Thursday, April 26, 2012

Rustic Rhubarb Pie (with Ginger)

First of all, I hope you’ve noticed that The Messy Apron has received a bit of a visual update. I didn’t really want to change it much, but there have been some software updates for this blog engine and a slightly refreshed image was going to make those easier for me to deal with. Everything should be exactly where it was before. (If something is broken, please let me know.)

But now the really important stuff: rhubarb! This is rather embarrassing, but I still have a few big bags of frozen chopped rhubarb that I put up last fall. And the plants in the backyard are growing fast and ready to eat. How did this happen?!

I was looking for something relatively simple for dessert that would feature rhubarb. Something beyond a basic rhubarb compote or strawberry rhubarb sauce. I went with a rustic galette flavored with fresh ginger and vanilla, two flavors that I think are wonderful with rhubarb. I used the Easy Cream Cheese Pastry recipe I posted here, and that made this a pretty easy and stress-free dessert.

Well, almost stress-free. You see, rhubarb is rather juicy stuff. In the original recipe, it was suggested that after letting the rhubarb stand with sugar for a while, a lot of the liquid will be thrown off and you can remove the rhubarb with a slotted spoon, leaving behind most of the juices that would make a soggy pie. Well, I don’t know if it was because I started with rhubarb that was still slightly frozen, but I didn’t get any pools of liquid in the bottom of the bowl when I prepared the filling. What I did get was pools of sugary rhubarb-ginger syrup that oozed out of the cracks in the pie crust and caramelized (okay, burned) in the oven. I made this twice, both times with rhubarb that had been frozen, and this happened each time. (I think I need to improve my pie crust skills!)

Since the galette was still great (and nothing caught on fire), I decided to get over the little mess, which was pretty easy to clean because I baked the galette on a pan lined with a silicone baking mat. I hope to keep making this because it is so simple to prepare for all the deliciousness it brings, and I’m sure I’ll have plenty of fresh rhubarb with which to try it. I think I’m probably just going to have to accept that this will be a bit runny and gooey at least some of the time, but what’s really important is the wonderfully sweet, tart, floral and slightly citrusy flavor of well-sugared rhubarb with ginger and vanilla. And gilding a slice of this galette with a scoop of vanilla ice cream isn’t such a bad idea, either.

Rhubarb-Ginger Galette
Adapted from this recipe at Simply Recipes

1 recipe single pie crust dough (I used Easy Cream Cheese Pastry)
3 cups rhubarb (¼ inch slices)
¾ cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon vanilla extract egg wash (egg beaten with a splash of water or milk), optional

1. In a medium-size bowl combine rhubarb, sugar, flour, and ginger. Let stand 15 minutes.

2. Preheat oven to 375 F. Roll out the pie crust into about a 12 inch circle (or unfold a store-bought crust) and transfer it to a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil, parchment or a silicone baking mat.

3. Spoon the rhubarb mixture onto the middle of the crust leaving a few inches of crust on the outside border. If the rhubarb mixture is especially juicy, leave behind most of the liquid as you scoop the mixture out of the bowl. This will help keep the pie from getting too soggy.

4. Fold the crust border up over the edges of the filling, leaving much of the filling exposed in the middle. Brush the crust with egg wash if desired.

5. Bake at 375 F for 35-40 minutes or until the crust is crisp and golden brown and the rhubarb is tender. If the filling is cold, it will take longer to bake. Unless you are an expert pie-maker, I suggest you expect some of the liquid from the filling to leak out of the pie to make a semi-burned mess. (Using a lined pan under the pie will help with the cleanup.) Cool completely or serve slightly warm with vanilla ice cream.

Makes about 6 servings.

Other recipes like this one: Rhubarb Yogurt Cake, Rhubarb Sour Cream Muffins, Rhubarb Custard Bars

One year ago: Chickpea and Spinach Curry

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