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+ servings

Straight-Up Rhubarb Pie

If you decide to use alphabet cutters or other shapes to decorate your pie, cut the shapes before adding the top crust to the pie. Bake the centers of the letters separately on a baking sheet. Watch them carefully as they burn quickly -- timing will vary depending on their size and thickness. Add them to the pie after it cools.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr 15 mins
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Course: Dessert
Servings: 8 to 10
Author: Suzanne Cowden


  • Pastry
  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 sticks butter cut in 1/4-inch slices (1 1/4 cups)
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon ice water strained
  • Filling
  • 5 cups chopped rhubarb stalks sliced to 1-inch lengths, about 1 1/2 pounds
  • 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar to taste
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Egg Wash
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • pinch kosher salt


  • To prepare the pastry dough, whirl flour, confectioners' sugar, and salt in food processor with the blade attachment. Add about half of the butter and whirl until no chunks remain. Add remaining slices and whirl briefly to chop them up slightly. Turn food processor on again and quickly begin drizzling ice water through the feed tube, stopping before the dough comes together. Pinch some crumbs together between your fingers; if they don’t stick together, add a bit more water and whirl briefly.
  • Turn the mixture out onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Use the plastic wrap to help you bring the dough together; fold the edges of the dough toward the center and press down until it holds together, taking care not to overwork the dough. Divide it in half and shape into two flat disks wrapped tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  • While the dough chills, preheat oven to 425º F. Combine filling ingredients in a large bowl and let stand for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Whisk egg, water, and salt together in a small bowl and set aside.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out one of the dough rounds into a 13 to 14-inch circle. Transfer it carefully to a 10-inch pie dish. Brush some of the egg wash over the dough. Roll out remaining round into a 13 to 14-inch circle.
  • Add rhubarb mixture to the pie dish and brush the overhanging edge of pie dough with cold water. Center top crust over the pie dish and seal the pie gently by pressing down all the way around the pie's edge with the bottom of a fork. Trim overhanging dough with a knife and flute the edge with your fingers, if desired. Cut steam vents in the top. Brush the top crust lightly with egg wash.
  • Place pie on a baking sheet to catch any overflowing juices. Bake for 30 minutes on the bottom rack of the oven. Reduce heat to 350º F and continue baking for 30 to 45 minutes, until juices bubble thickly through the vents and the crust is golden brown (if the top browns too quickly, slip a baking sheet on the top rack of the oven to diffuse the heat). Allow to cool completely before slicing.