Want to tantalize the taste buds of your friends and family with a sparkling cherry rhubarb pie? We were surprised to still have enough rhubarb in November for our Thanksgiving pies. Even without the rhubarb, here’s a must-have recipe you can easily adapt to the availability of ingredients. And this more robust winter-style pastry crust is absolutely the most like those of my childhood memories!
A handful of things still grow happily in the sometimes very cold weather. We’ve had frosts down to 28° at night and days into the 40-60° range. It has not touched these things: parsley, spinach, Romaine lettuce, planted and volunteer cilantro, volunteer dill, radishes, and beets. I never paid the least attention to the rhubarb and was amazed that a portion of it was still as fresh and lovely as in summer at strawberry time!
Today, November 16, after 3 good frosts, our rhubarb is still going strong! So in the future, checking it for good stalks may be in order even if you’ve had a frost!
I almost froze the stalks, but my daughter got to thinking…”Hmm, we all love cherries. Let’s just make a cherry rhubarb pie with what we have and try something new!” She couldn’t resist trying this combination! So early this week our daughter made the first pie – which was a smashing hit with the family.
She simply used the same pastry crust recipe from the pear tart we made a few weeks ago (Sorry the photos aren’t the best – they were taken in the evening by lamplight).
For more photos of that pastry crust, go the pear tart post here.
Hearty Whole Wheat Pastry or Pie Crust
1 & 1/3 cups whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons Sucanat or Rapadura
1/4 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons cold butter (no substitutes), cubed
4 to 5 tablespoons cold water (*the pear tart pastry only calls for 2-3 Tbsp.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt; cut in the butter, and work through the dough with tips of fingers until crumbly. Gradually add water, tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball. Roll out into a 14- inch circle; fold in half, half again, and transfer to buttered 12″ pie pan. Using fingers, crimp the edges of the dough to form a pretty crust, and fork the bottom of the dough to allow steam to escape. Place crust into the oven for 10 minutes or until slightly golden.
The fork-pricks are to let out air trapped under the crust. I loved doing this on my own Mother’s crusts when I was a girl of 8 or 9.
Tender and light, but with an Old World richness, this crust holds together well without being tough. It ‘makes’ the pie! This is an absolutely gorgeous pie for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
Deep Dish Cherry Rhubarb Pie Filling:
(the ruby red color is natural from the cherries)
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 cup of honey
- 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3 cup rhubarb, cut in 1/2″ pieces (if no rhubarb use 5 1/2 cups cherries)
- 2 1/2 cups fresh, canned, or frozen tart cherries, thawed (can substitute strawberries)
- 1 tablespoon butter (preferably organic)
In a saucepan, combine cornstarch, honey, salt, nutmeg, rhubarb pieces, cherries, and butter. Cook on medium heat while stirring until mixture starts to thicken. Stir until the cornstarch has completely thickened and becomes translucent. The rhubarb pieces will still be rather raw. Turn to low heat, and cook another 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until rhubarb pieces are cooked thoroughly. Pour into pre-baked crust and cool for 2 hours. Once the filling has “set-up”, the pie can be re-heated or eaten cold.
Yields 8-10 servings; 1 pie
“That every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labor, it is the gift of God!” ~Ecclesiastes 3:13
Thanks for reading!