2000s Recipes + Menus

Rhubarb and Bilberry Pie

Serves6 to 8
  • Active time:30 min
  • Start to finish:5 3/4 hr (includes cooling)
August 2001
Bilberries are a smaller, tarter relative of the blueberry. (You can use either in this pie created by Upper Peninsula artist Phyllis Fredendall.) Given the May to July season of rhubarb, and the July to September season of bilberries and blueberries, you might have to use frozen rhubarb for this recipe, but the pie will still be a standout.

For dough

  • 2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup cold vegetable shortening
  • 5 to 6 tablespoons ice water

For filling

  • 3 cups 1-inch pieces fresh or thawed drained frozen rhubarb (1 lb)
  • 3 cups fresh bilberries or blueberries
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice if using blueberries
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits

Make dough:

  • Sift flour and salt into a bowl (or food processor) and blend in shortening with your fingertips or a pastry blender (or pulse in processor) until mixture resembles coarse meal with some roughly pea-size lumps.
  • Drizzle 4 tablespoons ice water evenly over mixture and gently stir with a fork (or pulse in processor) until incorporated.
  • Gently squeeze a small handful of dough: If it doesn’t hold together, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring (or pulsing) after each addition until just incorporated, continuing to test. (If you overwork dough or add too much water, pastry will be tough.)
  • Divide dough in half and form each half into a disk. Wrap disks separately in wax paper and chill 30 minutes.

Make filling:

  • Gently toss together rhubarb, berries, and, if using blueberries, lemon juice in a large bowl. Whisk together sugar and flour in a small bowl and add to fruit, tossing to combine.

Assemble and bake pie:

  • Put a shallow (1-inch-deep) baking pan in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Roll out 1 piece of dough between 2 sheets of wax paper into a 12-inch round. Peel 1 piece of wax paper from dough and invert dough onto a 9-inch (3-cup) glass pie plate, carefully removing remaining piece of wax paper. Fit dough into pie plate and trim overhang to 1/2 inch. Spoon filling into crust and dot with butter.
  • Roll out remaining dough in same manner. Peel 1 piece of wax paper from dough and invert onto pie, carefully removing remaining piece of wax paper. Fold edge of top crust under bottom crust and crimp decoratively.
  • Cut 4 vents in top crust with a sharp knife and bake pie in hot baking pan 15 minutes.
  • Reduce oven temperature to 375°F and continue baking pie until crust is golden and juices are bubbling, 50 to 60 minutes more.
  • Transfer pie to a rack to cool to just warm, about 4 hours.
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