a trip to the cabin & a really great rhubarb pie

HG | Rhubarb Pie

We took a few days off recently and went to our family cabin on Qualicum Beach.
We drank piña coladas, ate oysters and kind of lazed around in the sun.
It was surprisingly hot when we were there,
weather I feel like I haven’t felt in BC since I was a kid.



I cut a pile of rhubarb from my parent’s backyard
before making the drive up island.

I brought along the Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book (shot by the super talented Gentl & Hyers)
for the task of making a rhubarb pie and was SO pleased with the result!



I love that the Elsen sisters suggest to freeze the chopped rhubarb
and then thaw and drain before making the pie.

Such a great tip to get a little extra juice to drain from the stalks.
It’s late in the season for rhubarb I’m told, but there was no shortage at my parents place.



I noticed only afterward that the recipe is quite similar to the one Jen Causey
made for my, For the Love of Pie series back in 2012,
also by the Elsen sisters, but I’m including the recipe here 
just because I think it’s worth mentioning again.
And if you don’t have it already, go buy the book, it’s great.
xo, N



HG | Rhubarb Pie


HG | Rhubarb Pie









HG | Rhubarb Pie



This recipe came from, THE FOUR & TWENTY BLACKBIRDS PIE BOOK by Emily Elsen & Melissa Elsen published by Grand Central. It makes one 9-inch pie that serves 8-10 people. While it's perfect just as it is, I prefer to omit the allspice and ground ginger in favour of the contents of a vanilla bean or a teaspoon of vanilla extract. I think it's best served at room temperature with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, but a spoonful of crème fraîche would be nice too.


    ALL BUTTER CRUST (double crust)
  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 pound cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 cup ice
  • 11/2 to 2 pounds fresh rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (5 to 6 cups) (frozen, thawed, and drained if desired)
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons ground arrowroot
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 large egg
  • Dash Angostura bitters
  • Egg was (1 large egg whisked with 1 teaspoon water and a pinch of salt)
  • Demerara sugar, for finishing


  2. Stir the flour, salt, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the butter pieces and coat with the flour mixture using a bench scraper or spatula. With a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture, working quickly until mostly pea-size pieces of butter remain (a few larger pieces are okay; be careful not to overblend).
  3. Combine the water, cider vinegar, and ice in a large measuring cup or small bowl. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the ice water mixture over the flour mixture, and mix and cut it in with a bench scraper or spatula until it is fully incorporated. Add more of the ice water mixture, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time using the bench scraper or your hands (or both) to mix until the dough comes together in a ball, with some dry bits remaining. Squeeze and pinch with your fingertips to bring all the dough together, sprinkling dry bits with more small drops of the ice water mixture, if necessary, to combine. Shape the dough into a flat disc, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight, to give the crust time to mellow. Divide the dough in half before shaping each portion into flat discs.
  4. Wrapped tightly, the dough can be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for 1 month.
  6. Have ready and refrigerated one pastry-lined 9-inch pan and pastry top.
  7. Combine the rhubarb, brown and granulated sugars, allspice, cardomom, ginger, salt, and arrowroot in a large bowl and mix throuroghly. Stir in the lemon juice, egg, and bitters. Pour the filling into the refrigerated pie shell, arrange the lattice or pastry round on top, and crimp as desired.
  8. Chill the pie in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes to set the pastry. Meanwhile, position the oven racks in the bottom rack, and preheat the oven to 425˚F.
  9. Brush the pastry with the egg wash to coat; if your pie has a lattice top, be careful not to drag the filling onto the pastry (it will burn). Sprinkle the pastry with the desired amount of demerara sugar.
  10. Place the pie on a rimmed baking sheet on the lowest rack of the oven. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the pastry is set and beginning to brown. Lower the oven temperature to 375˚F, move the pie to the centre oven rack, and continue to until the pastry is a deep golden brown and the juices are bubbling throughout, 30 to 35 minutes longer.
  11. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack, 2 to 3 hours. Serve slightly warm or not at room temperature.
  12. The pie will keep in the refrigerator for 3 days or at room temperature for 2 days.

HG | Rhubarb Pie




I can’t wait for this chocolate chip cookie recipe from Tara’s book.
Michael and I shot the new Bon Appétit Cover, find it on newsstands now!
This place looks amazing.
The design and photos in this story from the current print issue of Afar Magazine are beautiful.
Michael snapped this in NYC the other day, I love it.
This place looks nice.
And we updated the shop last week, have a look.
Photos: Nikole Herriott







HG | Rhubarb Pie


posted on August 5, 2014 by Nikole


  1. What food dreams are made of!

  2. cynthia says:

    This is so very beautiful (like all your work!) Hope you had a perfect holiday.

  3. Oh it’s such a high, every time, to stare at your pictures :)

  4. Shini says:

    Ugh this is all sorts of perfect

  5. Charles says:

    Beautiful photos! That pie looks to die for.

  6. Bri says:

    everything about this is beautiful.

  7. An says:

    Love me some Qualicum. I’m heading to the island this coming weekend and I can’t wait. I hear it’s been blackberry season for a few weeks already!

    BTW, that second “And so does this place” link seems to have been hacked…

  8. This is definitely my kind of pie! Love that all butter crust!

  9. This is one perfect pie. And the pictures are stunning.

  10. oh my…that looks SO delicious! and we are so in love with your pictures <3

  11. This post; gorgeous beyond words.

  12. Macaela says:

    I have never written a review for ANYTHING before but this needs to be a first for me. I have made numerous pies in my life and I like to switch up the recipe now and again but I definitely have my tried and true favorite crust recipe. This by far was the most amazing pie I have ever made. So good that I am making another tonight because my husband didn’t get a slice of the first, it went so quick! Thank you for sharing this amazing recipe!

  13. Maurizio says:

    I’m now adding this pie, along with my 10 bread recipes, to my to-do list for this fall. Great shots as well, thanks for the inspiration.

  14. Aw! This post is full of sweetness and inspiration. :)

  15. E Liquid says:

    This is just the kind of work my studentgs ought to
    be creating. Congratulations on your exhaustive research,
    A* for performance.

    Check out my website – E Liquid

  16. Lecia says:

    You had me at the recipe’s title. Slain by that last image. xo

  17. Can’t imagine a rhubarb patch in such pristine condition at this time of year. Mine is collapsed in an exhausted (rotting) heap. I will remember to freeze some next spring to give this beautiful pie a whirl. xo

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  19. […] Lets celebrate rhubarb’s iminent seasonal departure (just for the winter months, here at least) with a really great rhubarb pie […]

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