You may substitute fresh or macerated berries, roasted plums, or cherries for the rhubarb compote in this recipe. The crust and compote can be made in advance. This recipe makes more compote than you'll need to serve with the pie. Pastry chef Valerie Hill says the extra compote can be blended into whipped cream for a light dessert or used to macerate strawberries.
To serve, add a dollop of fresh whipped cream, if you're feeling extra-indulgent.
Servings: 6 - 8
Yield: Makes one 9-inch pie
- For the cornmeal crust
- 1 1/4 cups flour, plus more for dusting the work surface
- 1/4 cup cornmeal
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small dice
- 5 tablespoons cold water, or as needed
- For the filling
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs, separated
- 2 1/2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
- 1/2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1/8 teaspoon ground mace
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- For the rhubarb compote
- 3 medium oranges
- 1 medium lemon
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger root
- 3 to 4 1/2 cups rhubarb (4 to 5 stalks, trimmed), cut into 1/2-inch dice
For the cornmeal crust: Combine the dry ingredients and butter in a food processor or use a bowl and a pastry cutter; pulse or mix until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. Add the water a few tablespoons at a time, using just enough until a dough is formed. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Have ready a 9-inch pie pan and pie weights for blind baking the crust.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to a 1/8-inch-thick circle and transfer to the pie pan, trimming edges to fit. Allow to rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes (or freeze for later use). Line the chilled pie shell with aluminum foil or parchment paper and weigh it down with pie weights or uncooked beans. Bake for 20 minutes or until light golden brown.
While the crust is baking, make the filling: In the large bowl of a stand mixer or hand mixer, combine the butter and sugar on medium speed for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks one at a time, incorporating after each addition. Reduce the speed and add the flour in increments, mixing well. Slowly add the buttermilk, lemon juice, zest, mace and salt, mixing well. The mixture will form curds; set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer or hand mixer, combine the egg whites and salt on medium speed. Beat for a few minutes until frothy, then slowly add the sugar, increasing the speed to high and beating until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg white mixture into the buttermilk mixture and pour it into the pie crust. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the surface is brown and the center barely jiggles.
While the pie is baking, make the rhubarb compote: Have ready a large rimmed baking sheet.
Zest one and a half oranges; set aside. Juice all three oranges and the lemon; strain into a large saucepan, and add the sugar. Scrape the seeds from the split vanilla bean into the pan and add the ginger. Cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture has reduced to a thick syrup. Add the rhubarb, stirring constantly, over medium-high heat for 5 to 7 minutes, until it is tender but not totally soft. Add the orange zest, stirring to combine. Pour the compote onto the baking sheet and refrigerate until cool, for 20 to 30 minutes.
Serve the pie with a few generous spoonfuls of the compote.
Adapted from Valerie Hill.
Tested by Emily Heil.
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