After giving me an amazing blown glass rolling pin for my birthday(!), Ora challenged me to make a pie a week for the duration of the summer and share my adventures on The Big Ceci. Upon accepting that challenge I had only made one pie in my entire life…so we might be in for a bumpy ride, folks.
Growing up in rural Ohio, we had a few rhubarb plants in our yard, and since my birthday is in late May (rhubarb season) my mom has always made me a rhubarb pie for my birthday. So I thought it only fitting to start my pie-perfecting journey with a rhubarb pie…and here it is:
I used Martha Stewart’s recipe, and I’m going to be honest, people: it’s one of the best damn pies I have ever had! Perfect amount of sweet-tartness and buttery-flakeyness. My mom uses flour as a thickener but cornstarch is much better. Flour makes the glaze cloudy and can change the flavor but cornstarch is flavorless and makes a really glossy thick glaze. I used a bit less sugar in the filling than called for as there is sugar in the filling and in the crumble top. I like it tart!
Also, while doing some quick research on rhubarb I found this:
“Rhubarb is usually considered to be a vegetable; however, in the United States, a New York court decided in 1947 that since it was used in the United States as a fruit it was to be counted as a fruit for the purposes of regulations and duties. A side effect was a reduction in taxes paid.” (“Rhubarb,” Wikipedia)
What kind of government takes a plant to court? Rhubarb is “usually considered” to be a vegetable because it is one. Fruits, in general terms, are the sex organs of a plant. They house the seed and are derived from a flower. Edible fruits co-evolved with animals so we would spread their seeds. Plants are smart: if you cover your seeds with something sweet it increases the chances that someone will eat them and then spread the seeds through their digestive processes (trying not to get graphic). Vegetables are the edible parts of a plant that support the flower: leaves, root or stalk (i.e. rhubarb).
So now with a quick botany lesson behind us, I’m looking ahead to next week. I’m going to try and stay in season and local, if possible, for the duration of the pie challenge and I’m wide open for suggestions! See you next week!