Custard and Rhubarb Pie
Custard and rhubarb pair beautifully in a buttery crust: tart and sweet, creamy and crispy. This old-fashioned rhubarb pie has it all.
This old-fashioned rhubarb pie brings back childhood memories of Springtime family gatherings. Once the snow finished thawing, my dad would invite the whole family to his farm for Spring celebrations. All the kids were eager to run about seeking mischief after months of supervised confinement; we were finally free to spend long hours outdoors playing with siblings and cousins in the warm sun. Once supper was ready, the adults would corral us with the loud, metallic clangs of an old iron triangle that hung over the corner of the back porch. Having spent lots of energy, we were happy to be greeted by a long dinner table covered with traditional French-Canadian fare. None of our family feasts were complete without a wide assortment of pies and other treats. In my opinion, this custard rhubarb pie is the perfect bite to end any meal. Nothing beats a buttery, crispy crust filled with creamy custard and tart rhubarb jam.
Pâte Brisée, Pie Crust
450g cold butter
750g pastry flour
265g cold water
Cube butter and add to flour in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
Mix on low until the butter is the size of peas or smaller.
Place ice cubes in a medium-size pitcher and add cold water.
In a medium bowl weigh out salt and sugar.
Add 265g ice water to the sugar/salt mix when the butter and flour mixture is ready.
Change from paddle to dough hook attachment.
Pour the cold water solution onto the flour and mix on low until all the flour is incorporated.
Form the dough into a log and wrap it in cling film.
Let the dough rest in the fridge for 1-2hours.
Cut the log into four discs.
Wrap 3 discs in cling film individually, identify and place them in the freezer for your next pies!
Roll out the remaining pie dough to 3mm thick, dusting your work surface and the top of the pie dough to prevent sticking.
Place the pie dough into the pie plate, pressing along the bottom corner and the top.
Let the dough rest in the fridge while the oven preheats to 375°F, with the rack placed in the bottom third.
Place a piece of parchment on top of the pie crust and fill with pie weights (or dry beans- I’ve been reusing mine for years!).
Par bake the crust: bake for 15 minutes, remove parchment and weights and bake for another 15 minutes.
Custard and rhubarb
Splash of vanilla extract
4-5 stalks of rhubarb
fruit jelly, preferably strawberry
While the pie crust is blanching:
Cut the rhubarb stalks in 1” pieces at a diagonal to obtain diamond-like shapes.
In a medium-size bowl, whisk together sugar and cornstarch.
Add egg and yolk, whisking to combine thoroughly.
Place bowl on a damp and folded kitchen towel (this is so your bowl doesn’t move around in the next step).
In a small saucepan scald the milk.
Temper: slowly whisk half the scalded milk into the sugar-egg mix.
Then, pour everything back into the saucepan.
On medium-high heat, whisk constantly until the custard comes to a boil.
Take off the heat and continue to whisk until the custard is creamy and smooth.
Pour the custard into the blanched pie crust.
Arrange rhubarb slices into a geometric pattern for extra visual appeal, or just place them in snuggly if you’re short on time or patience!
Bake at 395°F for 10 minutes, reduce heat to 355°F and bake another 30-35 minutes. The rhubarb should feel soft when pricked with a cake tester but still hold its shape.
Brush with strawberry jelly to add shine and enhance the colour.
Let cool on the countertop and enjoy!