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Friday, May 7, 2010

looks like bad 80s art, but it's a delicious rhubarb custard pie!

the other day i  made, like, the ugliest pie ever. it was a rhubarb custard pie recipe from my friend annette over at sustainable eats (check out her blog-- it's amazing what she's doing), and while it tasted fantastic, i really screwed the pooch in the "visually appealing" category. i started cutting the dough into a shape, then messed it up, then the dough broke, then i decided "forget this" and just threw the pieces on top. it totally reminds me of my middle-school-in-the-80s decorating projects when i would take mirrors that had been stepped on and arrange them on my wall as though they were exploding out from the center. it cracks me up how ugly this pie is. 

BUT, it tastes so good!

rhubarb continues to baffle me. i bought some at the market and cut off a little piece for rob to taste raw. his face twisted and scrunched up while he cried out like a 4-year-old, "not want!"  and with good reason-- the stuff tastes like the sour grass growing down by the lake that my brother and i used to chew on as kids. but, amazingly, it transforms into amazing desserts! 

as an egg and sugar custard base, this pie has the spirit of a pecan pie, except it's springy! 

annette's grandma's rhubarb-custard pie 

1 double pie crust or shortbread crust (i used store-bought crust. big mistake. huge.)
chopped rhubarb, enough to fill pie crust, about 2 cups
3 beaten eggs
2 cups sugar (annette says to adjust up or down according to your taste-- i tend to not like super sweet stuff, so i adjusted to a cup and a half. totally great, but more would have been okay, too.)
1 tsp vanilla
3 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp mace (optional, and i left it out because i don't have any)

prepare one pie crust for filling according to package directions, or by lining with foil and adding pie weights (purchased, or use uncooked rice or dry beans as weights), and bake at 425 for 15 minutes. cut the other pie crust into pretty shapes for the top. (note: take care to not have the  pieces look like something out of a duran duran video.)

mix eggs, sugar, and all of the spices. pour over rhubarb in pie pan. cover with top crust and sprinkle with sugar or sugar and cinnamon. bake at 450 for 10 minutes, then reduce to 325 and cook another hour. (i actually took mine out after about 40 minutes as it was set.)

tart and creamy goodness. try it. 

rhubarb from stoney plains 
caity's eggs from woodring specialties 


  1. Angela this is hilarious! When I have time I cut the crust into hearts which I arrange Martha Stewart style, it hides the ugliness. :)

  2. annette, i'm sorry i made your grandma's pie so awful looking! :) i'll try hearts next time, or ducklings, or anything besides the "stepped on" look i gave this one! (it still makes me laugh...)

    fantastic recipe, though! we really enjoyed it!