Friday, May 18, 2012

Rhubarb Custard Crumb Pie

rhubarb pie

Rhubarb is another one of the foods that I've come to love and appreciate a bit later in life. Growing up, we had a huge rhubarb plant that grew by the side of our house, but I can't remember ever eating any of it. I always just admired it's huge leaves and rosy stalks. If you look back in the Apt. 2B archives you may notice last year around this time I had it pretty hot and heavy for the Barb (what, you don't have nicknames for your favorite produce)?

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When I was in Seattle a few months ago visiting family my mom had to restrain me from "borrowing" a few stalks from a neighborhood plant when I realized the one that used to grow in our yard was long, long gone. Don't worry, I'd never actually take anyone's produce without asking, but I admit to being temporarily blinded by my rhubarb lust. It's a good thing that rhubarb season was gearing into full swing by the time I got back to New York.

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So, I picked up a few pounds of the Barb at the Greenmarket and used half for this tart and the other half for this creamy and crunchy custard pie that I will definitely be making again as more fruit comes into season. Although, my mom just told me about the strawberry tart with rhubarb glaze she's been making this Spring so that may just have to be next...

Are you a rhubarb lover too?

More rhubarb recipes from this blog can be found HERE.
More rhubarb recipes from BBC Good Food can be found HERE.

Have a great weekend everyone!


Rhubarb Custard Crumb Pie


For the Rye Pastry
adapted from Kim Boyce's, Good to the Grain
yield, pastry for 1 large rustic tart or a single crust pie

I won't lie, the rye pastry takes a bit of work to put together but man is it good. It's my new favorite base for fruit desserts, but feel free to sub in your favorite pie crust here if you aren't feeling the rye.

4.5 ounces rye flour
4.5 ounces all purpose flour
1/8 ounce salt
1/2 ounce sugar
6 ounces cold butter cut into chunks
4 ounces ice water (may need a little less or more than this)
1t apple cider vinegar

1. In a large bowl, mix the flours, salt and sugar together. Add in the butter and quickly rub it into the flour mixture with your fingers. You want the butter to break up into small pieces the size of peas to lima beans.
2. Combine the water and apple cider vinegar in a measuring sup. Make a well in the flour/butter mixture and slowly stream the water into the dough while mixing gently. Mix until the water is evenly distributed and the dough holds together when you squeeze it. It will look dry, and that's okay, just as long as it holds together when you squeeze it. If it is too dry, add a bit more water.
3. Dump the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap, gather the wrap tightly around the dough and refrigerate it for at least an hour or overnight.
4. After it has chilled, unwrap the dough and place it onto a lightly floured board. Pat the dough into a rough square, then roll it into an 8'' x 11'' rectangle. The dough will be a bit rough and crumbly and that's okay! With the long side of the dough facing you, gently fold the dough into thirds. Then turn the dough so the seam is at the top and parallel to your body. Repeat this process 2 more times then wrap the dough in plastic and chill for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days before using.
5. Preheat your oven to 375º. Roll the crust out into a 13'' circle about 1/4'' thick. Line a 9'' pie pan with the dough and crimp the edges in a decorative pattern. If the dough seems at all soft, pop it into the fridge or freezer for a few minutes then proceed.
6. Line the crust with a sheet of parchment paper and fill it with pie weights. I use beans or rice as pie weights. Slide it into the oven and bake until the edges begin to brown, about 15 minutes. Then remove the weights and bake until all of the pastry is golden brown and no longer raw, 15-20 more minutes. Set aside to cool slightly while you prepare the filling.

For the Filling
I turned to the fine folks at BBC Good Food for this recipe because I heard that Brits knew what they were doing when it came to rhubarb. They called this pie an irresistible combination of two classic puds and they were right!

12 ounces rhubarb, diced into 1/4''-1/2'' cubes
3.5 ounces sugar
1 whole egg plus 1 egg yolk
.25 ounces or 1T flour
1/2 vanilla bean scraped or 1T vanilla extract
9.5 ounces heavy cream
pinch salt

For the Crumb Topping
adapted from BBC Good Food

For the pie pictured I used leftover crumb topping from this recipe that I had stored in the freezer, but here is a quick and easy formula for a crumb topping that will also work great.

2 ounces melted butter
2 ounces brown sugar
2 ounces oats (or combination of oats and chopped nuts)
pinch salt

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and set aside until needed.

To Assemble and Bake the Pie

1. Add the rhubarb and half of the sugar to a medium skillet. Warm the mixture over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Pour the mixture into a bowl to cool while you prepare the custard.
2. In a separate bowl whisk together the egg and egg yolk, remaining sugar, vanilla or vanilla bean seeds, salt, and flour. Then whisk in the cream with any juices that have accumulated in the rhubarb bowl.
3. Spoon the diced rhubarb into the prepared crust and gently pour the custard over the top. Bake at 400º for 15-20 minutes or until the custard has just barely begun to set.
4. Remove the pie from the oven and turn up the heat to 425º. Gently spread your crumble over the top, slide the pie back into the oven and bake until the custard has set and the topping has browned, about 15 minutes. The custard may have risen and cracked a bit in the oven, but that's okay, it will settle back down as it cools. Serve warm, no accompaniment necessary, but ice cream is always nice with pie, isn't it?

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10 comments:

  1. I'm a lover of the Barb too, and I can't wait to use the stalks I picked up at the market yesterday...woo hoo! Your pie looks amazing, as always.

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  2. yum. i'm a sucker for anything custard, so i might just have to try this rhubarb custard variant. does the custard tame down any of the tartness of the rhubarb?

    also - are you from seattle? my family's still there, i lived there for 11 years right after we moved from nyc.

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    1. Yes! Seattle born and raised. Rainy days like today make me miss it so much.

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  3. Yum! I love rhubarb(now that I'm older, hehe) and I love pies with a custard filling, and a crumb topping, although I've never put those two together. This looks fantastic. The rye flour in the crust sounds great too!

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  4. I will always associate rhubarb with my grandma...She used bake all types of rhubarb goodies that I cant have enough of. Really delicious stuff. Now that I am much older, I try to make lots of dishes with rhubarb, hoping I can connect with my grandma, who I know is happy and perhaps still whipping something up with rhubarb, wherever she may be.
    Thanks! =)

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  5. rhubarb and i get along really well with strawberries and cinnamon; preserves, pie, cake, delicious vanilla ice cream toppings... i have yet to work it into something without the strawberries making it a double team. your blog looks delicious, and i look forward to trying some of the recipes!

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    1. Thanks Anastasia. You should really give an all rhubarb dessert a try! The tartness is unbeatable.

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  6. I just learned to appreciate the Barb this year (I knoooow, not sure what took so long) and I have been going absolutely batty with rhubarb recipes. It's getting to be a bit much honestly. But since there is still rhubarb in the market there is still rhubarb in my kitchen just waiting to be turned into something as beautiful as this custard crumb pie. I cannot wait to try it, perhaps for my next dinner party - this pie deserves company! Beautiful post!

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    1. Talley, it's true, a good pie does deserve company. Hear, hear for the Barb!

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  7. I wish I could take pictures like this in my kitchen. Yours is white and bright so you don't have to prepare special background and light. You're lucky!
    PS: warm rhubarb pie is delicious with vanilla ice cream!

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