As a 30-something, I grew up in a world where you still ate fruits and vegetables seasonally. It was difficult to find strawberries in January, butternut squash in May and asparagus in October. And if you did, they never tasted very good. The world has changed, for better or worse, and now even in the middle of the country you can find just about any fresh produce or even seafood any time of the year.
Despite all of this modern advancement, there are still foods that I like to enjoy only when they are available fresh at their appropriate time of year. So, when the weather starts warming up so does my appetite for rhubarb. I know, I am probably the only person in the entire world who has insatiable cravings for what is essentially a pretty bitter weed, but if you have ever eaten a rhubarb custard pie, you would understand why. Most people mix rhubarb with another fruit like strawberry or raspberry to mask its natural tartness, but I really prefer it with a sweet custard filling that allows its true flavor to come through.
This is the way my mom has always prepared rhubarb, and I think you’ll enjoy it. Another of my mom’s traditions that I am passing on to my kids it the creation of a personal fruit “tart” when there is extra pie dough. Since this is a lattice top crust, I had some extra and made two versions for my kids. Simply roll out the extra dough and place on a cookie sheet. Top with any jam or preserve you have on hand (or even just a little butter with cinnamon sugar), sprinkle with sugar and bake along with your pie until it is golden brown. The kids will love it.
Rhubarb Custard Pie
- 1 unbaked double crust pie dough (see my tips for pie crust here)
- 2-3 cups of cleaned, diced rhubarb
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees
- Beat eggs, sugar and vanilla
- Mix with rhubarb and pour into prepared pie crust
- Sprinkle with cinnamon
- Cut the top crust into thin strips and lay over the top of the pie in a lattice design
- Brush with an egg wash and sprinkle with sugar
- Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, then turn down heat to 375 and bake for an additional 45 minutes