This recipe is so amazing that I've been forbidden to share it online! I'm sorry. I begged and pleaded, but it is a treasured, secret family recipe and my mom insisted it remain locked in the family vault, or at least in her recipe box. And it is SOOOO good! I started angling for her to make rhubarb pie as soon as I got home. Once it didn't appear within the first two days I had to try more serious tactics. Mom came home to a spotlessly clean kitchen and a pile of fresh rhubarb on the table. Perfect pie making conditions!
Sam helped me gather the fresh rhubarb from the garden. This is an ancient plot. I don't know how long they last, but it's come up every year I can remember. I planted some at our house in Salt Lake too, but the chickens got most of it. I'm hoping it comes back strong next year! I might have to bring home a bag of Maine rhubarb to tide us over in the meantime.
Sam has to taste everything, including raw rhubarb. He made the memorable discovery of just why it is that we bake it into pie with plenty of sugar instead of eating it raw!
My mom's rhubarb pie recipe is actually my great aunt Edith's recipe and she probably got it from someone before her. Every other recipe for rhubarb pie I've ever come across generally includes the addition of some other fruit (usually strawberries) to temper the rhubarb. But, I'm telling you, when done right, you only need the rhubarb. My mom's pie is creamy and perfectly tart-sweet. The crust is flaky and toothsome with just the right buttery, crisp, tender texture.
I told Mom I'd make the filling if she'd make the crust. I'm definitely still at the amateur pie crust-making stage and much prefer her crust to my own. There's just a certain intuition that comes from hundreds of pies made that I haven't quite developed yet. Maybe that just means I need to make more pies to practice!
She's a whiz with the rolling pin, deftly wielding it like some sort of trained swordsman. How does she manage to make a perfect circle every time when I always end up with strange lumps protruding out the sides when I roll things out? It's a mystery.
Mmmm, here's the filling all ready to be tranformed, the flavors melded together into perfect, delicious pie harmony. Sometimes I eat a little nibble of filling before it goes in the oven, but ooh! it's sour when you bite into a crunchy piece of rhubarb! There's something kind of thrilling about it, must be the same thing that drove us to eat Warheads and Sour Patch Kids when we were young. Once the pie is baked though, there's only the pleasantest tart note to offset the sweetness.
Oh, Bliss! That first slice was absolute Heaven. As was the second. And the third I had for breakfast this morning. Do you think I can convince her to make another one tonight?