a trip to the cabin & a really great 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.
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.
- 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
- FOR THE CRUST
- 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).
- 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.
- Wrapped tightly, the dough can be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for 1 month.
- Have ready and refrigerated one pastry-lined 9-inch pan and pastry top.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Allow to cool completely on a wire rack, 2 to 3 hours. Serve slightly warm or not at room temperature.
- The pie will keep in the refrigerator for 3 days or at room temperature for 2 days.
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