My partner, Simon, fancies himself a bit of a rhubarb connoisseur. His family home in New Zealand has the most incredible kitchen garden which is constantly overflowing with whatever is in season. In the spring, there is rhubarb. There’s always pressure when it comes to him trying one of my rhubarb desserts but he ate his whole piece of this pie in silence and then went back for more. So it must be good, then.
- 700 g (1 lb 9 oz) rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 10 cm (4 in) pieces
- 220 g (8 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
- 1 orange, juiced and zest finely grated
- 1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp demerara sugar
- slivered pistachios, to serve
- 375 g (13 oz/2½ cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 55 g (2 oz/¼ cup) caster (superfine) sugar
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- 250 g (9 oz) cold unsalted butter, cut into 2 cm (¾ in) cubes
- 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) apple cider vinegar
- 125 ml (4 fl oz /½ cup) cold water and
- 4 ice cubes
- 110 g (4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
- 110 g (4 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
- 60 g (2 oz/¼ cup) sour cream
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp natural vanilla extract
- 250 g (9 oz/1⅔ cups) pistachios, finely ground
- 50 g (1¾ oz/⅓ cup) plain (all-purpose) flour
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling time 3 hours 30 minutes
Resting time 30 minutes
To make the pastry, combine the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Add the butter pieces and toss to coat. Turn out onto a clean work surface and, using a pastry cutter (or flat-bladed knife), roughly cut the butter into the flour (leave some large chunks of butter as this will help the pastry to become nice and flaky as it cooks).
Create a well in the centre of the flour mixture. Combine the vinegar, cold water and ice cubes. Add to the flour mixture in 3 batches, working it in with your hands to form a rough dough (you may not need all of the water). Divide the dough in half, shape into rough discs and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for 3 hours.
Roll out one piece of pastry to a thickness of 3 mm (1/8 in). Use the pastry to line the base and sides of a 28 cm × 17 cm (11 in × 6¾ in) pie dish, leaving a 3 cm (1¼ in) overhang. Roll out the second piece of pastry to a thickness of 3 mm (1/8 in) and cut into seven 5 cm (2 in) thick strips. Chill both for 30 minutes.
Combine the rhubarb, caster sugar and orange juice and zest in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until the rhubarb is soft. Remove from the heat and leave to cool completely.
Preheat the oven to 200°F (400°F). For the frangipane, beat the butter and sugar until pale using an electric mixer. Beat in the sour cream, egg, egg yolk and vanilla until combined, then beat in the pistachios and flour. Spread into the base of the prepared pie dish and top with the rhubarb mixture.
Make a lattice top with the chilled strips and place it on top of the filling. Trim off any excess pastry from the strips then fold over the overhanging pastry to conceal the ends of the lattice and to seal. Brush with the egg wash and scatter with demerara sugar.
Place on a baking tray and bake for 50 minutes or until golden and bubbling. Rest for 30 minutes, then scatter with the slivered pistachios before serving.
Recipe and image from The Pie Project by Phoebe Wood and Kirsten Jenkins (Hardie Grant, $29.95, hbk).
View our Readable feasts review and more recipes from the book here.