Rhubarb All(spice) Stars
Sorry I’ve been MIA recently, folks—I’ve been busy working on my book. That’s right, my book! It’s called A Taste of the Maritimes: Local, Seasonal Recipes for the Whole Year. You can take a look the write up on the Nimbus website here (and you can buy it in bookstores or from Ellora in October.)
Anyway, on to pie. Baking individual-sized pies in short, glass jars is all the rage now–try it and you’ll see why. Not only are they cute, but they’re easy to preserve and give as gifts. I used a combination of 250 mL and 500 mL jars for these seasonal rhubarb pies. After you bake them you can put a canning jar lid on top for convenient storage in the refrigerator. Supposedly you can even freeze them with the lids on before baking then bake from frozen any time of the year, although I haven’t tried that yet.
I’m pleased to say my own rhubarb is growing like gangbusters (glad SOMEONE likes all this cool, drippy weather) but I’ve made so much compote recently that I needed to buy rhubarb from Broadfork Farm for this recipe. It was just as fresh and intensely flavoured as my own–not my usual experience buying rhubarb, even at the farmers’ market. I’m pretty dang enthusiastic about Broadfork–if you’re at the Lunenburg or Hubbards market, stop by and say hello to Shannon and Byron and check out fabulous offerings. I bought these radishes from them last week, for instance:
Really, who can resist?
Rhubarb All (spice) Stars
1 batch pie crust (any standard pie crust will do; I confess to buying buying premade pie dough because I am a cheater cheater cheater, but it’s really not all that hard to make your own; try this recipe for solid results.)
3 cups (750 mL) chopped rhubarb
1-1/2 cups (375 mL) white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon (7.5 mL) ground allspice
1 cup (250 mL) sour cream
1/3 cup (75 mL) all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 450˚F (230˚C).
Make (or unbox) your pie crust and roll it out. Using a small cookie cutter, cut out several shapes for topping the pie later (this step isn’t necessary, but it only takes a minute and makes for a pie you’ll want to show off). Set cut shapes aside–I just cut them on a cutting board then put the cutting board in the refrigerator while I complete the innards of the pie.
Press pie dough evenly down into your jars (you don’t need to butter them first, just make sure they’re clean and dry). Fill jars up to the rim.
Disribute sliced rhubarb between jars. They should be filled about 2/3 of the way up.
Mix up all remaining ingredients with a whisk or a fork until fully integrated to create custard.
Pour custard over rhubarb–mixture should come to just below the rim of the pie.
Pull out your cut dough shapes and place them gently on top of the custard mixture. Place pies on a cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Turn heat down to 350°F (180°C); bake until filling is slightly jiggly and topping is golden brown, about 35-40 minutes, depending on jar size. Let cool completely on rack before eating.