Excerpt from Ari’s Top 5 enews
A sure sign that summer is in full swing!
As we roll into summer, we’ve hit that wonderful—if all too brief—window when we have enough local rhubarb to make Simply Rhubarb pie at the Bakehouse. If you’re one of the many ZCoB regulars who love rhubarb, swing by soon—supplies are always limited and this season’s crop is no exception!
The Bakehouse crew puts it together in a tender, flaky, all-butter crust that’s handmade from freshly milled, soft white winter wheat flour that we bring over from the folks at Janie’s Mill in Ashkum in central Illinois. The rhubarb comes from local farms in Southeastern Michigan. For the filling, we use as little sugar as we can to keep the tartness of the rhubarb right up front. We top it all off with an all-butter crust and a sprinkle of demerara sugar crystals.
If you’re wondering, rhubarb originated a long way from here in China and later made its way north and east into Russia along the Silk Road (try the amazing Silk Road Blend from Épices de Cru at the Deli—an exceptional blend). From there, it went west into Europe and eventually on to North America. European settlers often brought starts of the hearty plant with them—as a result, it was often the first cultivated fruit that could be had in any quantity. Rhubarb was used regularly as a pie filling, hence its long-standing nickname, “pie plant.”
If you’re up for a terrific, sweet-tart taste of the season, serve a slice of the pie with some Creamery gelato, or with a good bit of whipped cream. I like to garnish it with a nice dollop of strawberry preserves (or the American Spoon Rhubarb Marmalade) on the side. It’s a great combo! In the spirit of Vermonters topping their pie slices with cheese, you could try it with a nice bit of aged cheddar.