Last week I celebrated my thirty-fifth birthday. I think I might be beyond my prime. Oy.
I may be 35, but I’ll never stop playing with my food!!!
Last year, for my thirty-fourth birthday, I spent the day at a family friend’s funeral. There was something unexpectedly invigorating about mixing my birthday with a death day, and I remember feeling a profound appreciation for life after the ceremony. I was determined to live my thirty-fourth year guided by a new sense of purpose to live more authentically.
In year 34, I became a belieber. . .
I made a few pies, gained a few pounds. All signs point to success. This year, I thought briefly about spending time at the 9-11 memorial, before deciding that a jolt of life doesn’t necessarily have to come from death. Sometimes, it can come from cake!
For my thirty-fifth birthday, I made the right decision and took myself on a self-guided tour of some of Brooklyn’s bakeries. My friend Daniel and I rented a Car2go, packed up the Grumpy Street Team and set off on a day-long cake fest shocking our systems at the boroughs best sugar shops–Charlotte Patisserie, Sugar Couture, MilkBar, Baked, Nine Cakes, and Ovenly–and finished the day with some of the city’s finest pizza a PaulieGee’s–Greenpoint. What a fatboy treat!
The team behind the action. . . er…
If you’re a foodie and headed to NYC, I highly recommend you follow my route and check off some of these Brooklyn bakeries. Some of them, like Ovenly, MilkBar and Baked, are well-known sweet treat meccas, and others are hidden gems. If it’s your birthday and you’re as lucky as I was, the owners of Sugar Couture and NineCakes may take the time to stop what they’re doing, treat you to free mini cakes, give a quick lesson on how to ice your cake for perfectly smooth edges, or ice a special allergy-free carrot cake just for you. Ovenly may make you a special “Blackout” cake, and Paulie Gee might give you some celebratory free limoncello…
It wasn’t sunny, but it was definitely a good karma day…
Although I had intended to use the week to make my very own nut-free carrot cake to celebrate my birthday, I was a bit caked out after my birthday extravaganza. So I made pie. 😉
To make rhubarb rosewater custard pie with cinnamon pie crust first gather your ingredients. To make the pie filling you’ll need: about 4.5-5 cups of chopped rhubarb (about 3/4” pieces); 2 large eggs and 2 additional egg yolks; 4 tsps of rose water; The zest of 1 clementine; 3/4 cup granulated sugar (dominos or other brand is fine); 1/4 cup all-purpose flour; 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream. To make the pie crust you’ll need: 6 tbsp of veeeery cold unsalted butter; 2 tbsp of shortening; 2.5 cups of flour; 1 tbps of granulated sugar; 1 tsp of iodized table salt; 1 tsp of cinnamon; 1 tsp of nutmeg 1/4 cup ice-cold water; 1/4 cup ice-cold vodka.
To make the spiced pie crust:
The best way to make pie crust is probably by hand using a hand-held pastry blender, but a food processor works fine. Be careful to not over process the ingredients. Pulse the dry ingredients together and then add the butter and shortening pulsing together until the mixture forms small clumps the size of large peas. slowly add the ice water and vodka to moisten the dough. You can do this step in the food processor or in a large bowl, combining the dough pieces to form a large dough ball (about the size of a grapefruit).
Once the dough ball can easily hold its shape, split it in half.
Form the two halves into discs and store in the refrigerator over night or for at least two hours. Once the pie dough has cooled, remove one disc from refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Roll the pie dough out into a a large circle (about 11 inches in diameter). Place the dough over a pie dish. trip the dough so that it is just 1/2 inch to an inch over the edge. Fold the edges under and flute them or press them with a fork if you’re lazy… Line the dough with aluminum foil and fill the pie with pie weights (if you don’t have weights you can use beans!).
Don’t be a goon…remember to line the pie with aluminum foil before pouring the weights/beans in!
Place the dough into the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, toss aside the pie weights/beans and place back into the oven for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven for a second time and allow to cool completely.
To make the rhubarb custard pie filling:
Toss together the granulated sugar, zest, and the rhubarb pieces in a large bowl and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, slowly beat together the eggs and egg yolks. In any order, add the rest of the ingredients and mix together until combined.
To assemble the pie:
First preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Remove the pie crust from the refrigerator. Place the rhubarb/zest/sugar mixture into the base of the pie.
Remember to line the pie crust with aluminum foil before baking, or you will spend a ridiculous amount of time plucking out the beans that end up baking into the crust!
Pour the custard mixture over top and place into the oven for about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
All the pie to cool on a cooling rack. I prefer custard cold, so if you’re like me, pop the pie back into the refrigerator and save it for dessert the next day.
Ugly is as ugly does. Just kidding, this pie is delicious. The combination of sweet smooth custard, tart rhubarb, and fragrant rosewater is a winner!
- --Pie Crust--
- 6 tbsp of veeeery cold unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp of shortening
- 2.5 cups of flour
- 1 tbsp of granulated sugar
- 1 tsp of iodized table salt
- 1 tsp of cinnamon
- 1 tsp of nutmeg
- ¼ cup ice-cold water
- ¼ cup ice-cold vodka
- --Rhubarb Custard Filling--
- 4.5-5 cups of chopped rhubarb (about ¾'' pieces)
- 2 large eggs
- 2 additional egg yolks
- 4 tsps of rose water
- Zest of 1 clementine
- ¾ cup granulated sugar (dominos or other brand is fine)
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup heavy whipping cream.
- Pulse the dry ingredients together. Add the butter and shortening pulsing together until the mixture forms small clumps the size of large peas. Slowly add the ice water and vodka to moisten the dough. Combine the dough pieces to form a large dough ball (about the size of a grapefruit).
- Split the dough in two. Shape into two discs and place into the refrigerator for two hours or over night until completely chilled and hard.
- Remove from the fridge and Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Roll the pie dough out into a a large circle (about 11 inches in diameter). Place the dough over a pie dish. Trim the dough so that it is just ½ inch to an inch over the edge. Fold the edges under and flute them or press them with a fork if you're lazy...
- Line the dough with aluminum foil and fill the pie with pie weights (if you don't have weights you can use beans!).
- Place the dough into the oven for 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, toss aside the pie weights/beans and place back into the oven for another 10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven for a second time and allow to cool completely.
- ---------------Next step Filling!----------------
- Toss together the granulated sugar, zest, and the rhubarb pieces in a large bowl and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, slowly beat together the eggs and egg yolks. In any order, add the rest of the ingredients and mix together until combined.
- Place the rhubarb-sugar-zest mixture in the base of the pie crust.
- Cover with the liquid custard mixture.
- ---------------Next step Bake!-----------------
- Place into the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wrack. Place into the fridge and eat chilled.
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