Mini pie! Though they can be a bit tough to find, I love my mini, 7-inch pie plates. I have two, actually: one in the classic heron pattern used by Tai’s Uncle Charlie at Hog Bay Pottery, and one deep-dish 7-inch by Emile Henry that I snagged years ago at a little shop in Bedford Village. And they are not so mini, really: a quarter of the pie is still a hefty serving, and with ice cream the pie could easily serve six. But somehow, a mini pie is much less daunting than a full pie: a mere pound of fruit makes a nicely stuffed mini pie, you can almost eyeball the sugar & cornstarch you need for the filling, and I can nearly always round up enough pastry dough scraps in the freezer to make it work.
Since someone (raises hand sheepishly) in the household enjoys making pie much more than eating it, a mini pie makes sense: there’s only one of us eating it, and unless friends pop by, it’s hard for even my pie-loving husband to go through an entire 9-inch pie in a couple of days. Though he did inquire last night, in a hopeful tone as he was eating pie for dinner, “Rhubarb is a vegetable, right?”
According the to Official Local Kitchen Pie Tester, this little rhubarb pie is cool and refreshing, with just enough sweetness to take the edge off of the tart rhubarb, but not so much that it makes pie too heavy in the hot, humid, Augusty weather we’ve been (not) enjoying. If you, like me, find yourself without air conditioning in your Augusty kitchen, you may need to take some breaks in rolling & shaping the pie dough to let it chill and firm up in the fridge before you can finish. More time for rosé over ice and lime popsicles, I say. Happy weekend, friends!
Crust & filling adapted from Pure Rhubarb Pie in The Pie & Pastry Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum
- 7-inch pie plate
- one recipe Flaky Cream Cheese Pie Crust
- ⅔ cup raw sugar
- 1 heaping tbsp cornstarch
- 1 lb rhubarb, washed, trimmed and sliced to ½-inch pieces
- zest of 1 lemon
- pinch salt
- Make pastry dough and chill for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight.
- In a medium bowl, combine sugar and cornstarch; whisk briskly until well combined. Add rhubarb, lemon zest and salt. Stir to coat rhubarb in sugar and allow to macerate at room temperature, stirring occasionally, while you roll out the dough.
- Remove pastry dough from the refrigerator and allow to warm up just enough to be workable. Roll pastry dough on a lightly floured surface into a rough circle, ⅛-inch thick. Drape lightly over the pie plate, pressing dough down into the edges of the plate, and trim edges with kitchen shears, leaving about 1 inch of overlap. Gather the scraps and re-roll to form the lattice top. Or, if necessary, gather the scraps into a smooth disc then refrigerate both top & bottom dough until chilled, about 20 minutes. Roll scraps into a rough circle about ⅛-inch thick. With a long knife or pizza cutter, slice into 6 or 7 thick strips.
- Toss macerating rhubarb in the bowl one last time. Pile rhubarb and accumulated syrup into the prepared pie crust. Assemble your lattice top with the classic over-under weaving technique. Trim the edges of the lattice strips as necessary, then fold the overhanging bottom crust up and crimp the edge to seal & decorate. Refrigerate assembled pie for at least 1 hour, or pop in the freezer for at least 20 minutes, so that the pastry dough is very cold & firm before it goes into the oven.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place a rimmed baking sheet on the bottom rack of the oven while preheating. When ready to bake, brush the lattice top with beaten egg yolk, or heavy cream (in this case) or milk, then sprinkle lightly with raw sugar. Bake on the rimmed baking sheet (to catch drips) for 10 minutes at 425 degrees F, then reduce heat to 400 degrees F and continue to bake until pastry is nicely browned and filling is actively bubbling, about 45 minutes. Check on pie every 20 minutes or so, and reduce heat to 350 degrees F if pastry is over-browning.
- Remove to a wire rack to cool. Cool completely prior to slicing. Serve with whipped or ice cream.
Serves 4 – 6.
- For a full-sized pie plate, double the pastry dough recipe and triple the amount of filling.
- For a sweet cherry, rhubarb & Meyer lemon pie recipe, see here.
At room temperature, lightly covered with a clean kitchen towel, for up to days.