Photo: Jen Causey; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis
Active time:
45 min.
Total time:
3 hours, 45 min.
Yield
Serves 8 (serving size: 1 slice)

This is the pie for rhubarb lovers. It’s simple, as to best highlight the fresh, seasonal rhubarb, and the shortcut of using a pre-made pie crust helps shave off some time and frustration. All the ingredients are easy to find, especially in the spring, but be sure to use fresh rhubarb—frozen has too much water. Fresh, seasonal rhubarb will have stalks that are between 7 and 15 inches long—length, not color, is the best way to determine ripeness. Processing the tapioca helps incorporate it, and allowing the mixture to stand before transferring it to the pie shell helps it begin to break down. Serve with sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 400°F. Roll 1 of the piecrusts into a 12-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Fit into a lightly greased (with cooking spray) 9-inch pie plate; fold edges under. Line dough with parchment paper, and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake in preheated oven 15 minutes. Remove weights and parchment paper, and bake until crust is lightly browned, 4 to 5 more minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and cool completely, about 30 minutes.

Step 2

Meanwhile, process tapioca in a spice grinder or food processor until finely ground (almost powder consistency), about 1 minute. Stir together ground tapioca, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar in a small bowl. Stir together rhubarb and lemon zest in a large bowl; add to tapioca mixture, and stir until well combined. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until some of the juices from the rhubarb are released, about 30 minutes. 

Step 3

Roll remaining piecrust into a 10-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Using a 1 1/4-inch round cookie cutter, cut out 5 to 7 circles (leaving at least 1 inch of space along edges), reserving the 10-inch circle with cutouts.

Step 4

Evenly sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons granulated sugar on cooled piecrust; spoon rhubarb mixture evenly over sugared crust. Brush edges of crust with some of the beaten egg. Place the 10-inch circle over pie, and press edges of dough to baked crust to seal in filling. Brush 1 side of the cutouts with some of the beaten egg. Arrange cutout circles in a design by placing, egg side down, on top of pie.

Step 5

Place pie on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake in preheated oven 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and cover edges with aluminum foil; bake until top is golden brown and pie is bubbling, 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and cool at least 2 hours before serving. 

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