March 14, 2023
Rhubarb Custard Pie
The rhubarb custard pie is our family favorite. Considering that our first cabin weekends are in May because we have to wait for the ice to go out before arriving there, you can directly equate cabin excitement with the Spring rhubarb crop. It first comes in at the farmers markets and grocery CSA’s. Then friends and my sister start cutting stalks for me. Eventually in about mid June my Ely crop starts filling in enough that I can cut stalks.
What is Rhubarb?
PIE CRUST – This recipe makes (2) 9-inch pie crusts. You will only need one for his pie.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup very cold high fat, European style, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (2 sticks)
6 tbsp of ice water
Ingredients for the pie filling
1 pound Rhubarb (This will be about 4 cups or 4 large stalks or 8 small stalks)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon orange zest
3 large eggs
1/3 cup heavy cream
¼ cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
- Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place a baking sheet on a middle oven rack.
- Add flour and salt to a food processor. Pulse 2 to 3 times until combined.
- Chop butter into rough cubes, scatter over the flour, and pulse 4 to 5 times until flour is evenly distributed. (Dough should look crumbly.)
- Add 4 tablespoons of ice water through the tube, pulsing once each time. The crumbs should begin to form larger clusters. Add the vodka and pulse until the dough comes together in a ball and gets awkward spinning in the machine.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and place it on a clean surface in a mound. Work the dough just enough to form a ball. Cut the ball in half, then form each half into discs. Wrap each disc with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. This recipe makes 2 crusts. You will only need one for his pie, so you can freeze the other disk for a later date.
- Roll out one 9-inch crust (1 dough disk). Place into a pie plate and then push the
dough up the sides of the pie tin, making an edge.
Pie filling and assembly:
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
- Slice rhubarb into ½-inch pieces and toss with ¼ cup sugar and the orange zest
- Transfer the Rhubarb to the crust in an even layer
- In a mixing bowl, combine eggs with the cream and whisk together until smooth
- Add the flour, cinnamon, salt, and remaining ¾ cup sugar and pour over the rhubarb
- Bake for approximately 15 minutes at 400 then turn the oven down to 375 for another
30 minutes until the pie is lightly browned and the center is set, and no
longer wet in the middle
- Cool completely before serving
Rhubarb is a perennial plant that grows well in cool climates. The stalks are edible,. You see them sometimes planted as an ornamental plant because the leaves are big and showy and are used to hide foundations or meter readers or other unsightly spots on your home or yard. Consumed raw, rhubarb has an intensely tart flavor that’s not generally liked. But toss it with sugar and bake it into cake, pie, shortbread or jam, and rhubarb’s bitterness fades and becomes delicious. While you may see Rhubarb. used in combination with other fruits to make sweet treats, rhubarb has several savory applications. Add it to salsa, use it to make chutney. I love to make Rhubarb Bars or Rhubarb drink syrups.
Here are those recipes:
Rhubarb Drink Syrup
Rhubarb Honey Cake
If you are a rhubarb fan make sure to pick up “Rhubarb Rennisance” by former Star Tribune writer Kim Ode. This book has so many great ideas for Rhubarb both sweet and savory.
*Post contains affiliate links