And, you guys, I finally conquered pie crust! I have my perfect recipe! There was much happy dancing in the kitchen of chez Natalie this weekend, let me tell you. The pie doesn't look like much, I know, but this crust and this filling are absolutely heavenly.
Natalie's Perfect Pie Crust
(makes enough for one 9-inch double-crust pie)
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup cold shortening
1/2 cup cold butter, chopped
1 tablespoon white vinegar
6 tablespoons cold water
1 egg and 1 teaspoon of water for egg wash
Whisk or sift together the flour and salt. Then, add the cold shortening and cut it into the flour with a pastry cutter until the mixture has the texture of sand. Next, add the butter and cut it into the mixture until the butter pieces are about pea-sized. Add the tablespoon of vinegar and work it into the dough, then add the water a couple of tablespoons at a time, cutting the dough between each addition. Add the bare minimum of water for the dough to hold together. (I used 6 tablespoons and my dough was a little crumbly, which made it pretty much impossible to flute the edges later. If you want a really pretty pie crust, you will probably want to add another tablespoon of water.) Form the dough into two balls and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes before rolling out.
Trish's Mom's Creamy Rhubarb Pie
Makes 1 9-inch double crust pie
Preheat oven to 375F
1 1/2 cups sugar (for a sweeter pie, use 2 cups sugar)
2 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon soft butter
2 packages (1 lb. each) frozen rhubarb, thawed and drained
4 cups fresh cut-up rhubarb may be used in place of frozen rhubarb
In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, sugar, flour, salt and soft butter. Mix until well blended. Stir in rhubarb. Pour into pastry-lined 9-inch pie pan. Roll your remaining dough. Cut into strips 1/2 inch wide; crisscross over filling to form lattice top. Fold edge under bottom crust, pressing to seal. Flute edge. Put a cookie sheet under the pie to catch any leaks if it bubbles over, and bake at 375F for 40-45 minutes until golden brown and bubbly. Cool.
Tips from Trish/her mom: Use a deep dish pie pan. Don't skimp on the rhubarb, it will bake down. If you use frozen rhubarb, put in some of the juice.Note from Natalie: I used a pound and a half of rhubarb, which is a lot more than 4 cups by volume. I ended up with a ton of extra liquid in the pie, but I loved the taste so it worked out fine. Next time I think I'll throw in some tapioca to try and absorb some of that extra liquid, though.