Monday, June 6, 2011
COUNTRY RHUBARB CROSTATA
In the place where I grew up -- there on Brown Avenue in Orofino -- we had a huge rhubarb plant on the alley. My mother liked rhubarb and in the spring she would make rhubarb custard pie and also big pots of rhubarb sauce. But what I remember especially was my dad's fondness for rhubarb. He would pull a rhubarb stalk, sprinkle it with salt and eat it with relish over the kitchen sink. I admit that I didn't take to the raw stalks but my love of rhubarb sauce and desserts continues to this day.
When I married Mike, I discovered a lovely rhubarb plant at the side of our house from which the neighbors on both sides seemed to feel free to pilfer. Probably the previous wife hadn't cared too much for rhubarb and was willing to share. When we moved to our second Lewiston house I planted a lovely red rhubarb plant that was both decorative and delicious. The rhubarb I planted at the town house withered away the first summer and the one I planted at the farm struggles along. Sadly I now have to buy rhubarb.
Last week while Nick and Hallie were here I made rhubarb upside-down cake. With this week's rhubarb purchase, I decided to make a rhubarb custard pie. My mother worked so well with her hands and made beautiful pies with uniformity. I make good pies that aren't beautiful. That's why the recipe for "Country Rhubarb Crostata" on bettycrocker.com caught my eye. It calls for an unbaked single crust but instead of fluting it, you just fold the edges over the filling "decoratively." How simple! And any lopsidedness just adds to a casual appearance. Perhaps this will become my standard pie crust method.
I had a message from Leah this morning with a recipe for rhubarb parfait. I'll have to try that next. KW