Friday, September 17, 2010

Rhubarb Crumble Pie (or dessert from a deer-proof garden)

I love rhubarb--tart, tangy ruby-red rhubarb. It's one of the first plants to pop up in my Springtime garden. Actually, it's the only thing that appears in my garden at any time of year. I live in "deer country". Bambi and company don't just wander through occasionally. They live here. In the morning they munch on the salal, at noon they frolic through the flower beds after a short nap on the back lawn, and in the evening they bed down under the cedars.

Nothing is off-limits....nothing, that is except for the rhubarb. And in autumn I find that it is still going strong and so today I gathered a few plump stalks and decided to prepare one of my family's favorites -- rhubarb crumble pie.

Rhubarb Crumble Pie

One unbaked 9-inch pastry shell
3/4 cup granulated sugar
5 teaspoons cornstarch
4 cups rhubarb, cut in 1/2-inch slices
1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

Combine sugar and cornstarch in large mixing bowl. Add rhubarb slices and toss until all slices are covered with sugar-cornstarch mixture. Set aside for about 10 minutes or until sugar appears moist. Place rhubarb-sugar-cornstarch mixture in unbaked pastry shell.

Place flour, butter or margarine, and brown sugar in another mixing bowl. Cut butter into flour and sugar with a pastry blender until mixture has the appearance of coarse crumbs. Place this crumble mixture atop rhubarb in pastry shell, spreading to evenly cover rhubarb.

Chill prepared pie in refrigerator and chill for one hour. (This resting time will allow the cornstarch to begin to thicken the pie filling).

After one hour, preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Bake pie in preheated oven for 50 minutes or until crumble topping and pastry edges appear golden brown.

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