Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Kim Church's Rhubarb Pie # 29

My husband comes from pie people.

His mom bakes pies, his great-grandma baked pies, his great-great-grandma baked pies, and I assume that there are a lot of other pie bakers in his line that I just don't know about.

That being said, it might not be hard to guess that my husband is a pie guy. He's another link in this generational chain of pie lovers. The credit for that probably goes to this lady:
my mother-in-law, Kim Church.
(Don't get confused. Kim, my mother-in-law on the left. Kimberly, me, on the right.)

She's been baking pies her whole life and has given me a few crust and pie tutorials over the past three years. I'm lucky enough to have learned a thing or two from her and we're all lucky enough that she's letting me exploit her talents by posting the recipe and directions for her rhubarb pie right here on this little blog.

Her pie is delicious. But I find it impossible to leave my critique there, because her pies are the perfect exemplification of the person she is and the adorable island where she lives. Her pies are consistent. They're sweet, organic, and made without fuss or pretense.

And if I can't explain to you in words how great her pies are, the years on her Betty Crocker cookbook, should at least give her pie baking experience a little clout.
One thing that I especially love is the little worry associated with the crust. If you've been consistently reading, you probably know that I've been making a stink about keeping your pie crust COLD! And while her crust has cold shortening in it (something she promotes), she doesn't try to build an arctic tundra of cold pie tools and ingredients (like I often do), and yet, it's perfectly tasty. 

Clearly I still have a lot to learn.

Another thing that I adore about her pies is that she uses the ingredients around her. The pies that she regularly makes are blackberry, rhubarb, and apple.

She lives on Bainbridge Island (just a ferry ride away from Seattle) and I would guess that there are more blackberry bushes on Bainbridge than people. The rhubarb is grown in the garden in her front yard (we used that same rhubarb for this pie). And when they're in season, she uses the apples off the trees in her mother's yard. These are also the same apple trees that her grandma picked from when she made her apple pies.

To me this pie tastes like a lot of love and it's clear that my husband has reason to be a pie loyalist after growing up with his mother's wonderful pies.

Kim Church's Rhubarb Pie
For crust:
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup shortening
7 to 8 tablespoons cold water

For filling:
6 cups Rhubarb
1/2 cups flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 generous shakes cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter.

Heat oven to 425 degrees

For crust--combine flour and salt and stir to combine. Add cold shortening and cut into flour with a fork to combine. Cut until ingredients resemble coarse meal. Add cold water one tablespoon at time and stir with fork or combine with hands before adding each tablespoon. Once moist enough, combine into a ball split into two equal parts. (No need to chill dough.)

For filling--cut rhubarb into 1/2-inch slices. Pour flour, sugar, and cinnamon over rhubarb and stir to combine. Make sure that all the rhubarb is covered in sugar and flour.

Roll out bottom crust on floured surface. To transfer the crust, roll dough over your rolling pin and unroll over pie dish (I have the hardest time doing it--it was perfect when she did it)

Line pie pan with dough by gently moving the crust until it forms into the pie pan while still hanging over the edge an inch or more.

Add rhubarb to pie dish by scooping out with your hands and allowing the excess flour and sugar to drop through your fingers (there should be a lot of extra flour and sugar at the bottom of the mixing bowl once all the rhubarb is in the pie pan). Dot the rhubarb with 3 tablespoons of butter (cut into smaller chunks and evenly space throughout pan).

Roll out top crust and drape over the top of the rhubarb. Trim excess dough (so that there's about an inch hanging over) and fold remaining dough over and form a lip over the edge of the pie pan by tucking the dough into the pie pan. Crimp or pinch edges to form a decorative edge and cut steam vents.

Put a tin-foil ring around the pie before you put it in the oven. and then take it off at the end (last 15 minutes) so your crust doesn't overly brown.
Bake pie for 30 minutes and remove tinfoil for 15 to 20 minutes. Bake until you see juices bubble out of one of the steam vents. (Total bake time 45-50 minutes.)


  1. I can attest to my mom's pies. They are delicious!

  2. It's all in HOW you pick the rhubarb. I get no respect. But I do get lots of truly great pies. John

  3. Made this today with fresh rhubarb from my grandfather's garden. Absolutely delicious!