Monday, May 11, 2015

On the Road Rerun Recipe - Rhubarb Custard Pies

I intended to have a new recipe for you today - a great one, actually - but I'm on the road visiting family. And I really did plan ahead! I had my photos and recipes on a flash drive, all set to upload to the blog when we reached our hotel....but then left the flash drive at home. I know right where it is, sitting on my desk, but that doesn't help when I'm 1200 miles away!

So we'll have to wait for a couple weeks to see the new recipe :(

Meanwhile, though, I'm bringing this fabulous pie out to look at again. Someone my oldest son works with gave him ten pounds of rhubarb last week! I was in heaven...except that we were leaving on this trip east and had no time to bake my favorite rhubarb pie. So I put the rhubarb in the freezer - - 

(easy peasy, lemon squeezee: Wash the rhubarb, trim off the ends, cut into one-inch pieces and freeze.)

- - and I'll bake the pie when we get home.

 Until then, you can enjoy the pie for me!

Rhubarb Custard Pie

How do we know spring is almost here?

You've felt it, haven't you?

On one hand, there are spring bulbs pushing their way through last year's debris, and birds arriving from the south on gentle breezes.

On the other hand, Old Man Winter is holding tight with both hands, refusing to let go.

We'll have a sunny warm afternoon one day, and the next day winter will come roaring back with a biting north wind carrying snow on its tails.

Except as the weeks go by, the wind doesn't bite quite so hard, and the snow doesn't last quite as long....

Don't worry. Spring will come. God promised, and He always keeps His promises :)

But I'm getting antsy. I can't wait to get back to the trails in the Hills!

The view east from Mt. Rushmore - in warmer weather!

Meanwhile, I have the perfect tonic for our Spring Fever.

It isn't rhubarb season for a while, but I saved some of last year's just to make this pie. 

Totally worth the wait!

This recipe is from my mother-in-law's side of the family (don't we just love old family recipes around here?). When she gave it to me, she wrote on the card "Grandma Ebenhoeh." I think she meant her mother - my husband's grandmother - but it could very well be from her mother, as well.

Edith (on the left) with one of her sisters in the Nason House.
Before she married, Grandma was called Edith. She and one of her sisters - I'm not sure which one, but she had eight of them - worked at the biggest house in town as domestics. That would have been in the early 1910's.

After she married John, and for many years after that, she was called Mama by her fourteen children (thirteen survived to adulthood).

My mother-in-law remembers that she was a wonderful cook, and the meals were always plentiful and good on their Michigan farm.

One big trial of her life was World War Two. She had five sons, and two of them enlisted early in the war. You can imagine how hard those years were for her! But they survived the war, and all thirteen children married and had families of their own.

One of her daughters is a regular visitor to the cafe - Hi, Aunt Jane!

And, believe it or not, her birthday is March 20, the first day of Spring!

This recipe is fantastic, and the perfect accompaniment - not cure, sorry - for Spring Fever.

Grandma Ebenhoeh's Rhubarb Custard Pie


Unbaked 9-inch pie shell (not prebaked - not for this pie)
2 eggs, well beaten
1 3/4 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups rhubarb - fresh or frozen
1 Tablespoon butter

If you use frozen rhubarb, thaw it and drain the juice.

Preheat your oven to 450°.

Get your pie shell ready. If you don't already know how to make your own pie crust, here's the step-by-step demo I did a while back: Jan's pie crust demo. Or you can always cheat and buy those refrigerated or frozen crusts from the store. (I won't tell Ruthy!)

Now, this is not a pudding or cream pie, so don't prebake the crust. Just have it ready for your filling.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs, and then add the rest of the ingredients - but save the rhubarb for last so you can get the rest well mixed before adding chunks of fruit.

This is your custardy goodness! Now add the rhubarb (see it in the strainer in the background?) and pour the whole kit and kaboodle into your pie crust.

Dot the top with butter, and it's ready to go in the oven.

There's one little detail I left out when I made my pie. I don't like brown crusts, so I always put strips of aluminum foil around the edge...except this time.

Brown crust. Sigh.

I got over it.

Stick the pie in your oven (450° - remember?) for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, reduce the temperature to 350°, and continue baking until it's done. That detail depends on your oven - anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes. How do you know it's done? Do the wiggle test. Gently move the oven shelf - if the filling moves like a water bed, it isn't done.

Let your pie cool - at least to room temperature - and then serve. We ate ours plain, but wouldn't it be great with a scoop of vanilla ice cream?

Now it's your turn. What is your favorite spring tonic?


  1. Love that old picture! And I just picked up rhubarb at the farmer's market. Yummy! I see pie in my future.

  2. Oh, I remember this post and I haven't made it yet. You've inspired me to make sure I do this season. Happy journeying, Jan.

  3. That is why a vacation is a vacation. Go forth and enjoy.

    And easy peasy, lemon squeezee came out of Grandboy's mouth last night. We'd never heard the phrase before and now I've heard it twice.

  4. Jan, I am so wanting a piece of your pie. I miss rhubarb. Just might have to come visit you for a while. ;)