I was blessed with an amazing grandmother who is an angel and cooks like one. She is not afraid to use butter or salt or sugar. She has cooked the best beef tenderloin I’ve ever had…I am mean, literally, melt-in-your-mouth, she can rival any French cook in the kitchen. Her creme puffs are sublime, her cream pies silky smooth, her custard pie a nutmeg fan’s delight!
I grew up in the Midwest and pies are a sure thing where I come from. But I’ve never been a huge fan of fruit pies…the previously mentioned cream and custard, definitely, fruit, not so much. (Though, I love a good crisp, cobbler, or crumble.) To be honest, despite being Midwestern, our family just never had too many fruit pies.
But every spring that bright red stalk burst from the dark brown soil and rhubarb was born.
Technically, rhubarb is considered a fruit in the States due to a court decision because fruit has less tariffs than vegetables, these tart stalks can be found growing most anywhere in the middle states of the US. Rhubarb’s leaves are poisonous, so you will not find them included on stalks you find in the grocery store in the spring. And, grocery stores DO sell rhubarb. But, if you are in a pinch, you can sometimes find it frozen and pre-cut in your store’s fruit freezer section.
4 cups rhubarb, cut into small pieces (see picture below)
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3 Tablespoons butter
a pinch of salt
This recipe calls for a double-pie crust. You can certainly make it from scratch – if I do this, I like to make four crusts and freeze the other two for use later. But in a pinch, buy a pie crust. Whatever you have time for is what I say…
Preheat oven to 400*.
Combine the above ingredients and place in the pie crust.
Cover with the other crust. (You may brush egg white over crust if you wish.)
Bake for 45-50 minutes.
Rhubarb pie is great right out of the oven or at room temperature. But it is truly phenomenal when it has sat in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. Sounds funny, but this pie is good cold.
This post is for you, Grandma. Thank you for your grace and understanding. Your willingness to listen and your never ending love.