We got some rhubarb yesterday at Dad’s. And it was time to make a pie, I decided this morning. I was thinking about the time Uncle Harold hired me to make two rhubarb pies. I was a teenager who had relatively little pie making experience, and I am not certain the crust was as light and flaky as a pie’s should be, but he and Aunt Betty happily took the warm pies with them when they dropped my little brothers off. (I don’t remember where they’d gone, though.)
Today I ventured away from my usual recipe from the old Betty Crocker in favor of one that called for almond extract. It was a good choice.
Oh, and when making the crust, I’ve found it helps to chill the shortening first. Then it takes less time to chill the dough before rolling it out.
The rhubarb I used was rather tart, so a bit more sugar wouldn’t have hurt. But after the fact, what can one do? Serve the pie with ice cream!
Mix together 1 1/2 cups sugar, 4 cups chopped rhubarb, 3 heaping tablespoons flour, a dash of salt, 1 teaspoon almond extract, and 1 large egg (or 2 if you like it more custardy – I used just one.)
Pour this into a pastry-lined 9-inch pie plate, add the top crust, seal, and cut slits on the top to let the steam escape. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 35 minutes.
Cool somewhat and enjoy this Midwestern spring tradition.