Food from the Farm: Lena May's Rhubarb Custard Pie

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The appearance of rhubarb marks the arrival of spring in many part of the country, and its arrival is a celebrated event. Rhubarb crisps, sauce, cake and pie all make their way to the table, and rhubarb recipes are often passed down through families. This month we are pleased to bring you Lena May's Rhubarb Custard Pie, a family favorite of Dennis Duncan from High Altitude Rhubarb Organic Farm and Nursery in Black Forest, CO. We're not sure who Lena May was, but this recipe dates to the 1800s and is as good as ever, especially when topped with a scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream.

If you are shopping for rhubarb at the farmers market, look for stalks that are firm and crisp looking, with deep red color running the length of the stalk.

Start by mixing up your favorite double crust pie pastry, or readying your favorite pre-made crust (just don't tell Lena May).

Then mix the following ingredients together and put in an unbaked pie shell.

  • 5 cups rhubarb, cut into 1" pieces or smaller
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 T. flour
  • 2 beaten eggs

Dot the top with butter. Put on the top pie crust, seal, and bake at 350 degrees for 45 -- 60 minutes. (Add 7 minutes for high altitude).

By: bertha walls | Jul 8, 2011 03:43 AM | Permalink
i need to know when i can use the rhubarb the 1 year or 2year

By: Alexandra Reau | May 29, 2010 02:34 AM | Permalink
Rhubarb anything is my favorite! My grandma always made rhubarb custard pie with meringue. She separated the eggs and put the yolks in the filling with the flour, sugar and rhubarb and used the whites for a meringue topping. My mom made it just last week like this and it was wonderful.

By: | May 28, 2010 07:36 PM | Permalink
I agree with 12:23. Simple is crumbs no strawberries (save them for strawberry pie). I use the old standby from the menonite community cookbook. I separate my eggs, mix my ingredients, the beat my "whites" and fold in at the end. That gives the custard thru out. I also like "tart", so I reduce the 3/4 cu sugar to 1/4 cup.

By: | May 28, 2010 06:38 AM | Permalink
Thanks for the recipe. I actually had my first taste of rhubarb (deprived childhood :) ) last year and rushed right out to buy some plants.

By: | May 28, 2010 05:23 AM | Permalink
If you have never had rhubarb custard pie, try this one. You will never eat any other kind of rhubarb pie. My mouth waters just thinking about it. And rhubarb custard pie recipes are very hard to come by. So many want you to mix in strawberries,or just sugar the rhubarb. Believe me, the custard takes rhubarb to a whole new level.

By: Veggie Eater | May 27, 2010 08:26 PM | Permalink
Don't you boil/blanche your rhubarb first? I have a similar recipe, only it uses just the yolks...and we boil the rhubarb first 'til it's a little tender.

By: Marlene | May 27, 2010 07:40 PM | Permalink
My mother's recipe, which is what I use, calls for 2T. concentrated orange juice in addition which gives it a slightly sweeter taste. The recipe is the same as the one featured.

By: Diana Blair | May 27, 2010 06:56 PM | Permalink
Great recipe! I added 1 cup fresh strawberries and changed the rhubarb to 4 cups and it was delicious.

By: | May 27, 2010 06:40 PM | Permalink
Burned my rhubarb last night while not paying attention. Back to the farmer's market tomorrow so I can make this yummy looking pie. For some bizarre reason, my two youngest sons have never had rhubarb, unless they got it from mom when I wasn't looking!

By: | May 27, 2010 04:35 PM | Permalink
This looks wonderful - thanks for posting!

By: | May 27, 2010 02:59 PM | Permalink
Thank you very much for being there for us people who still would like to eat good clean ,down home food mom use to make. It took some doing but I've finally got my daughter to be more aware of what she is eating and feeding her children.Now it is time for me to go show off my pie from the rhubarb recipe I received today .once again thank you for being there. Lisa Alexander

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