How Much More Wholesome Does it Get?

Speaking of family recipes a couple weeks ago, this one’s popped into my life. A week into moving into our new house, a pie showed up on our doorstep.

Really! I thought that didn’t happen anymore, so I’d count us lucky to have such a thoughtful friend. It was a very good rhubarb pie – it was rich and kind of layered and custardy. We shared it with my parents when they stopped in.

A couple weeks later, my mother had a photocopy of a handwritten recipe with lovely illustrations of a leafy rhubarb plant and a steaming pie. She and the pie-gifter, Joanne, had gotten the recipe from their friend Nancy, whose husband Mark had drawn it for her while they were dating! Adorable. Mark’s mother had made it, a recipe passed down from his Grandma Edna Ferree Tade, probably from her mother, Mary Isaman Ferree. His family is French, which, culinarily speaking, is never a bad sign, right?

So, recipe in my possession, it was my turn to make it. Nancy says she’s made it about a hundred times, with all different variations – adding an extra egg white, making the filling with different methods, aiming for a crunchy top – and every variation’s been good. As I’ve now had pies made from this recipe by three different people, I agree – and it’s probably the best recipe for rhubarb pie I’ve ever tasted.

P.S. I know it’s nearing the end of rhubarb season. Hopefully you’ve been waiting around for a good recipe to show up (as I was).

Also, I’ve never made a crust like this before (it’s an oil crust), and mid-way through I was very uncertain about its consistency, but it turned out great. A good one to have in your head, particularly if you’re ever out of butter!

Rhubarb Cream Pie

From Mark’s Grandma Edna Ferree Tade

Crust (or your recipe of choice):
1 ¾ c. flour
1 t. salt
½ c. oil
3 T. cold water
With a fork, mix flour and salt, then blend in oil. Sprinkle all the water over it and mix well. Press into a ball, adding 1-2 T. more oil if too dry. Divide in half.
Wipe counter with a damp cloth. Tear two squares of parchment or waxed paper, place one on the damp counter (the water will keep it from slipping) and place half the dough between the two papers. Roll it out to fill a large pie pan – this dough can be rolled thinner than most. Transfer it to the pie pan by removing the top layer of paper and transferring it to the pie pan with the bottom layer of paper up. Then just peel it off.
Use the same papers to roll out the dough for the top, slicing it in strips for a lattice top crust.

1 ½ c. sugar
½ t. nutmeg (freshly grated if possible)
3 T. flour
2 eggs
1 T. butter
3 c. chopped rhubarb
Preheat oven to 450˚F.
Blend dry ingredients, mix in eggs, then rhubarb. Pour into unbaked shell, and dot with butter (I actually cut the butter into little bits and mixed it in with the dry ingredients – as Nancy says, every variation seems to come out great. She usually does it this way.).
Cover with lattice top, crimping the edge to seal the pastry together.
Bake at 450˚F for 10 minutes, then lower the heat to 350˚F and bake for another 30 minutes, until filling has thickened and bubbles.
Cool as long as you can wait, and share!
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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. patti zwick
    Jul 01, 2011 @ 07:27:54

    Sounds good!
    and I loved the photos of the hand written recipe with illustrations
    and the dog gazingly longingly at the pie! Very fun.


  2. Trackback: Rhubarb: A Lovely Rite of Passage « New Pi Eats
  3. Trackback: Dads, Walleyes, and June 17 « New Pi Eats

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