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