Does it feel like whenever you come to this blog there’s another rhubarb recipe? Are you thinking to yourself right now that I’m a broken record that keeps reaching for the same ingredient over and over again? Or maybe that I’ve obtained a lucrative deal from the Rhubarb Council of American Rhubarb Growers?
Well, first off I’d like to say thank you for visiting my blog so often that you would feel that way—I might be annoying you with all this rhubarb business, but you are making my heart sing. Secondly I do get into broken record mode, but more with my kids ‘stop picking your nose’, ‘stop picking your nose’, ‘could you please stop picking your nose?!’ than with anything else. And thirdly….I wish.
No, I continue to sing the praises of rhubarb because it is the first local ingredient of the growing season that is in abundance and is the only “fruit” that will be locally available until raspberries hit sometime in early August.
So here we are. You and me and rhubarb.
Have you ever had rhubarb pie? I’m assuming if you are still reading this than you have. I’ve recently discovered however that there are many people who have not. Growing up in the Midwest, rhubarb pie was a given, but apparently it has remained elusive to the rest of the country. My own husband had never had rhubarb pie until he met me—oh, how I’ve made his life complete in so many ways.
Anyway, this one’s a doozy. Very simple, full of tart rhubarb and luscious vanilla beans. The vanilla beans make it feel fancy and extravagant but a teaspoon or two of vanilla extract would fill in just fine flavor-wise.
The rhubarb I used was very tart, green rhubarb. If you have the sweeter red variety you might not need so much sugar, 1/4 cup of sugar for every pound of rhubarb is usually a good place to start.
Rhubarb-Vanilla Bean Pie
- Yield: 12 1x
For the Crust:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar, divided
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1 cup cold extra-virgin coconut oil, diced and divided in half
- 1/4–1/3 cup ice water, divided
- 1 large egg, beaten with a couple tablespoons of water (for brushing)
- sanding sugar (optional)
For the Filling:
- 3 pounds rhubarb, large dice
- 3 vanilla beans
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- For the crust: Combine half of the flour, half the sugar, and half the salt in a large bowl. Add half the coconut oil and blend it into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter or your fingers until the pieces are the size of small peas.
- Add a couple tablespoons of ice water and work it into the flour mixture by scooping large handfuls of flour from the bottom of the bowl and squeezing it gently before letting it fall through your fingers back into the bowl. Keep doing this until the dough easily holds together when you squeeze it, adding more ice water a tablespoon at a time until the right consistency is reached.
- Form the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Press down gently to make a disk, then place in the refrigerator and repeat with remaining dough ingredients. When you are finished you will have a top and bottom crust.
- To finish the pie: Heat oven to 425°F and arrange a rack on the bottom. Cover a baking sheet with foil and place this on the bottom rack in the oven while it is heating.
- Place rhubarb in a large bowl. Slice each vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out all the seeds with the back of a pairing knife. Add seeds to the bowl along with the remaining filling ingredients and stir until the rhubarb is coated in the flour and sugar.
- On a lightly floured surface roll out one disk of dough until it is about 1/8-inch thick and about 12-inches wide. Line a 9 1/2-inch deep dish pie plate with the dough and press it firmly against the bottom and sides. Roll out the remaining disk of dough on the floured surface to the same size.
- Stir the filling once more to distribute the ingredients evenly then pour into the dough-lined pie plate. Cover with the second piece of dough and trim off any extra so only about a 1/2-inch is hanging off the sides. Crimp the edges to seal then cut a couple of slits on the top to let the steam escape. Brush the top crust with egg wash and generously sprinkle with sanding sugar or granulated sugar.
- Place pie on the heated baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Leaving pie in the oven, lower heat to 350°F and continue baking for 40-50 minutes or until the crust is a deep golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Let cool for at least 1 hour before serving. Pie is best eaten the day it is made but will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days—the bottom crust might get a little soggy.