Rhubarb Blackberry Pie with Limoncello Crust

Nothing tells you spring is here more than rhubarb, berries and fresh peas beginning to show up at the farmer’s markets and grocery stores.  While tart rhubarb is almost always paired with strawberries, this pie goes a different way with blackberries and a slightly sweet crust flavored with fresh lemon zest and limoncello.

The pie crust is made by using the grater attachment to grate frozen butter, which is then gently mixed in the plastic whipping bowl with the rest of the dough ingredients.

If you don’t own this attachment, I suggest a food processor with a grater attachment. If using a box grater, briefly run your hands under cold water so the butter doesn’t start to melt when coming in contact.

 

First, the butter gets gently whisked in with the dry ingredients, and then the wet are slowly added in until you can squeeze a portion and it stays together.

Ice cold vodka and limoncello are used in this pie crust. If you wish, you can replace both with ice water.

 

Next, the dough is turned out and gently kneaded together.  Don’t worry if it seems crumbly, it will come together.  If it does seem a little too dry, sprinkle a bit more cold vodka or ice water in.

Wrap up and store in the refrigerator while filling is prepared.

 

The rhubarb that you see in the grocery store often has a deep red hue.  However, it can be green as well.  When it is green, it is less tart and less tannic than the red.  The leaves are poisonous, so if there are any on the stalks, chop those off and throw them in the compost or trash.

The outside of rhubarb is fibrous. This softens as it cooks, but if a particular part is being difficult to chop up, just grab it with your fingers and it peels right off.

 

Evenly rolling pie crust can be challenging.  That’s why I find a mat with circle measurements on it helpful when rolling out.  This one from DoughEZ if my favorite so far because it also has these guiding sticks that ensure even thickness of dough when rolling out.

Always roll pie dough 2-3 inches bigger than measurement of pie plate to ensure that the sides are evenly covered and any decorative crimping can be done.

 

The easiest way to transfer a rolled out pie crust to the pie plate is to lay some parchment paper or wax paper over it, flip it over and gently peel off rolling mat.  If bottom is a little sticky after rolling out, sprinkle with flour.  Then slide hand under parchment paper and carefully flip into pie plate.  Make sure crust is evenly covering bottom and sides.

Use a serrated knife to trim excess crust off the top. If dough is soft and hard to neatly trim, pop in the freezer for 1 minute.

 

Rhubarb is very tart so the filling requires a lot of sugar, and some flour to help thicken up the juices during baking.

The best way to achieve an even consistency is to sprinkle a little sugar/flour mixture on the bottom, toss the rhubarb with a few tablespoons of it, and then layer the rhubarb in the pie plate with the sugar/flour mixture.
The blackberries only go on top, I like just a hint of them with the rhubarb. Adding them at the end also ensures every slice gets some.

 

Notice the cute pie plate in the pictures?  This one was provided by Emile Henry and I absolutely love it.  Nice even baking on the crust and filling, and the presentation factor is fantastic.  We are big fans of Emile Henry for a variety of baking and cooking needs, so check their site out!

The pie crust makes enough dough for a top layer to be rolled out as well.  I like to see inside the pie, so I prefer more of a lattice style.  Feel free to do whatever suits you.  If fully covering with a top crust, make sure to cut some vents so it can let out steam while baking.

Brush a little cold water on where the top crust meets the bottom crust and gently press to seal together.

 

Since this pie bakes for so long, I found it necessary to loosely cover the pie for half the baking time with aluminum foil to prevent the crust from burning.

Make sure the aluminum foil has several slits cut into to release steam as the pie bakes.

 

Some of my pies bubbled over, so place pie plate/pan on a sheet pan before baking.  This seemed to only happen when I used mostly green rhubarb as opposed to red rhubarb.

While the pie might seem a liquidy mess halfway through baking, all those juices will gel up when fully baked.

 

This pie needs to fully cool before cutting in to.  In fact, it can be made a day in advance.  Just cover and keep in a cool dry place.

Once cool, the filling holds up nicely for slicing.

 

Let us know if you have any questions or comments, and as always, happy baking!

 

Rhubarb Blackberry Pie with Limoncello Crust

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

 

Crust:

144 g. (10 Tbsp.) frozen unsalted butter

330 g. (2 3/4 cup) all-purpose flour

14 g. (1 Tbsp.) sugar

2 g. (1/2 tsp.) salt

zest 1 lemon

60 g. (3 Tbsp.) ice cold limoncello

85-119 g. (5-7 Tbsp.) ice cold vodka

Pie Filling:

570 g. (1 pound 4 oz.) fresh trimmed rhubarb (weight is after ends and any leafy top parts are removed)

168 g. (6 oz.) fresh blackberries

285 g. (1 1/4 cup) sugar

40 g. (1/3 cup) all purpose flour

pinch kosher salt

 

Preheat oven to 400° F.

Set up the Ankarsrum mixer base with the shredder attachment and the regular size grating drum.  Place a medium bowl underneath to catch butter.  Shred the frozen butter on high speed (6 o’clock), using the plunger to help push it through.  Turn machine off and use your fingers or a small scraper to get out any bits of butter left in the drum.

Set up Ankarsrum base with the plastic whipping bowl and the single wire whisks.  Add the flour, sugar, salt and lemon zest for the pie crust.  Gently whisk together on low speed (1 o’clock) for 30 seconds.  Add frozen butter and whisk together on lowest speed (12 o’clock) until butter is coated with flour mixture.  With mixer still on lowest speed, slowly add the limoncello in and 85 g. of the vodka.  Turn mixer off and grab a small portion of the dough and squeeze together.  If mixture doesn’t stay together and starts crumbling, slowly add rest of vodka until a soft and pliable, but not wet, texture is achieved.

Turn out dough onto a clean surface and gently knead together to form a uniform ball.  Cover and place in the refrigerator while filling is prepared.

Slice rhubarb into 1/2 inch thick pieces.  Place in a large bowl.  In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour and pinch of salt for the pie filling.

Lightly flour a clean counter or pastry rolling mat.  Weigh pie dough and take 2/3 and pat out into a circle.  Cover and place remaining dough in refrigerator until ready to work with.  With a lightly floured rolling pin, begin rolling dough into a 12 inch circle.  Occasionally lift dough to make sure bottom isn’t sticking.  If necessary, use a bench scraper to help gently unstick and re-flour surface.  Once dough is rolled out, place a large piece of wax or parchment paper on top.  Gently flip pie crust over and then slide hand under parchment paper and carefully place crust into a 9-10 inch pie plate.  Lightly press dough on the bottom and sides.  Use a sharp serrated knife to trim excess off top.  Crimp or pinch top of crust into a design if desired.

Sprinkle several tablespoons worth of sugar/flour mixture onto bottom of pie crust.  Toss rhubarb with a couple tablespoons and then layer about a quarter of the rhubarb into the pie pan.  Top with a third of the remaining sugar/flour mixture and repeat layers until rhubarb and sugar mixture is used up, ending with rhubarb.  Sprinkle blackberries on top.

Pull out remaining pie dough and roll into a 10 inch circle or cut into lattice or decorative design as desired.  If completely covering top with pie crust, make sure to cut vents in top crust.  To adhere top crust to bottom crust, lightly brush with cold water and gently press until they adhere together.

Take a piece of aluminum foil large enough to cover pie plate and cut several vents in it.  Loosely cover pie and place on a rimmed baking pan.  Place in oven and decrease heat to 375ºF.  Bake for 45 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for another 45 minutes to an hour, until juices have visibly thickened.  Let cool completely before slicing and serving.

 

Yield: 1 (10 inch) pie

 

Whole Wheat Version

This pie was made with freshly milled soft white wheat and honey granules (aka Sucanat with Honey).  If your crust rim needs a little love, just dust some powdered sugar on before serving to hide any flaws.

 

For crust:

-Replace all-purpose flour with 297 g. (2 3/4 cup) whole wheat pastry flour.  If milling at home, use soft white wheat.

-If desired, replace sugar with 11 g. (1 Tbsp.) Sucanat with honey.

For filling:

-Replace all-purpose flour with 37 g. (1/3 cup) whole wheat flour.

-If desired, replace sugar with 215 g. (1 1/4 cup) Sucanat with honey.

Follow instructions above.

Published by

Carmi Adams

Carmi Adams has loved cooking from a very early age; requesting fondue pots and cookbooks for birthdays as a child. She further pursued her passion for food at the Art Institute of Atlanta and obtained a degree in Culinary Arts. Carmi landed a job on the show Good Eats, which aired on the Food Network. For seven years she did everything from food research, recipe development and testing, product testing to feeding a hungry film crew. Now living in the central coast of California, Carmi enjoys the bounty of agriculture, vineyards and farmers markets at her culinary disposal. She has been using the Ankarsrum mixer for over 15 years and feels that it is hands-down the best on the market for home cooks.