February 1, 2013

Rhubarb Custard Pie

I'm re-posting this recipe I posted several years ago. We have guests staying here this week. I made it for dessert to go with a grass-fed chuck roast, mashed potatoes, and salad. Along with fermented veggies I made over Christmas and have stored in the cellar, and homemade wine. At the end of this post I'll add a few more tidbits of info.

This is a company and family favorite. It's in my cookbook. When I make something new, I often pull out several cookbooks to compare recipes, then pick and choose. This requires "knowing your ingredients" - which is a chapter in the Joy of Cooking cookbook.


First, I freeze the 1/2" cut-up rhubarb from our garden (see post here with daughter Heather helping with the harvest) in a heaping quart measuring bowl, so it's about 5 cups of rhubarb.

(for 2+ crusts)
2 C flour (could be sprouted grain flour)
3/4 C butter
pinch of salt
about 1/4 C water (depends on flour moisture)

I use my ground white whole wheat or pastry wheat I've always got in the freezer in Ziplock bags. Since I had kamut in there too, this pie is half wheat and half kamut. I always use butter, unsalted if I have it. I've used lard or the newer organic shortening which is palm oil. I never use shortening. It's vegetable oil heated so hot it's next step would be plastic. Our body does not know how to break this fat down - it's what's now called trans-fat. And labels that have partially hydrogenated anything I never get. It's the word "partial" that's killing people. It races around our body looking for a home and latches onto cells, hurting them, and today we have way more cancer, diabetes, and heart disease than ever.

Cut the flour, salt, and butter together till fine crumble. Mix in water till mixture forms a ball. It shouldn't be sticky. I use a food processor all the time now for the preliminary processing of the dough, unless I'm making a larger amount, then I use the whips in my regular Bosch bowl, putting the cut-up butter in first. But I always finish up both processes by hand with a pastry blender. Mixing the final bits of water in is when we often over-process pie dough, which makes it tough. Then I flatten the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate it while putting together the filling. Keeping the dough chilled is another key to a flaky crust.

Filling -
the 5 cups cut up fresh or frozen rhubarb put in pie first.
Mix together -
3 eggs
2 Tb whole wheat flour
2 Tb tapioca
1/3 C honey
1 C organic sugar (we've been practically eliminating sugar, so I'm going to cut this back next time cuz it's too sweet for us now)
1/2-1 tsp orange peel
pinch of salt

Pour the filling over the rhubarb and cover with a top crust and make steam vents. I usually sprinkle it with a touch of cinnamon. Bake for 10 minutes at 400, then lower to 350 and continue baking another 45-60 minutes. We like pie crust well-browned and giving the bottom crust a chance to thoroughly cook too.

When I put on the top crust I knife off the excess dough before crimping the edges.

I roll out this excess dough for little cinnamon tarts. Sometimes I'll put pats of butter then sprinkle on lots of cinnamon. The very little bit of sugar added on these is Sucanat. It can't really be called a sugar, cuz by its very nature, sugar is processed. Sucanat is plain dehydrated sugar cane.

If you click on Rhubarb in my sidebar you'll find other Rhubarb recipes like Rhubarb Aid which is a company/family favorite, and a Rhubarb Crisp . . . Last summer I did a rhubarb ferment from Wardeh's Idiots Guide to Fermenting (my favorite fermenting book so far!)(And another summer fruit ferment from her book I'm going to do more of in the future is her bing cherry one. I'm going to leave nuts out tho, preferring to add my soaked and dried crispy nuts as I eat it. Like this morning I had some fresh frozen fruit with my dairy kefir with chia seeds, shredded coconut, a bit of the bing cherry ferment and added some walnuts.)

When we built our home here twenty nine years ago, rhubarb was seeded out into the meadow from an old homestead we still see the foundation of. We moved all the rhubarb to the back of a garden area we fenced in. It's a ways below our house on the edge of the woods. They'd also planted chokecherries on the edge of the woods (which I make into a great wine!)(rhubarb wine, by the way, is good too). All this to say, the rhubarb is probably 100 years old. It's mostly green stalks with some red and pink. I think today's all red stalked rhubarb has been bred as such. We still occasionally let some stalks seed into the woods, so we have babies to transplant and give to people.

The last note I want to add is that I made this pie - still with whatever ground flour was in the freezer, which was spelt this time - with Kerry Gold butter I'm now getting from Costco. Love it! A great pastured butter from Ireland. WELL . . . I could tell a difference in this crust with that butter. Excellent! And our company agreed, but then all men love a great meal of meat, gravy and mashed potatoes, with good wine, and pie for dessert!

Shared with: Frugally Sustainable, Food Renegade, Clever Chicks Barn Hop, Real Food Wednesdays, Simple Lives Thursday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday
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