My son Trevor and his wife Ali are expecting their first baby, a girl, this summer. I'm pretty excited about getting another granddaughter, especially since she'll live much closer than my other grandbabies. I should be able to see her more often than every few months! Years ago I taught natural birth classes, and really enjoyed it, but after I joined the "workforce" in 1996 I stopped - there just wasn't time, especially since I didn't charge enough money to really make it worth my time. After looking at the options in our community, Trevor and Ali asked if I would do a birthing class for them. This week we started with a little intro and discussed what they want to learn. But the first thing we did was enjoy a dinner of chicken stir fry on the front porch, and finished off with some rhubarb pie.
This recipe comes from the fun book my daughter Cara gave me for my birthday last year. The pie was great with freshly whipped cream, and would also be great warm with ice cream. This one is for people who enjoy the sweet-tart flavor of rhubarb. We loved it.
Miss Maude McCracken's Rhubarb Pie (from Sweety Pies by Patty Pinner)
One 9-inch single pie crust, rolled out, fitted into a pie plate, and edge trimmed and crimped.
1-1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind
1/4 cup orange juice (I used the juice of one large orange)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces (I used regular, salted butter with great results)
4 cups trimmed red rhubarb stalks, sliced 1 inch thick (we prefer smaller chunks of rhubarb, I cut it into 1/2 inch slices)
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened (I used regular butter and omitted the salt)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Prepare the pie crust and set aside.
Combine the sugar, flour, and cloves in a medium-size, heavy saucepan and whisk until well blended. Stir in the orange rind and juice, and the butter. Cook over low to medium heat, stirring, until thickened and bubbly, then add the rhubarb. Stir to coat the rhubarb, then remove from the heat and spoon the filling into the crust. Place in the oven and bake until the rhubarb is tender and the juice bubbles, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the crumb topping. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and sugar. Add the butter and, using your fingertips, work it into the dry mixture until pea-sized crumbs form.
Take the pie out of the oven and sprinkle evenly with the topping. Return to the oven and bake until the topping is golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes longer. Let cool on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.