Delia

A Very Easy One-crust Rhubarb Pie

This American idea for making a pie is blissfully easy – no baking tins and no lids to be cut, fitted and fluted. It looks very attractive because you can see the fruit inside and, because there is less pastry, it's a little easier on the waistline.


Serves 6

This recipe is taken from Delia's Summer Collection.

A Very Easy One-crust Rhubarb Pie
Ingredients
For the shortcrust pastry:
 6 oz (175 g) plain flour
 1½ oz (40 g) lard, at room temperature
 1½ oz (40 g) butter or margarine, at room temperature
 1 small egg yolk
 2 rounded tablespoons semolina
For the filling:
 1½ lb (700 g) prepared rhubarb
 3 oz (75 g) caster sugar
For the glaze:
 1 small egg white
 6 sugar cubes, crushed
Equipment
You will also need a solid baking sheet, lightly greased.

Method

Make up the pastry by sifting the flour into a large mixing bowl, then rubbing the fats into it lightly with your fingertips, lifting everything up and letting it fall back into the bowl to give it a good airing. When the mixture reaches the crumb stage, sprinkle in enough cold water to bring it together to a smooth dough that leaves the bowl absolutely clean, with no crumbs left.

Give it a little light knead to bring it fully together, then place the pastry in a polythene bag in the fridge for 30 minutes. After that, pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C). Then roll the pastry out on a flat surface to a round of approximately 14 inches (35 cm) – as you roll, give it quarter turns so that it ends up as round as you can make it (don't worry, though, about ragged edges: they're fine).

Now carefully roll the pastry round the rolling pin and transfer it to the centre of the lightly greased baking sheet. To prevent the pastry getting soggy from any excess juice, paint the base with egg yolk (you'll need to cover approximately a 10 inch (25.5 cm) circle in the centre), then sprinkle the semolina lightly over this. The semolina is there to absorb the juices and the egg provides a waterproof coating.

Now simply pile the rhubarb in the centre of the pastry, sprinkling it with sugar as you go. Then all you do is turn in the edges of the pastry: if any breaks, just patch it back on again – it's all meant to be ragged and interesting. Brush the pastry surface all round with the egg white, then crush the sugar cubes with a rolling pin and sprinkle over the pastry (the idea of using crushed cubes is to get a less uniform look than with granulated). Now pop the pie on to the highest shelf of the oven and bake for approximately 35 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve warm with chilled crème fraîche or ice cream.

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