Rhubarb Custard Pie

My very first rhubarb pie recipe, bites of tart red rhubarb baked with a delicate custard, a rustic, country pie.

Rhubarb Custard Pie ♥ KitchenParade.com, my very first rhubarb pie recipe, bites of tart red rhubarb with a delicate custard, a rustic, country pie.

Rhubarb Pie, Made from Scratch. Real Food, Fresh & Family-Tested. A Summer Classic. Budget Friendly. Potluck & Party Friendly.

What Does a Great Rhubarb Pie "Sound" Like?

If there were a soundtrack to Rhubarb Pie, the first song would be silence, the one that expresses supreme appreciation.

And then the second would be the music of forks scrape-scraping on plates, gathering up the very last morsels. Care to listen? : - )

You wouldn’t think even a northern cook like me would need two rhubarb pie recipes. After all, the rhubarb season is only a few weeks long and there’s no end to recipes for my much-loved ruby-colored spears.

But you see, Rhubarb Custard Pie was my first rhubarb pie recipe – the one I made every summer when visiting my parents in Minnesota, especially the years when my mom and I made a pie every day – then invited people for coffee and pie.

We had a waiting list! We took requests!

Some years back, Perfect All-Rhubarb Pie tempted me and oh! I was glad it did, it's a perfect balance of tart and sweet and cinnamon.

When I shared the recipe eight years ago now, I called it my “last” rhubarb pie recipe.

So now it's time to return to my past. After all these years, here’s my “first” rhubarb pie recipe.

Two great rhubarb pie recipes? It’s enough to last a lifetime.

About This Recipe

  • Rhubarb Custard Pie is an old-fashioned one-crust pie baked in the oven until the rhubarb softens and the custard firms. The top of the pie is dusted with sugar that melts in the oven for a thin, sugary crackly finish.
  • The distinctive ingredients are small bites of fresh rhubarb and the creamy custard made with eggs, sugar and cream plus a small pinch of nutmeg.
  • Ingredient List = 1 pound (454g) fresh rhubarb + sugar + lemon juice + flour + salt + eggs + cream + butter + nutmeg + 1 un-baked pie shell
  • It takes about 25 minutes to mix the pie, not including the pastry. After that, the pie takes about an hour to bake, then should cool completely. Allow at least 4 hours from start to serving.
  • Rhubarb Custard Pie has a homey, rustic appearance.
  • Most recipes assume that a pie serves eight – and so it can. I like to cut pies into slightly smaller slices, an even ten. On the other hand, my nephew pushes for six large slices! How many slices in your pie? That's up to you!

You Might Wonder Be Wondering ...

Have another question? Ask away, I'll do my best to answer!

  • Would frozen rhubarb work here? I don't think so. Left frozen, the rhubarb would change the temperature of the pie's custard. Thawed, frozen rhubarb throws off so much liquid, it would change the ratios of the pie's custard. So no, my instinct says to use fresh rhubarb here, not frozen rhubarb.

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How do you save and share favorite recipes? recipes that fit your personal cooking style? a particular recipe your mom or daughter or best friend would just love? If Rhubarb Custard Pie hits the mark, go ahead, save and share! I'd be honored ...

Rhubarb Custard Pie ♥ KitchenParade.com, my very first rhubarb pie recipe, bites of tart red rhubarb with a delicate custard, a rustic, country pie.


Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Time to finish: 90 minutes
Time to table, including chilling: 4 hours
Makes 1 9” shallow or deep-dish pie

This pie bakes in three stints: first, just the rhubarb alone for 20 minutes; then with the custard for another 20 minutes; finally with the sugar for 10 minutes or until done.
  • 1 unbaked pie shell
  • 4 cups (16oz/454g) fresh rhubarb cut into ¼” pieces
  • 3/4 cup (150g) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 3 large eggs, whisked
  • 1 cup (248g) heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, plain or raw

Heat oven to 400F/200C. Move an oven rack to the lowest position in the oven; if you have one, place a baking stone on the rack. Place a second rack in the center position. Line a pie pan with pastry, chill until ready to fill.

RHUBARB In a bowl, combine all ingredients. Turn the rhubarb into the pie shell and spread evenly. Bake for 20 minutes on the lowest rack.

CUSTARD While the rhubarb bakes, gently whisk all the Custard ingredients. Gently pour the mixture into the partially baked pie, leaving about a half inch of crust exposed – if using a shallow pie plate, there will be leftover custard. Bake for 20 minutes on the center rack.

TOPPING Sprinkle the top of the pie with sugar. Bake for another 10 minutes or until the center is no longer soft and jiggly.

COOL Cool completely without covering, about 1 hour. Refrigerate pie until ready to serve.

LEFTOVERS Best on the first day but in my family, leftover pie for breakfast is a tradition! Be sure to keep refrigerated.

ALANNA’s TIPS For pastry, use your own favorite pie crust or try mine, Flaky Tender Pie Crust. (Even experienced pie bakers might want to review this photo essay, How to Make Flaky Tender Pie Crust. It's packed with tips, readers keep telling me they are making their very best crusts ever!) Rhubarb Custard Pie is a single-crust pie but I always make the full recipe and some times roll out the rest, sprinkle it with cinnamon and bake it in a hot oven. Shades of my childhood! Other times, I shape the pastry into a disk, wrap it with plastic wrap or waxed paper, insert into a freezer bag, then freezer for later. Why start off the pie on the lowest rack? That’s to give the bottom crust a real whack of heat. If you have a baking stone, put the pie right on the stone. Otherwise, the bottom crust may not brown as much as preferred. I’ve even considered “blind baking” the crust for 10 minutes before adding the rhubarb but would be concerned about the edges getting too dark. For an almost crème-brulee-ish “crack” on the surface, sprinkle the top of the custard with sugar, plain or raw sugar, for the last 10 minutes of baking. If you have any leftover custard, stir a bit of sugar into it, pour into a ramekin and bake right alongside the pie. Leave the pie uncovered until it is completely cooled and then chilled, otherwise condensation will collect and drip down onto the custard. Not nice! If you print this recipe, you'll want to check the recipe online for even more tips and extra information about ingredient substitutions, best results and more. See https://www.kitchenparade.com/2014/05/rhubarb-custard-pie-recipe.html.
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Slice (assumes 10 slices & Flaky Tender Pie Crust): 350 Calories; 22g Tot Fat; 13g Sat Fat; 117mg Cholesterol; 138mg Sodium; 32g Carb; 1g Fiber; 20g Sugar; 5g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 9 & PointsPlus 9 & SmartPoints 16 & Freestyle 15 & myWW green 16 & blue 15 & purple 15 & future WW points CALORIE COUNTERS 100-calorie serving = 1/3 slice (1g protein).
Only slightly adapted from my all-time favorite pie cookbook, Farm Journal's Complete PIE cookbook: 700 Best Dessert and Main-Dish Pies in the Country (affiliate link). It’s been long out of print but there are used copies available, pricey though.

More Rhubarb Recipes: And I'm Not Done Yet!

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Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, for more scratch cooking recipes using whole, healthful ingredients, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.