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The 'So-You-Don't-Die' Rhubarb Pies


When Pia picked up our CSA boxes from High Ground Organics last week, there was rhubarb in it...and fava greens. I'm allergic to fava beans and didn't think I should risk eating the greens though they were very pretty.

Pia must have been thinking the same thing because she handed me my produce and offered: "How about I take your fava greens so you don't die. I'll give you my rhubarb and you can make me a pie?!" Fine. She and Brian were leaving for their anniversary weekend, so I whipped up some portable pies in my heart-shaped springform pans.  Brian said, "Thanks, but what is she going to eat?" He didn't realize there were four pies in that box!

I switched it up from my usual rhubarb pie by making a rhubarb compote and folding fresh rhubarb slices into it before spooning it into the pie crust to bake. Delicious!

Yuzu-Scented Pâte Brisée
I started with my usual Pâte Brisée and added a splash of yuzu liqueur because I thought it would complement the tartness of the rhubarb. This is a super easy, fantastically flaky crust.

Ingredients

  • 2 C all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 C white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 C finely ground blanched almonds or almond flour
  • 1 C butter, very-cold, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 t yuzu liqueur
  • 6 to 8 T ice water
  • 2 T organic granulated sugar 

Procedure
I don't have a food processor, so I use a pastry blender and do it all by hand. Place the flour, ground almonds, and cold butter in a large bowl. Use the pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse meal, with pea size pieces of butter. Add yuzu liqueur. Then add ice water 1 T at a time, until mixture just begins to clump together. If you squeeze some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it's ready. If the dough doesn't hold together, add a little more water and cut again. Note that too much water will make the crust tough. Once the dough comes together into a ball, set 1/2 c of the dough aside and wrap the rest tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using.

While the crust chills, make your rhubarb compote. With the remaining dough, cut in 2 T organic granulated sugar to make large crumbs.

Roll out the Pâte Brisée between two pieces of parchment paper and lay it over your springform pans with a removable bottom. Gently press the crust into your pan, carefully removing the excess crust from the top of the pan.

Rhubarb Compote + Pie Filling
Ingredients
  • 5 to 6 C fresh rhubarb, trimmed and sliced into 1" pieces and divided in half
  • 1/2 C organic granulated sugar
  • 1 t yuzu liqueur

Procedure
Stir sugar and 2-1/2 to 3 C of rhubarb together in a large saucepan. Let macerate until rhubarb releases some liquid, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.

Bring rhubarb mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat; add liqueur and simmer, stirring occasionally, until rhubarb has broken down but some whole pieces remain, approximately 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining rhubarb pieces.

Assembly
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Divide the compote filling between the crusts and top with the crust crumbles. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until the filling is bubbling and the crust is lightly browned.

Serve hot or cold.

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