A Pair of Rhubarb Pies

bluebarb pie | apt 2b baking co
brown sugar rhubarb pie | apt 2b baking co
brown sugar rhubarb pie | apt 2b baking co
brown sugar rhubarb pie | apt 2b baking co
bluebarb pie | apt 2b baking co
brown sugar rhubarb pie | apt 2b baking co
rhubarb pie | apt 2b baking co
brown sugar rhubarb pie | apt 2b baking co
bluebarb pie | apt 2b baking co

There's nothing that I love to bake more in the summer than pie. Ok, maybe galettes, but they are pretty much the same component parts arranged a little differently. Anyhow, fruit and buttery crust, and ice cream on top is pretty much the optimal to enjoy just about any summer produce, even better if you can eat it outside somewhere - barefoot with the sun shining on your face.

I hope you don't mind that I am a little behind in sharing what I've been up to in the kitchen, but there is still lots of rhubarb at my farmer's market so here are a couple of rhubarb-heavy recipes that would be perfect for this holiday weekend's (if you are in the US) gatherings.

The Bluebarb is especially patriotic with it's red rhubarb, and blueberry filling. I am not a fan of strawberries and rhubarb baked together, but I love rhubarb with darker berries. The second is a straight-up rhubarb pie sweetened with brown sugar, and flavored with a generous sprinkle of lime juice and zest which was a welcome change from my normal granulated sugar-orange zest combo. I made both of these pies with the All Butter Pie Crust from Sweeter off the Vine using all purpose flour, but they would be great with a whole grain crust too (sub in 1/2 spelt or rye for the all purpose) If you are gluten-free Alanna over at the Bojon Gourmet has a lot of great looking gluten free crusts too, pie for everyone!

Have a great weekend guys!

p.s. Don't forget to check the EVENTS tab above. I'll be doing book signings and other book related events all summer, I'd love to meet you all!

Bluebarb Pie

Makes one 9-inch pie

All Butter Pie Crust (recipe follows)

Filling

1 pound (450g)  rhubarb stalks

1 pound (450g) blueberries

3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar

1/2 lemon, zest and juice

1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped from the pod

1/4 cup (32g) all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

pinch salt

1 egg, lightly beaten for egg wash

1 tablespoon turbinado sugar

Preheat the oven to 400º F and place a rack in the bottom of the oven. In a large bowl combine the sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla bean seeds. Use your fingers to rub the zest and seeds into the sugar until well combined and fragrant. Stir in the flour, cinnamon, and salt.

Cut the rhubarb into 1-inch pieces and add it to the bowl. Add the blueberries and lemon juice, but don't stir quite yet.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out one piece of the dough into a roughly 12-inch circle about 1/8-inch thick and place it into a 9-inch pie pan. Place in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the pie. Roll out the other piece of dough into a roughly 12-inch circle, about 1/8-inch thick.

Stir the filling ingredients together, then fill the pie shell and top with the second crust.

Trim the edges so they are even, then crimp them together. Alternately, cut the second crust into 1 1/2 to 2-inch strips and weave a lattice top.

Slide the whole pie into the fridge or freezer for about 15 minutes or until the crust is very firm. When you are ready to bake, carefully and gently brush the top of the pie with a beaten egg and sprinkle with a healthy dose of coarse sugar.

Put the pie on a baking sheet to catch any drips and bake for 45-55 minutes or until the crust is deep golden brown and the juices bubble. Cool the pie before slicing.

Brown Sugar Rhubarb Pie

makes one 9-inch pie

All Butter Pie Crust (recipe follows)

Filling

32 ounces (900g) rhubarb  chopped into 1/2'' pieces (if your rhubarb is tough or stringy, remove the strings by pulling them down the stalk)

1 1/4 cups (250g) light brown sugar

1/4 cup (32g) all purpose flour

1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped from the pod

1 tablespoon lime zest

1 tablespoon lime juice

pinch salt

1 egg, lightly beaten for egg wash

1 tablespoon turbinado sugar

Preheat the oven to 400º F and place a rack in the bottom of the oven. In a large bowl combine the sugar, lime zest, and vanilla bean seeds. Use your fingers to rub the zest and seeds into the sugar until well combined and fragrant. Stir in the flour and salt. Add the rhubarb and lime juice but don't stir quite yet.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out one piece of the dough into a roughly 12-inch circle about 1/8-inch thick and place it into a 9-inch pie pan. Place in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the pie. Roll out the other piece of dough into a roughly 12-inch circle, about 1/8-inch thick.

Stir the filling ingredients together, then fill the pie shell and top with the second crust.

Trim the edges so they are even, then crimp them together. Alternately, cut the second crust into 1 1/2 to 2-inch strips and weave a lattice top.

Slide the whole pie into the fridge or freezer for about 15 minutes or until the crust is very firm. When you are ready to bake, carefully and gently brush the top of the pie with a beaten egg and sprinkle with a healthy dose of coarse sugar.

Put the pie on a baking sheet to catch any drips and bake for 45-55 minutes or until the crust is deep golden brown and the juices bubble. Cool the pie before slicing.

All Butter Pie Crust

2 2/3 cups (340g) all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (255g) unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes

8-10 tablespoons ice water

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

To make the crust, combine the flour and salt in a bowl, cut the butter into 1/2-inch cubes, and add the apple cider vinegar to the ice water.

Working quickly, add the butter to the flour and toss to coat. Then use your fingers or the palms of your hands to press each cube of butter into a flat sheet. Keep tossing the butter as you go to ensure that each butter piece is coated with flour. The idea is to create thin, flat shards of butter that range from about the size of a dime to about the size of a quarter. Sprinkle about 6 tablespoons of the water over the flour mixture and mix gently. If the dough seems very dry, add more water a couple of teaspoons at a time. 

You have added enough water when you can pick up a handful of the dough and squeeze it together easily without it falling apart. Press the dough together, then split it in half, form into discs and wrap each disc in plastic wrap. Chill the dough for at least one hour before using, or overnight. I prefer an overnight rest if possible

Brown Sugar Buttermilk Cake with Roasted Strawberry Frosting

Brown Sugar Buttermilk Cake with Roasted Strawberry Frosting

I guess you could say I made this cake out of necessity, but I didn't have a birthday to celebrate or a party to take it to. The truth is, I picked up a pound of less than perfect fruit, deceptively red and plump but severely lacking in the flavor department. So to save those berries from themselves I gave them a honey bath and tossed them in the oven. See you later, bland berries!

Brown Sugar Buttermilk Cake with Roasted Strawberry Frosting

As I was daydreaming about the best way to use the little jewels roasting away in the oven, the scent of caramelizing fruit began to waft through the apartment. The scent of roasting strawberries is the sweet essence of strawberry, almost artificial in it's intensity.

Brown Sugar Buttermilk Cake with Roasted Strawberry Frosting

I was in the mood to bake something tall and towering so I set to work making a tried and true vanilla buttermilk cake, only I swapped out the white sugar for brown to echo the caramel notes in the berry frosting I planned to make. The slow meditation of softening butter, separating eggs and sifting flour gave me time to consider my frosting options. Cream cheese? Buttercream? 7-minute? Swiss meringue, that's the ticket!

Brown Sugar Buttermilk Cake with Roasted Strawberry Frosting

I whipped up a batch of my favorite (not too sweet) Swiss meringue buttercream and enriched it with a scraped vanilla bean and a healthy amount of strawberry puree and watched as the frosting turned the loveliest pale pink. Maybe try whipping this up for your Mom this weekend, I hear Moms love pink cake.

In unrelated news, you can stream the entire new Beach House record on NPR here. It's 35 minutes of fun, mellow summertime tunes that will start your week right.

Brown Sugar Buttermilk Cake

adapted from Sky High: Irresistible Triple Layer Cakes

yield 1, 8'' cake

4 eggs

2 egg yolks (save the whites for the buttercream)

1 1/4 cups buttermilk

1Tablespoon vanilla extract

3 cups cake flour

2 cups dark brown sugar

4 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

8oz softened butter

Preheat your oven to 350º and grease and flour 3, 8'' cake pans. For safety's sake, I lined mine with parchment too.

1. Sift the cake flour, baking powder and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer. Break up the brown sugar with your hands and whisk it into the flour mixture .

2. Cut the softened butter into chunks and add it into the flour mixture. Mix on low until the butter is evenly distributed and the mixture looks like crumbs. It is helpful to stop the mixer and scrape the bottom of the bowl during this process.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, buttermilk and vanilla extract. With the stand mixer running, add the milk mixture in three additions. Mix for 30 seconds after each addition, then stop the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl and paddle making sure to get down to the bottom of the bowl to ensure the batter is well mixed.

4. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and tap them gently on the counter to release air bubbles. Slide the pans into the oven and bake the layers for 28-30min or until a cake tester comes out completely. Cool for 15 minutes in the pans, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely before frosting.

Roasted Strawberries

1lb strawberries, cut in halves or quarters if they are large

2T honey

1T neutral flavored oil (canola or grapeseed)

Toss the strawberries with honey and oil. Spread out in an even layer on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 400º for 15-20min or until the berries have released some of their juices and caramelized slightly.

Roasted Strawberry Meringue Buttercream 

yield, enough frosting for an 8'' or 9'' cake (plus a little extra)

5 egg whites

1 1/4 cups sugar

1lb butter, room temp

pinch salt

1 vanilla bean, scraped

1/2 cup roasted strawberry puree (room temperature)

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the egg whites and sugar. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water and whisk continuously until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is warm to the touch, 5-7min.

2. Using the whisk attachment, beat the egg white mixture until stiff glossy peaks form and the mixture has cooled to room temperature, about 10min.

3. Switch to the paddle attachment and reduce the speed to low and add the salt then add butter a few tablespoons at a time and beat the frosting until smooth. During this step it is very likely that the frosting will "break" and you will think you messed up. Good news! You didn't! Mine breaks sometimes too. All you have to do is turn up the speed on your mixer for a few seconds and the frosting comes back together. Continue until all of the butter is incorporated then add in the vanilla bean seeds and very slowly stream in the roasted strawberry puree.

To Assemble the Cake

Peel the parchment paper from the layers and trim the cakes so the tops are flat. Place one layer onto a serving platter or pedestal and spread 1/2c-3/4c of the frosting onto the cake in an even layer. Place the second layer on top and repeat. Finish by placing the last layer on top, trimmed side down so the top of the cake will be nice and flat and crumb free. Cover the top and sides of the cake with a thin layer of frosting (crumb coat) and refrigerate for about 30min. Pull the cake out of the fridge and add a second, heavier coat of frosting on the top and sides of the cake. Garnish with sliced strawberries. Serve at room temperature. Store any extra frosting in an airtight container in the freezer where it will keep for a few weeks.

Brown Sugar Buttermilk Cake with Roasted Strawberry Frosting