Apple & Rhubarb Pie
Y2, Week Four: The All Fathers’ Pie
I’m a nerd, and if you’re going to read this blog you’ll have to know this about me. Thus this week’s pie is in honor of Father’s Day and the tenth anniversary of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, which features both the local (to me) landmark The House on the Rock and Odin, the “All-Father.” I love my dad, but to my knowledge he’s never written a kick-butt story that could simultaneously terrify and delight me. Neil Gaiman has. So Dad, you’ll have to share this one, though you can console yourself that you did not have to share the pie.
I’d like to say I picked the American as apple pie as tribute to the book, but, truthfully, I had a bunch of oldish apples and a request my Dad made last year for apple pie. So, as with most things in my life, the presence of any grand, unifying theme is purely accidental. I added rhubarb because it’s everywhere right now, and, like Neil Gaiman’s story, is both bitter and sweet. Okay, I made that last part up for the blog. Rhubarb is in season, is delicious, and plain old apple pie seemed boring. However, I can say that my dad doesn’t have to feel slighted splitting the honors here because, like the disguised gods in American Gods, this week’s recipe is actually three pies cleverly disguised as one. You can make it as is, or, by doubling either the apple or rhubarb fillings and leaving out the other, you can make either a straight up apple or rhubarb pie. Wow, this all looks way more thought out than it was, I think I’ll stop while I’m ahead.
Here’s to my father, all fathers, the All-Father, and Mr. Gaiman, who is, conveniently, also a father. Hope you guys had a great day and someone who loved you made you some pie.
- Rhubarb from Tipi Produce in Evansville, WI.
- Milk from Sassy Cow Creamery for the cinnamon/vanilla bean gelato that went with the pie.
APPLE & RHUBARB PIE
Pie Pastry with Vodka
(adapted from Cook’s Illustrated’s “Foolproof Pie Dough”)
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
8 tbsp cold unsalted butter (1 stick), cut into 1/4-inch slices
3 tbsp vodka, cold
2 tbsp ice water
Mix flour and salt in food processor fitted with steel blade. Scatter butter over dry ingredients and pulse until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal, 10 to 15 seconds. Turn mixture into medium bowl.
Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. With rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together. Shape 2/3 of the dough into flattened round; repeat with remaining 1/3. Wrap tightly in plastic. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight. Dough can be kept in the refrigerator for 2 days or in the freezer for up to a month (if freezing, wrap in additional layer of foil or place plastic wrapped rounds into a heavy duty freezer bag).
1 1/4 lbs rhubarb stalks, trimmed and rinsed
1/3 cup water
1 tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tbsp corn starch
3/4 cup sugar
Chop rhubarb into 1/2 to 1-inch pieces. Combine rhubarb and water in a medium saucepan. In a small bowl, combine flour, cornstarch and sugar, stirring until well blended; add to the rhubarb. Stir and bring just to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low. Cover but leave the cover ajar to let steam escape and continue simmering for about 3-5 minutes, or just until tender. Some of the rhubarb will break down, but some should still retain its shape and texture.
2 1/2 – 3 lbs baking apples, peeled, cored and diced (I like Braeburns and Gala)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tbsp corn starch
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup maple syrup
Mix together sugar, corn starch, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice in a small bowl. In a medium saucepan combine apples and sugar mixture and toss until apples are thoroughly coated. Add lemon juice and cook apples on medium heat, stirring regularly until they are soft (but still hold their shape) and any liquids have thicken a bit (approx 15 – 20 minutes). Add maple syrup, stir and set aside to cool slightly.
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup oats
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Combine the topping ingredients until blended and crumbly.
All ingredients prepared so far
1 9” pie pan
Preheat oven to 375°.
Remove dough from refrigerator and allow to warm a bit (about 15-30 min); make sure not to place dough near oven or anything hot. Roll dough on lightly floured surface into 13-inch circle and transfer to 9-inch pie pan, preferably glass. Press dough into corners and sides of pan, being careful not to stretch dough. Trim edges of dough to make 1/2-inch overhang (best done with kitchen scissors). Tuck overhanging dough under so that folded edge is flush with rim of pan and edge folds up over the top of the pan.
Fill with prepared rhubarb, then with apple, and finish by sprinkling entire pie with crumb topping. Bake for approx 30 min; remove from oven and cool for 1 hour. Slice and enjoy. Happy Father’s Day!