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Melting Rosy Chunks


Among the fruits and vegetables in a spring garden, rhubarb--sometimes called pie plant--is often the first ready for picking. "The New Rhubarb Culture," a 1906 gardening manual, said that "the quickest way to produce a supply of material for pies, sauces, etc., is to set out rhubarb plants."

More than 40 years later, on March 24, 1949, Times food writer Marian Manners wrote, "The rosy pie plant is the garden's first succulent offering for dinner tables and our market stalls now show it in abundance."

Manners' Rhubarb and Pineapple Pie (made with rhubarb's long celery-like stem) is exceptional. The sweetened rhubarb and pineapple chunks melt in the mouth, and the red and yellow are lovely on a springtime table.

Rhubarb and Pineapple Pie

Active Work Time: 25 minutes * Total Preparation Time: 1 1/2 hours


2 cups sifted flour

1 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup vegetable shortening

6 to 9 tablespoons cold water

* Sift together flour and salt. Cut in shortening with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal and shortening is coated with flour. Add water a few tablespoons at a time while stirring with fork until dough forms ball.

* Turn out onto lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half and roll out 1 piece 1/8 inch thick, and use to line 9-inch pie plate. Wrap remaining piece of dough in wax paper or plastic wrap. Chill both 30 minutes.


3 tablespoons flour

1 cup sugar

1 egg, beaten

1 cup cubed fresh pineapple

1 cup rhubarb, sliced

* Sift together flour and sugar. Add egg and beat with electric mixer on medium speed 2 minutes. Stir in pineapple and rhubarb. Pour filling into pastry-lined pie plate.

* Roll out remaining dough 1/8 inch thick and cover filling. Seal edges of pastry together. Cut four slits in top of pastry to allow steam to escape. Bake at 425 degrees until crust is golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Serve warm.

8 to 10 servings. Each of 8 servings: 406 calories; 304 mg sodium; 37 mg cholesterol; 20 grams fat; 52 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams protein; 0.30 gram fiber.

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