This recipe comes to us from Darina Allen's Irish Traditional Cooking: Over 300 Recipes from Ireland's Heritage (Kyle Books; 2012). Rhubarb, the first fruit to emerge after the long winter season, was always eagerly anticipated in Ireland, and was made into various tarts and pies, depending on the cooking facilities. Nowadays rhubarb has a longer season but there is nothing to beat the flavor of the first tender young pink spears—spring has arrived.
Roscommon Rhubarb Pie
Cooked upside-down like a tarte tatin, this traditional Irish dessert is flipped to reveal a sconelike base, tender rhubarb and sweet ruby juice.
Yield: serves 8-10
For the Scone Dough
2 1⁄4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
1 1⁄2 tbsp. superfine sugar
1 heaping tsp. baking powder
1 pinch salt
1⁄4 cup butter, cut into cubes
3⁄4 cup whole milk
For the Filling and to Serve
2 lb. red rhubarb (about 6 stalks), trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1⁄4–1 1⁄2 cups granulated sugar, depending on taste
Soft brown sugar, to serve
Softly whipped cream, to serve
Make the pastry: Heat the oven to 450°F. Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl. Rub butter into the mixture until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and milk. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, pour in the liquid all at once, and mix to a soft dough. Turn out onto a floured board and roll into a 9-inch round, about 1 inch thick.
Assemble the pie: Put rhubarb into the base of a round 9x2 inch tin or sauté pan and sprinkle with the granulated sugar. Place the pastry round on top of the rhubarb and tuck in the edges neatly. Bake for 15 minutes then reduce the temperature to 350°F for about 30 minutes, or until the top is crusty and golden and the rhubarb soft and juicy.
Remove the pan from the oven and let it sit for a few minutes. Put a warm plate over the top of the pan and turn it upside down so that the pie comes out onto the plate. Be careful of the hot juices, they will be absorbed by the pie. Serve warm with soft brown sugar and whipped cream.
Note: This recipe may also be made with cooking apples, in which case you may want to add a little cinnamon or mixed spice to the sugar.