As I do my best to get through the hungry gap, I’ve been digging into my freezer to see what treasures I stashed there last summer. And….score!! Two pounds of frozen rhubarb pieces. (Rhubarb is incredibly easy to freeze: Chop, freeze on a parchment-lined baking sheet, bag and seal. That’s it. You’ve got fresh-frozen rhubarb to use anytime you want.) Perfect for Pi Day.
The only downside to my frozen rhubarb is that the stalks I get from the farmers’ market cook up more green than red. (I’ve looked into this and figured out why.) The flavor is still sublime, but the color is not terribly appetizing. I usually hide it by cooking the rhubarb with berries, but that’s not really an option in mid-March. I thought a lattice top might do for a little camouflage though…
I sandwiched a rhubarb compote between two layers (crust and lattice) of a sweet dough that’s tender and flavorful—more like a sugar cookie than an actual piecrust, thanks to the yogurt and egg yolks it’s made with. The sweet double crust is a tasty counterpoint to the natural sourness of rhubarb (I tried not to sweeten the compote too much) and it leaves only a little of the green peeking through.
Green Rhubarb Lattice Pie
2 2/3 cups (400 g.) flour
½ cup (110 g.) sugar
½ tsp. salt
½ lb. (2 sticks/225 g.) cold butter, cut into small pieces
2 egg yolks
½ to ¾ cup plain full-fat yogurt
2 lb. (900 g.) rhubarb, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup (225 g.) sugar
2 to 3 Tbs. cornstarch
1 egg, beaten for brushing the crust, optional
TO MAKE THE CRUST: Pulse the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor until combined. Add the butter, and pulse the mixture until it resembles coarse sand.
WHISK together the yolks and ½ cup yogurt in a bowl. Add the yolk mixture to the flour mixture, and pulse until the dough just starts to come together. Add more yogurt (up to ¾ cup), if necessary to make the dough. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and chill 1 hour, or overnight.
TO MAKE THE FILLING: Stir together the rhubarb and sugar in a large saucepan. Let stand 10 minutes, or until the rhubarb has begun to release some of its juice. Bring the rhubarb to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer, uncovered 10 to 15 minutes, or until the rhubarb has broken down and thickened to a compote. Remove from the heat, and stir in the cornstarch. (Use 3 Tbs. if the compote seems watery.) Cool.
PREHEAT THE OVEN TO 375˚F. Grease an 11-inch (28 cm) tart pan with removable bottom.
CUT the Crust dough in half, and roll out half of the dough into a 14-inch (36 cm) circle on a well-floured work surface. Press the dough into the prepared tart pan, and trim the edges. prick the bottom of the crust all over with a fork, and refrigerate 10 to 15 minutes.
ROLL OUT the remaining half of the dough into a 14-inch (36 cm) circle. Transfer the circle to a piece of parchment paper or a baking sheet, and cut the dough circle into 12 lattice strips. Chill the lattice strips 10 to 15 minutes.
FILL the pie shell with the rhubarb mixture. Brush the lattice strips with the beaten egg (if using). Lay 6 lattice strips over the filling, using the shorter strips for the ends and the longer strips for the center. Weave or set the remaining 6 strips into/onto the first trips on a diagonal. Press around the edges to seal, and remove any excess pieces of dough. Bake on a baking sheet set in the bottom third of the oven 40 to 50 minutes, or until the crust is golden. Cool on a wire rack before unmolding.
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