Sunday, May 3, 2015

BB: BlueRhu Pie

BlueRhu PieThis week's Alpha Bakers assignment makes for two recent experiences baking with rhubarb, with my use of the rhubarb variation when the assignment was cranberry upside-down cake (I couldn't find cranberries), and now a combination blueberry-rhubarb pie. Also it's a second lattice crust shortly after I made my first one for the sour cherry pie in March.

I did make things harder on myself, though, by attempting to make a smaller pie than the recipe called for. I routinely half the Alpha Bakers recipes to avoid overloading the family (though my co-workers probably wouldn't mind having more arrive in the break room on Mondays), and since this practice started back during the Heavenly Cakes bake-through, I have a supply of 6" cake pans and a springform, the right size for half of a 9" cake. The issue of a half-sized pie has only come up for black bottom pie at Thanksgiving or Christmas, and it's a 10" deep-dish pie that works well in a steep sided 8x3 tart pan. I have mini pie pans (3-4"), but nothing in the 6" size. My options were the 8x3", or a pottery 8" pan with pretty straight sides with a scallop at the top. This last is what I decided to use.

BlueRhu PieBecause my pan is bigger than a half-recipe needs, I took a hybrid approach. I made the cream-cheese crust for a 9" pie with a full double-crust or a 14-strip lattice, instead of the called-for 10-strip lattice amount. That still was a bit short for the pie pan. I made 3/4 of the filling amount, and that gave me a little more than half-full pie pan. I then mashed and folded the crust down to the level of the filling, so I really did have enough pie dough after all. The combined effect is rather like a tart, so I guess it all worked out. If I'd predicted that result, I'd have turned to the tart pan collection in the first place.

Pan sizes and math for a 3/4 recipe aside, this is a pretty easy pie. All the filling ingredients macerate for a while, then are brought to a boil, simmered for a minute, then cooled completely. Dump that in the crust, deal with the lattice top (or not), then refrigerate at least 30 minutes before baking on a preheated stone.

Taste tests were conducted by me, the nephew-next-door, and my sister-in-law, with uniform thumbs-up on the pie. (The leftovers will be held in the fridge until the 2 nieces arrive home from their colleges on Wednesday.) I think we all felt it had good blueberry flavor with the rhubarb primarily serving to cut the sometimes over-the-top sweetness of a pure blueberry pie. Sister-in-law thought the bottom crust was overbaked, but I disagree--I wonder if she got a spot where the juices leaked through and formed a hard spot.

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  1. Your rhubarb color is like mine, so light and almost white. I liked the pie too! I always want to half recipe but i always worry the calculation!

  2. That is a beautiful pie plate! Your lattice is perfect. Your pie is so pretty; nice deep color. So glad your family liked it.

  3. I like how your pie came out so pretty.

  4. I think you're right. The rhubarb is there to cut the usual sweetness of a pure blueberry pie. IIRC, Rose's blueberry pie from the pastry bible has lemon juice in it to brighten up the flavour. I think some of my regular tasters just really like sweet things.

  5. Your pie looks delicious Nancy. One thing I've noticed since being part of this group is all the friends I've made. Sharing dessert cannot be understated. Great pics too.

  6. Beautiful! Honestly, I could live without the rhubarb, but now I can say I found a way to eat it that I liked. If you get a chance, I'd love for you to visit my BluRhu post.

    Patricia @ ButterYum

  7. You're so ingenious. And your pie looks great. I can't believe there was any 'mushing' at all!