Edna Lewis’ Rhubarb Pie
This is a traditional rhubarb pie—basic and delicious. The rhubarb is tart, the syrup is sweet, and the crust is toasty and flaky. The recipe comes from Ms. Lewis’ The Taste of Country Cooking, a classic reissued by Knopf in 2008.
1½ C. plus 2 t. sifted flour
1 scant t. salt
¼ C. chilled lard
¼ C. cold water
2/3 C. sugar
¼ t. fresh-grated nutmeg
2 t. cornstarch
4 C. (about 1½–2 pounds) fresh rhubarb, cut into ½-inch pieces
Put 1½ cups sifted flour and the salt into a bowl, add the chilled lard and mix well with a pastry blender or with fingertips. When well blended add all of the water and mix until water is all absorbed. This will make the dough a bit sticky. Sprinkle over lightly with 2 teaspoons flour and roll into a ball. Leave to rest in a cool place for about 15 minutes.
Separate the dough into two unequal pieces. Roll out the larger piece and place it in a 9-inch pie pan. Roll out the smaller piece and cut into ¾-inch strips to make latticework. Place the strips upon a sheet of wax paper and place it, along with the pastry-lined pie pan, into the refrigerator until needed.
When ready to prepare the filling, remove pastry from the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix together well the sugar, nutmeg and cornstarch. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of this sugar mixture over bottom of pastry. Mix the rest into the rhubarb and fill the crust. Place on strips in a lattice fashion. Moisten rim of bottom crust to help the lattice strips adhere. Place the pie in the preheated oven. Total cooking time for the pie is 40 minutes.