I had an unusual experience the other day: I had to bake a pie while being interviewed about my childhood. It’s no big deal for food bloggers to make videos and talk about how to make food, but when you’re concentrating on crimping a pie crust while answering a question about what kind of adolescent you were, it can get weird. This all came about because a very nice filmmaker is making a documentary about former White House social secretaries, and he came to interview me. He thought it would be nice for me to do what I would normally be doing that day while we talked – which was, in this case, making my second iteration of a rhubarb peach pie – but it was oddly difficult to cook and reminisce. I kept forgetting important things, like putting the egg wash on the crust, or the fact that I have a brother. Anyway, there are lots of other interesting former social secretaries who will have fascinating things to say and make for an enlightening film, when it’s ready to be seen. Stay tuned for more details!
The pie came out pretty well, despite the distraction, but I remade it a few days later into several smaller mini-pies, because petite pies are a fun way to try several different kinds of fruit pies at once. Also, I’ve found that little pies tend to be less runny and the crust more crisp because they don’t need to bake as long. And they’re cute!
I like the combination of rhubarb and peach; it’s not as common, though the two flavors complement each other unusually well. I used my favorite go-to piecrust recipe from Roland Mesnier, the famed former White House pastry chef, because it never fails. I hope you love it!
Rhubarb Peach Pie
Prep time: 20 minutes for the crust plus one hour to chill the dough, and 20 minutes to prepare the filling and finish the piecrust for baking.
Serves: 1 eight-inch diameter pie serves 6
For the pie crust:
- Makes two large pie crusts
- 3 ½ cups cake flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- ½ cup water
- 1 ½ cups solid vegetable shortening
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Combine flour, sugar, salt, water, and shortening in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
- Mix on low speed until ingredients are well combined and dough is smooth.
- Divide the dough into 2 pieces.
- Press each piece out to form a 6-inch disk and wrap them in plastic wrap.
- Refrigerate the dough for at least one hour or for up to 1 week.
- Pie dough may be frozen, wrapped in plastic, and then in aluminum foil for up to 3 months.
- Defrost in refrigerator before rolling out.
For the pie filling:
- One and one half cups rhubarb, chopped into ½ inch cubes
- 3 cups ripe peaches, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces and drained of excess juices
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 egg
- Mix together fruit and add sugar and cinnamon in a mixing bowl.
- Gently add flour in, a little at a time, to thicken filling.
- Roll out pie crust dough and place in bottom of pie pan.
- Pour filling into crust and mound at the center.
- Roll out the second piecrust, and using a small cookie cutter, cut out several decorative holes for steam to escape.
- Put the top crust on the pie and crimp edges to seal crust.
- Whisk egg together and brush crust with egg wash.
- Bake at 425 degrees for 40 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.
- Cover edges of pie with aluminum foil to prevent crust from burning.
- Remove from oven and remove foil.
- Allow to cool several minutes before cutting.