I used a recipe for the pie crust I found in Cook's illustrated, The science of good cooking. If I only could have one cooking book, this would be it.
Process 3/4 cup flour, sugar and salt together until combined, 5 seconds. Scatter butter and shortening over top and process for 10 -12 seconds.
This is the texture you want. Uneven clumps with no remaining flour bits.
Sprinkle remaining 1/2cup flour over the dough and pulse until mixture has broken up into pieces and is evenly distributed around bowl, 4 to 6 pulses.
This is the texture you want. Transfer to medium bowl and sprinkle vodka and ice water over the mixture. Stir and press dough together,using a stiff rubber spatula, until dough sticks together.
Only work the dough until it sticks together, if you work too much the pie crust will be chewy and not flaky and crisp as a pie crust should be.
Turn dough onto sheet of plastic wrap and flatten into 4-inch disk. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for 1 hour. Before rolling dough out,let it sit on counter to soften slightly, about 10 minutes.
In a sad neglected corner of my garden, grows a small bunch of the best rhubarb in the world. If I try to weed or fertilise them they won't grow, they like to be left alone, so that is what I do.
Turn your oven on to 390 F/200°C.
Here is 10 oz/300g rhubarb cut into small pieces. I want to bake them to avoid adding water.
Add 2 oz/60 g sugar and stir. Bake them for 20-30 minutes.
They produced a lot of liquid and I don't want the pie to go soggy, but at the same time I want all the taste in the juice. This is the kind of problems you run into when you don't have a recipe.
My solution: I added 1 tsp maize flour to the rhubarb, hoping that it will thicken the juice while baking. Fingers crossed.
I sprinkled the maize flour over the baked chilled rhubarb and mixed it in.
The dough ready for the rolling pin. Place the dough between the plastic wrap and a piece of baking paper. Roll it out a bit bigger than your pie dish.
Remove the baking paper, save it for later in the process. Lift the dough onto the pie plate using the plastic wrap. Flip it so the wrap is on top.
Plastic wrap on top. The dough will stick to the wrap so it is not hard.
Remove the plastic and gently ease the dough into the pie plate by lifting the edge with one hand and pressing into the plate bottom with the other hand. Leave overhanging dough in place.
Reuse the plastic to loosely cover the dough and refrigerate until dough is firm, about 30 minutes. Turn oven on to 425F/220°C
Trim overhanging dough, by tucking it under itself. Crimp dough evenly around edge of pie using your fingers. Wrap again loosely in plastic and refrigerate again for 15 minutes before baking it.
I'm going to bake the pie blind, without filling, and to prevent the edges to slide down I'm going to weigh it down. Place the baking paper from the rolling out exercise on top of the dough.
I'm using dry beans. I use the same beans every time and keep them in a special tin. Make sure they are all around the edge and up the sides.
After 15 minutes in the oven I lifted out the beans, using the baking paper. Put the pie crust back in the oven and bake it until the crust is golden brown, 8-12 minutes.
Baked pie crust awaiting its fulfilment.
Meringue 4 egg whites and 7oz/200g sugar. Turn your oven on to 350F/180°C.
Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks. If you want to add vanilla, wait until solid peaks are formed, because even the small amount of oil in vanilla, will make it impossible to whisk the egg whites.
Add the sugar gradually while whisking. Whisk until the merengue is shiny and with solid peaks.
Spread the baked rhubarb thing onto the pie crust.
Spread the merengue on top.Piping is not one of my strong suites, as you can plainly see. Bake the pie for 45 minutes.
The maize flour did the trick and made the rhubarb juice solid enough for it not to run and soft enough for it to be pleasant in your mouth.
It was a hit with the fresh taste of rhubarb and the sweet taste of the merengue. The vodka made the pie crust flaky and crunchy.
- Pie crust:
- 1/4c All-purpose flour
- 1.0Tbsp Sugar
- 1/2tsp Salt
- 6.0Tbsp Butter, chilled
- 4.0Tbsp Vegetable shortening,chilled
- 2.0Tbsp Vodka,chilled
- 2.0Tbsp Ice water
- Pie weights.
- Rhubarb filling:
- 10.0oz Rhubarb
- 2.0oz Sugar
- 1.0tsp Maize flour.
- 4.0 Egg whites
- 7.0oz Sugar.
Brønshøj , Denmark