Friday, September 21, 2007

Rhubarb Raisin Apple Pie

I love rhubarb, so much so that I've taken to freezing those first lovely, tender stalks from spring so I may enjoy them later on.

I was having a really wonderful week. For the first time in maybe ten months I felt strong enough to get out and do errands by myself. That might not sound like much, but most days I'm exhausted after taking a shower. Anyway, I felt great and did a million things this week and then, just so I wouldn't get too confident, I promptly caught a virus. But before I got too sick, I made a pie.

This is a rather tart pie as I used Jonathan apples along with the rhubarb. You may wish to increase the sugar a bit, or halve the lemon juice. The pie was the result of reading through half a dozen recipes that weren't what I wanted. Instead, I trusted my instincts and came up with what I consider one of my better attempts. I hope you like it.

You Will Need:

For the crust-

3 cups all purpose flour

1 1/4 cups vegetable shortening

1 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup cold water

1 tablespoon vinegar

Before beginning, place cold water in freezer to be ice cold. Sift together the flour and salt. Cut-in the shortening with a pastry cutter. Add the egg to the water and beat slightly. Add the vinegar and pour into the flour/shortening mixture. Work into a soft dough. Let stand a few minutes before rolling out.

For the filling-

5 small Jonathan apples, peeled, cored and sliced into segments

1 tablespoon lemon juice

4 1/2-5 cups chopped rhubarb (frozen need not be defrosted-use as is)

1 cup sugar

1 heaping teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 cup golden raisins

1/4 cup fine-milled flour (like Wondra. All purpose will be OK but the ultra fine flours dissolve easier)


Cream/sugar for glazing top

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 9 inch pie plate with bottom crust. I do not bother, but you can brush the bottom crust with a beaten egg white if you fear sogginess). Place in the apples, rhubarb, and raisins. Sprinkle with the lemon juice. In a small bowl, mix flour, ginger, and ginger with enough water to make a smooth paste that will pour (about 3 tablespoons). Pour over the filling.

Place top crust on and seal. Cut vent holes and brush lightly with heavy cream. Sprinkle generously with sugar and bake about 40 minutes. I'd begin checking after 35 to be safe, and it may take as long as an hour-just keep an eye out to be certain it does not burn. A glass pie plate is great as you can check the progress of the bottom crust and be able to tell if you should cover the top with foil. In the absence of a see-through plate, use your judgement

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