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Rhubarb, brown sugar and fennel pie


The top of this pie has a chewy-biscuit texture from the brown sugar, while fennel seeds add a lovely note of spice to the pastry. Be careful not to overcook the rhubarb to begin with or it will fall apart as the pie bakes.

You'll need

2 large bunches rhubarb, trimmed 120 gm raw sugar Juice and finely grated rind of 1 orange 1 tsp cornflour, mixed with 2 tsp water Vanilla ice-cream, to serve   Brown sugar and fennel pastry 1½ tsp fennel seeds ½ tsp black peppercorns 170 gm softened butter 195 gm brown sugar 255 gm plain flour, sieved eggs, lightly whisked

Method

  • 01
  • For brown sugar and fennel pastry, dry-roast fennel seeds and peppercorns in a small frying pan over low heat until fragrant (3-5 minutes). Beat butter in an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until pale (4-6 minutes), mix in sugar and ¾ tsp fine sea salt, then add flour and toasted spices, and mix to combine. Add egg and mix to combine. Turn out pastry, pat into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm (1 hour). Roll pastry between sheets of baking paper or Go-Between (plastic sheeting) to fit the top of a 23cm-diameter pie dish and refrigerate until required.
  • 02
  • Preheat oven to 190C. Wash rhubarb well and peel off the tough outer fibres, leaving as much colourful peel as possible (the larger the stems the more vigilant you need to be). Chop rhubarb into 5cm pieces, then transfer to a saucepan along with sugar, and orange juice and rind, and cook over medium heat until rhubarb starts to seep liquid and just softens on the outside (2-3 minutes). Transfer fruit to a 23cm-diameter pie dish with a slotted spoon, whisk cornflour slurry into liquid and bring to the boil, whisking until a syrup forms (2-4 minutes). Pour onto rhubarb and cool briefly.
  • 03
  • Place pastry on top, trim edges and bake, turning once or twice, until filling is bubbling and pastry is golden (25-35 minutes). Serve warm with ice-cream.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 - 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 - 8 people

Drink Suggestion

Late-harvest, botrytis-affected chenin blanc.

Featured in

Jun 2016

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