented some of the bubbliness and drips around the edges, but the dots effect looked cool and it’s easy enough to use a cookie sheet underneath the pie plate to catch any drips. The filling certainly didn’t lose too much moisture from not being more covered!

I love fruit desserts that are on the tart(er) side, so rhubarb has always been one of my favorite “fruits” in dessert. We really enjoyed the subtle complexity that the cardamom and orange added to the flavor of the filling, without overwhelming the flavor of the rhubarb itself. Served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, this makes the perfect early-summer dessert.

Rhubarb pie with cardamom and orange

Serves 8

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1¼  cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4  stick (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 2  tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 1/4  teaspoon salt
  • 2  tablespoons sugar
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons ice water

Filling

  • 10  cups 1-inch pieces rhubarb (about 2½ pounds)
  • 2/3  cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4  cup orange juice
  •   teaspoons grated orange peel
  • 1/2  teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4  cup strawberry preserves
  • 1  tablespoon heavy cream

Directions

  1. For the crust: Blend together flour, butter, shortening, salt, and sugar in food processor (you can also use your fingers or a pastry blender) just until mixture resembles course meal with some small (roughly pea-sized) butter lumps. Drizzle 3 tablespoons ice water evenly over mixture. Pulse (or gently stir with a fork) until incorporated. Squeeze a small handful of dough: if it doesn’t hold together, add more ice water 1/2 tablespoon at a time, pulsing (or stirring) until incorporated (do not overwork dough, or pastry will be tough). Turn dough out onto a work surface. Divide dough into 4 portions. With heel of your hand, smear each portion once or twice in a forward motion to help distribute fat. Gather all dough together, press into a ball, and flatten into a 5-inch disk. If dough is sticky, dust lightly with additional flour. Wrap disk tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.
  2. For the filling: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Combine rhubarb, 2/3 cup sugar, orange juice, orange peel, and cardamom in large deep skillet. Toss over medium-high heat until liquid starts to bubble. Reduce heat to medium. Cover and simmer until rhubarb is almost tender, stirring very gently occasionally to keep rhubarb intact, about 8 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer rhubarb to colander set over bowl. Drain well. Add syrup from bowl to skillet. Boil until juices in skillet are thick and reduced to 2/3 cup, adding any additional drained syrup from bowl, about 7 minutes. Mix in preserves. Cool mixture in skillet 15 minutes. Very gently fold in rhubarb (do not overmix or rhubarb will fall apart).
  3. Assemble and bake: Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 13-inch round. Fit into pie plate. Trim edges, leaving a ½-inch overhang. Fold overhang under and press against rim of pie plate, then crimp decoratively. From trimmed edge scraps, cut out circles of dough with a small biscuit cutter and arrange over top of filling. Stir cream and 2 teaspoons sugar in small bowl to blend. Brush over circles, but not crust edge.
  4. Bake pie until filling bubbles thickly and crust is golden, covering edge with foil if browning too quickly, about 55 minutes. Cool pie completely. Cut into wedges; serve with ice cream.

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