Saturday, 26 April 2014

Vanilla and Butter

The words "vanilla" and "butter" are two of my favourite words of all time, especially when I know that I'm going to be eating them in the near future. It's interesting to me that neither of those two ingredients are tasty if served to you on a spoon on their own, but both taste like magic when put into a dessert.

Last weekend I was baking a pie for Easter dessert and realized, after I returned from the grocery store, that I didn't have enough shortening to make my pastry. I had always used all vegetable shortening in my pastry so was immediately disappointed that I'd have to go back to the store. Then I remembered that my mom uses part shortening and part butter in her pastry and her pies always taste much better than mine. I tried a new recipe of part shortening and part butter pastry, and I'll never be going back to my old ways. 

The pastry paired perfectly with Chatelaine's Vanilla Rhubarb Pie. I changed up the presentation and filling a little, but the basic idea is the same.

Vanilla Rhubarb Pie - serves 1-8 (I say one because it's that good)


1 2/3 cups flour 
1/2 cup shortening 
1/3 cup butter
1 pinch of salt 
Cold water 


7 cups of rhubarb, chopped 
1 cup of sugar 
1/4 cup flour
1-2 vanilla bean(s), use as much or as little vanilla as you like
1 pinch of salt 

1. Begin by making your pastry. Combine flour, shortening, butter, and salt in a large bowl. Use a pastry cutter of butter knife to combine. When mixture forms small pea sized pieces of dough, add a few tablespoons of water and use the pastry cutter again to combine. Continue adding more water until pastry stays together when clumped in a handful. 

2. Form pastry into two discs, one larger than the other and chill in your fridge for about 30 minutes. 

3. While pastry is chilling, make your filling. Combine rhubarb, sugar, flour, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl. Stir to combine. 

4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and rollout both discs of pastry. Place the large disc into a pie plate and add filling in top. Cut remaining disc into thin strips and fold into a lattice top crust. Cut small decorate flowers out of the remaining pastry and decorate top of pie with them. 

5. Bake for about 40-60 minutes or until fruit is cooked and pastry is browned and crisped. 

6. Let pie cool and enjoy!

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