Hiiiii from Montauk! Rich and I snuck away for a a little bit to crash Jill's family holiday! It's only a 3 hour train ride from NYC, but feels like a totally different world up here - everything goes at a much more relaxed pace, which is insanely refreshing. The first day we arrived Jill and I did a wee tour of the farm stands up here - we picked herbs at one, and fresh shishito peppers straight off the plant at another. There are some insanely amazing farms up here with incredible missions (Bhumi donates 80% of their food to a NYC food bank and Amber Waves is female run!), so it was so nice to finally see the places I have heard so much about! A few of these places have a pick-your-own CSA section too, which I can only imagine would be a dream to be a part of! We have slowly been making our way through the giant pile of produce that we came back with, supplemented by insanely fresh fish from the docks, the cooking sessions interspersed with lying on beaches and watching the eclipse (!!)
It was my Birthday on Monday and I couldn't think of a better way to spend it than at the beach. I've raved about Jill and her family many times before, but I honestly don't have enough words to explain how grateful I am that we have found an little family extension in this crazy city, and that I was able to spend my birthday with them! As the biggest home body, having something that feels like home and people that feel like family in a big city so far from home just means the world to me. It's hard to get back to NZ as much as I would like (it's super far away), so being able to join in on some family action every now and then is just the best ever. I had an amazing day Monday - we went to the beach and watched the eclipse, then had an amazing dinner right on the water.
Carrying on from last year's yesterbirthday pie, I figured it was only fair that we make it happen again and it become a birthday tradition! On our expeditions around the farm stands we picked up some blueberries, and I was super excited to find some rhubarb, so a blueberry rhubarb pie was definitely on the cards. I have been meaning to make a slab pie for a long time now - they are pretty quick and easy to throw together, and are perfect for feeding a crowd. We got a little fancy and added a braided edge and some stamped cut-outs, but it would be just as amazing with a simple lattice on the top. We fluffed around in the kitchen making and shooting this yesterday, then ate slices of it, still warm, loaded with vanilla ice-cream. The best. The filling was jammy and not too sweet, and set up perfectly. Deffo making more slab pies. You should too.
A few wee notes:
Apologies for being that guy who posts a rhubarb recipe so late in the summer, but it still seems to be available! If you can't get your hands on any, sub in some extra blueberries. You may have to dial back the sugar content a little.
We managed to make this with a 1.5x recipe of my usual double pie crust. It made a base, a braided edge and lots of pastry stamps. However there was a lot of re-rolling scraps, so if you would like to do a lattice top, or not have to worry about scraps, I recommend using the quantities listed here (which is a double of my regular recipe). I like to make it in two batches just to help keep things cold!
We made this in a Jelly Roll Pan (10" x 15"), but if you don't have one, a quarter sheet pan (9" x 13") will work too - just adjust the amount of filling slightly! We made the stamped cut-outs with these and these! Pie stamps are one of my fave things - quickest way to add a little fancy to a pie! I find that freezing the rolled out dough for 10-15 mins before you stamp it helps get a nice clean cut.
Pie dough is best if made the night before!
Top this bad boy however you want - with pie stamps, braids, a lattice, the choice is yours!
Blueberry Rhubarb Slab Pie
- Makes one 10" x 15" pie (approx 12 servings) -
Pie crust recipe from four and twenty blackbirds
5 cups (620g) All-purpose flour
Pinch of Salt
4 tsp (16g) sugar
4 sticks (450g) cold butter, cut into cubes
1 cup (240ml) cold water
1 cup ice
1/4 cup (60ml) Apple cider vinegar
1kg (2.2lbs) Fresh blueberries, washed and sorted
500g (1.1lbs) Fresh Rhubarb, finely diced
1 1/2 cups (300g) raw sugar, plus more to sprinkle
1/4 c plus 2 Tbsp (50g) corn starch
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
Egg wash - 1 egg whisked with 1 Tbsp water
- PROCESS -
Make the Pie dough in two batches. Combine the ice, water, and cider vinegar in a bowl and stir lightly to combine. Place 2 1/2 cups flour, a pinch of salt, and 2 tsp sugar in a large bowl and stir lightly to combine. Cut 2 sticks (226g) butter into chunks, and add to the flour. Toss lightly to coat. Working quickly, using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut the butter into the flour mixture until there are only pea-sized chunks left. You want a few lumps of butter remaining to keep the pastry nice and tender.
Sprinkle a few tablespoons of the ice water into the flour and butter mixture, and using a stiff spatula or your hands, mix in well. Continue adding water a tablespoon at a time ( I normally need about 8-10 tbsp) until you have a dough that holds together well, but is not too wet. Squeeze together with your fingertips to make a homogenous dough. Shape into a rectangle and wrap tightly in plastic wrap.
Repeat the process again. Place both rectangles of dough in the fridge to rest for at least two hours, or preferably overnight.
FILLING AND ASSEMBLY
Roll out one rectangle of dough on a lightly floured surface, until it is approximately 1/8" (3mm) thick. Carefully line a 10" x 15" pan with the dough. Trim excess, leaving approximately 1 inch overhang. Rest in the freezer while you Prepare the filling.
Place the Blueberries, rhubarb, sugar, corn starch, salt, and vanilla in a large bowl and toss to combine. Transfer to the prepared lined pan. Return to the freezer while you roll out the second rectangle of dough. Cut out your desired topping design - we did four three-strand braids to go around the edges of the pie, then used the rest of the dough to make stamped out shapes. Secure the braids, if using, to the edges of the pan using a little egg wash. Add the stamped out dough to the top of the pie in your desired pattern. Alternatively, top the pie with a lattice decoration of your choice. Trim any overhanging pie dough. Place the pie in the freezer to rest while you preheat the oven.
Preheat the oven to 425˚f / 220˚c. Brush the top of the pie with egg wash, and sprinkle with additional raw sugar. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the pastry is set and beginning to go golden. Reduce the oven temperature to 375˚f / 190˚c, and bake for a further 40 to 45 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack before cutting. Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream or whipped cream.