"Mama's little baby loves rhubarb, rhubarb,
Beebopareebop Rhubarb Pie.
Mama's little baby loves rhubarb, rhubarb,
Beebopareebop Rhubarb Pie. "
Beebopareebop Rhubarb Pie is a fictitious sponsor of A Prairie Home Companion, a National Public Radio program. While you can listen to it on Alabama Public Radio, it really speaks all things Minnesota.
Like rhubarb. Which doesn’t really grow in the south although I have heard there might be a variety that does. But it's probably why most folks here have no idea what it is, or what it tastes like.
And it probably also explains why the local grocery store here, Publix, sold it with the poisonous leaves still attached, but I am getting ahead of myself.
I like rhubarb. I love rhubarb pie. It's tart and sweet at the same time. Not too gooey. Holds together nicely when you cut it. Until I moved south, I always had access to it. We grew it in California. Had friends who grew it in New York. Even had friends who grew it in Finland. But it doesn't grow in Alabama, too hot and humid. Which is a problem for me and all the other Yankee transplants (aka "damn yankees") that know and love it.
Most people cook it, it makes great jams, jellies or puddings. And pies. And you only eat the stalks. The leaves contain oxalic acid, and you can't eat them cooked or raw. You can read all about it at this website. Anytime I have purchased rhubarb at the supermarket, the leaves were removed. The Super Target in Tuscaloosa sometimes carries it. And I found it last week at Publix, leaves intact, for $4.99 per pound (ouch!).
We had promised rhubarb pie to a customer so I spent $17 for enough rhubarb for three pies. Our normal suppliers can't get it, but one of my chef friends has a produce supplier who is supposed to deliver a case on Tuesday. So we'll have rhubarb pies next week.
The recipe is simple, and in our cookbook:
Unbaked pie shell
Additional pie crust dough
6-8 stalks fresh rhubarb
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 C. granulated sugar
1/2 C. instant tapioca
1/4 C. water
Preheat oven to 375o F. Wash rhubarb and slice into 1/2 inch slices/ In a large mixing bowl, combine the rhubarb, cinnamon, sugar, tapioca and water. Toss to combine. Pour the rhubarb mixture into the pie shell. It should mound 1-2 inches higher than the shell.
Roll out additional pie crust dough. Using a pizza cutter or rolling pastry wheel, slice about twelve 1/2 inch strips of pie crust dough. Place over pie, forming a lattice design. Brush lightly with cream and sprinkle with granulated sugar.
Bake at 375o F for about 45-55 minutes, or until the pie crust is lightly browned and the rhubarb mixture is bubbly. Once the center begins to bubble and thicken, remove the pie from the oven and allow to cool completely before serving.
Makes one pie.