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Get a Preview of Springtime Riches with a Rhubarb Cherry Pie


Rhubarb Cherry Pie right out of the oven

I’ve been hankering for some “pieplant pie” ever since I came across the term while reading Della T. Lutes’ 1935 food memoir, “The Country Kitchen.”

“Pieplant” is apparently a late 19th century term for rhubarb, which is one of the first things to grow up north in the spring.

“Slender, almost translucent pipes of rose color blanching to snowy white where stem meets the parent root; mere rods of tart juiciness held upright by a deeper fibrous body that melts to pulp at the mere hint of heat,” Lutes writes.

I remember that sight oh so well when I lived in upstate New York, where rhubarb would grow for more than six months each year. And that flavor could hardly be bettered, especially when baked in a pie.

Our rhubarb in San Antonio isn’t always fresh, especially this time of year. But you can find it in the freezer section. I went to pick up some and was surprised to find tart cherries next to it. I grabbed a bag of each and set out to make my own version of pieplant pie, which I hope you enjoy.

Rhubarb Cherry Pie

Rhubarb Cherry Pie filling

2 pie crusts, unbaked, separate use

1 (16-ounce) package frozen rhubarb, thawed
1 (12-ounce) package tart cherries, thawed
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, cut in small pieces

1 egg white
Sugar

Roll out one of the pie crusts and line a 9-inch pie pan. Set aside.

In a bowl, combine rhubarb, cherries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, vanilla and salt. Stir until sugar and starch are thoroughly incorporated. Let sit at least 5 minutes.

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Make a lattice crust.

When rhubarb-cherry mixture is ready, pour into pie pan. Sprinkle the butter pieces over the top.

Roll out the second pie crust and cut into strips about 1/2-inch. You can use a knife, if you don’t have a pastry stamp cutter wheel. Create a lattice over the top.

Mix an egg white with a splash of warm water. Brush over the lattice crust. Sprinkle with a light amount of sugar.

Bake for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees. Bake for 45 minutes or until crust is a deep golden brown and the filling is bubbly.

Makes 1 pie.

Adapted from Michael Symon

 

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Rhubarb Bread


A quick bread made with rhubarb and nuts is an unusual summer treat.

This is a quick bread with a crumbly topping and the flavorful taste of rhubarb. Make it with the fresh stalks of the plant, or you can buy diced rhubarb in the store’s freezer section.

Rhubarb Bread

1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
2 cups diced rhubarb
1/2 cup chopped, lightly toasted walnuts or pecans
1 tablespoon soft butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 8-by-4-inch loaf pans.

Combine in a bowl the brown sugar and oil. Stir well until smooth. Add the egg, buttermilk, salt, baking soda, vanilla and flour. Blend until moist. Fold in the diced rhubarb and chopped nuts. Turn batter into prepared loaf pans.

Combine the butter and sugar until crumbly, then sprinkle over top of the batter in the pans.

Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until bread passes the toothpick test. Turn out onto racks and cool before slicing. Slice into about 20 slices per loaf.

Makes 20 slices

From: The Rhubarb Compendium

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