Lately I’ve been lucky enough to have it together so I actually shoot my blog posts a week or so before they go up. This leads to me not being super duper stressed about things not working out, recipe wise. It also makes it so my photo editing and writing timeline is a lot more chill. But last week I had the hardest time getting rhubarb (s/o to Whole Foods for making it happen!) and late last week I was on panel after panel so I was totally out of the kitchen.
Leaving my house is such an event! So two days in a row had me for a lil’ bit of a loop. Yesterday was the day to bake this much awaited pie and getting the topping just right was sort of stressful. I was covered in flour from head to toe and my socks which are black were like grey. But the pie worked! And I love it so much!
Today is pi day! One of the best days of the year and the day the internet throws up so many pie recipes that by the end of the day you’re probably sick of pie.
This one is pretty simple. Just rhubarb and pears and brown sugar. The meyer lemon zest gives it nice, fresh flavor.
Happy pi day!
If you’re looking for some helpful pie resources, check out Pie Crust 101 I posted a few years ago. (The recipe below is the double pie crust and single pie crust added together, which make up one big slab pie with plenty of extra for an elaborate top!) And for a slab pie, I used this quarter baking sheet.
- 4 cups (500g) all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons (30g) white granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons fine-grain sea salt
- 1 1/2 cup (339g) unsalted butter
- 1 cup very cold water, divided
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar and salt. Using a box grater, grate the cold butter atop the flour mixture. Working quickly, and using your hands, break the butter bits into the flour until they're evenly distributed and resemble the size of small peas.
- Add 3/4 cup of water and mix. The mixture will be shaggy at this point. From here, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until the dough comes together (I usually need to add 3 to 4 tablespoons). Flour your counter and dump the dough onto it. Knead a few times more until it comes together. Divide the dough by setting aside 1/3 of the dough (eye ball this measurement; this will act as the bottom of the pie, you want more for the top). Forming two discs, one smaller than the other. Wrap the discs in plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 1 hour, ideally overnight.
- Remove the first disc of dough from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature for 10 minutes. Liberally flour your work surface and rolling pin. Begin to roll the dough, being sure to rotate it every so often to avoid sticking, to a 13x10inch rectangle. Use your quarter baking sheet as a guide. Wrap the dough around the rolling pin and unroll it over the baking sheet. Gently fit the dough into the bottom and up the sides. Trim the dough around the pie tin, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Add your filling and transfer the pie to freezer while you roll out the second disc of dough.
- Remove the second disc of dough from the refrigerator and repeat the rolling process as you did with the first disc. You have a couple of options, I chose to do an intricate thick lattice meets braided situation. For this, I rolled about a quarter of the dough into 7x9 inch rectangle. I sliced that into thick strips and placed them atop the pie. I transferred it to the fridge while I worked on the braids.
- To make the braids, I rolled the dough into a big rectangle and sliced thin strips with a sharp knife. I took three of the strips and braided away. I continued this process until I was stressed and got through the dough. I then latticed the big strips with the thin braids. My biggest advice is that the freezer is your friend. If the dough ever gets too soft, transfer it to the fridge on a cutting board. Tuck the edges under or over and then crimp the edge all the way around the slab pie. Put it in the freezer to chill for 30 minutes. This will eliminate the possibility of shrinkage. Preheat the oven (see below for more instructions) and brush the entire thing with egg wash and sprinkle with turbinado.
- 1 pound rhubarb (cut into 1/4-inch pieces)
- 2 pears, cored and cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 2/3 cup light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- Zest from 1 lemon or Meyer lemon
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 1 large egg + 2 tablespoons milk, whisked together in a small bowl for egg wash
- 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar or demarrara
- Ice cream or whipped cream, for serving
- Special Equipment:
- Quarter baking sheet (9x13)
- In a medium bowl, mix together the rhubarb, pear, brown sugar, corn starch, lemon zest, vanilla extract and salt. Allow to stand, about 10 to 15 minutes, while you assemble the pie crust.
- Pour the filling into the slab pie crust (see above for assembling instructions). Roll the second half of dough and make any sort of design that you like. I chose a few wide strips of pie dough, weaved with a few strands of braided pie dough. Get as fancy as simple as you like. Tuck the edges under and crimp around the entire slab pie. Transfer to the freezer to chill for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Brush the top of the pie with a generous amoutn of egg wash and sprinkle with about a teaspoon of turbinado sugar.
- Place the slab pie on a half baking sheet and transfer to the oven to bake for about 20 minutes, until the crust is lightly golden brown. Turn the oven's heat down to 350 degrees F and bake for an additional 20 to 30 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool to room temperature, about 3 hours. If you cut into it before cooling it down, the filling will spill out, but is that the worst thing in the world? Nah. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.