Rhubarb Custard Pie

05/04/2015

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Spring in the Midwest is beautiful. The slightest bit of warmth and sunshine causes everything outside to erupt. In just a blink of an eye, asparagus is two inches tall, daffodils and tulips color yards, and trees explode in blooms. In my short time there, I ate asparagus for nearly every meal, and smelled every lilac bush we walked past.

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Rhubarb is another fabulous spring food that is hard to find in the south. My sweet grandma made not one, but two delicious deserts from her home grown rhubarb. Her pie crust is legendary; I don’t know how make that according to her specifications yet, but I plan to schedule a pie-crust making tutorial from Grandma Eldora one of these times home. So the crust isn’t her recipe, but the delectable custard filling is.

Ingredients:

For the pie crust (From Ina Garten):

12 T (1 1/2 sticks) very cold unsalted butter
3 c all-purpose flour
1 t kosher salt
1 T sugar
1/3 c very cold vegetable shortening
6 to 8 T (about 1/2 cup) ice water

Dice the butter and return it to the refrigerator while you prepare the flour mixture. Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse a few times to mix. Add the butter and shortening. Pulse 8 to 12 times, until the butter is the size of peas. With the machine running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse the machine until the dough begins to form a ball. Dump out on a floured board and roll into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Cut the dough in half. Roll each piece on a well-floured board into a circle, rolling from the center to the edge, turning and flouring the dough to make sure it doesn’t stick to the board. Fold the dough in half, place in a pie pan, and unfold to fit the pan. Repeat with the top crust.

For the filling:

3 eggs
2 2/3 T half-and-half
1 3/4 c sugar
4 T flour
1/2 t nutmeg
4 c rhubarb stems, chopped
1 T butter

Instructions:

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Next, slightly beet the eggs. Add the half-and-half. Add the sugar, flour, and nutmeg. Mix in the chopped rhubarb. Pour in the pastry lined pie pan. Chop the 1 T into small chunks, and spread across the filling. Add the lattice top. Bake for 50-60 minutes. Serve slightly warm with ice cream. Enjoy!

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