fresh rhubarb

Roscommon Rhubarb Pie

This is a perfect example of the way in which recipes originally cooked on an open fire can be adapted to produce the most delicious results today. Anna Dodd of Castlebaldwin in Co. Sligo, who gave it to me, remembers how her grandmother would strew the bastible with chopped rhubarb, sweeten it with a sprinkling of sugar and cover it with an enriched bread dough. When the cake was baked, it was turned out so that it landed upside down, with the sweet juice soaking into the soft, golden crust. It was served warm, with soft brown sugar and lots of softly whipped cream.

Serves 8–10

  • 900g (2lbs) red rhubarb
  • 255–285g (9–10oz/1 1/8 – 1/1/4 cups) granulated sugar

SCONE DOUGH

  • 310g (11oz/scant 3 cups) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 20g (3/4oz) caster sugar
  • 1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 55g (2oz/1/2 stick) butter
  • 1 egg
  • about 175ml (6fl oz/3/4 cup) whole milk

TO SERVE

  • soft brown sugar
  • softly whipped cream
  • 23 × 5cm (9 × 2 inch) round tin – we use a heavy stainless-steel sauté pan which
  • works very well.

Preheat the oven to 230ºC/450º/Gas Mark 8.

Trim the rhubarb, wipe with a damp cloth and cut into pieces about 2.5cm (1 inch) in length. Put into the base of your tin or sauté pan and sprinkle with the granulated sugar.

Sift all the dry ingredients for the scone dough into a bowl. Cut the butter into cubes and rub into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Whisk the egg with the milk. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, pour in the liquid all at once and mix to a soft dough. Turn out on to a floured board and roll into a 23cm (9 inch) round, about 2.5cm (1 inch) thick. Place this round on top of the rhubarb and tuck in the edges neatly.

Bake in the fully preheated oven for 15 minutes then reduce the temperature to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas Mark 4 for about a further 30 minutes, or until the top is crusty and golden and the rhubarb soft and juicy.

Remove the pan from the oven and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Put a warm platenover the top of the sauté pan and turn it upside down so that the pie comes out on to the plate. Be careful of the hot juices, they will be absorbed by the pie.

Serve warm with soft brown sugar and cream.

Note: this recipe may also be made with cooking apples, in which case Anna Dodd suggests adding a little cinnamon or mixed spice to the sugar.

Download the Roscommon Rhubarb Pie as a PDF.

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