Rhubarb Custard Pie

comments: 91




Ah! Pie! Rhubarb custard: sweet, tart, creamy, crusty, and generally awesome. Simple spring pleasure. It worked out well! Now (naturally) I want to grow rhubarb but I don't think we have enough room in any of our sunny spots. Need to find a spot.

In other garden news, my little teeny lettuce seeds that I planted six days ago are sprouting!!! You know I got choked up about that. Well, it's been a hard year.

I was thinking I would take a photo of the raised beds from the upstairs window every Wednesday, just to watch how they grow from a different perspective. It's supposed to be fairly warm (though fairly cloudy) all week. I have to say I really love this time of year, which feels like pre-summer. Summer itself stresses me out, because it feels like 1) it's too hot, 2) it's too sunny, 3) it's too busy, 4) it's too hot and sunny, and 4) it never really seems like it goes how I want it to. I always wind up feeling kind of . . . frantic. I don't know how to change it, but I think that feeling has been with me since childhood. Great expectations?

I swear I think it has something to do with the light coming from straight overhead. Interrogation. I have trouble with overhead lighting, even in the house. Makes me anxious. I prefer a lower angle.

And speaking of dresses (yesterday), a tree peony–colored one wouldn't be bad either. Jeesh. Planted ten years ago, in a pot the size of a bucket, this poor thing is one of the most neglected plants we have, yet it rewards us every year, without fail, with the most gorgeous and enormous blossom. And this year, two of them. Splendid angels. They're like six or seven inches across, seriously. I'm truly afraid to transplant it, or move it, or otherwise care for it (other than adoringly gawk at it this week), lest I break some unspoken arrangement between us and actually upset her. It's so hard to know.


I see my mom already told you our rhubarb story. My plan was to bake a pie for each anniversary. I forgot last year, but there's always another anniversary coming around, right?
I was so excited to see if you would like the pie and I'm glad you do! We live in the south now, so it is harder to grow rhubarb but sometimes our grocery has it. Rhubarb has such a special place in our hearts. Yum!

I am so pleased to see that I am not alone in my anxiety about summer. It is not my favorite season, for sure, and I generally count the days until the leaves turn and the temperatures drop.

You deserve a long and lovely spring after the year that you've had. I hope it lasts forever.

The angle of light thing? Yes. Absolutely--and combine that with humidity and heat? Let's just say I kind of hate summer--I could go on and on, but I'll spare you. (I grew up on the East coast in horrifying humidity, though we almost never have any at all where I live now, and it does cool off enormously at night, but still, the days are blistering and almost violently bright.) I am so relieved when the light begins to slant again in the fall--it's as if some sort of subtle but indescribably stressful background noise has finally stopped. Anyway--growing vegetables is one thing that makes summer bearable.

claire ashworth says: May 09, 2012 at 06:40 PM

oh oh oh!! Catching up on your blog and seeing the picture of your beautiful pie made me realize that i should recommend a book to you. I don't normally recommend books because everyone has specific book tastes, but anyway: "Making Piece, a memoir on love, loss and pie" by Beth Howard. It's all about how pie is such an integral part of her upbringing and her life and soul and how it helped her deal with the incredible grief of the loss of her husband. i've never married, therefore never lost a husband suddenly and unexpectantly, but i've had grief and i loved reading through her journey and all the things she did with pie to help her grieve and heal. i loved it, so please at least google it. haha... also, have you heard of goodreads.com? i love it. here is her book on that site: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12555246-making-piece

Oh! That Pie, I must try it. I am living under a pastry curse, I can't make it as well as my Mum who up until she retired at age 80 was the best pie baker in Canada...but I keep trying.
As for the rhubarb, mine was so healthy it took over 3 square feet of my garden, so I moved it into semi shade. Now I get enough rhubarb and still have room for my tomatoes.

Wow, you really hit the nail on the head with your description of summer and light! I was born and raised in Florida and was always miserable, could not stand being out side! Was always super grumpy and mean. Since moving to Oregon my whole world has changed :) I knew it had something to do with too much sun, but you helped to make it seem normal! haha!

The pie looks SO YUMMY! Your arrangement with your tree peony sounds like a marriage made in heaven. I wouldn't mess up a good thing either if I was you. She is dressed so wonderfully for you to view!

Melissa Krawczyk-Stucker says: May 10, 2012 at 06:37 PM

I promptly went to the rhubarb and cut it free THEN set my 14 yr old chopping for the Rhubarb Custard Pie. Instead of pouring the filling over the rhubarb, I stirred it together to coat the rhubarb well. Once baked, I allowed it to chill out in the frig overnight ... it is PERFECT! A nice new twist. Thank you, my dear.
Melissa in Churubusco, IN

Alrighty, I'm hitting Missoula's Farmer's Market tomorrow in search of rhubarb for a pie. Thank you for the inspiration. :)

oh your pies are gorgeous. if only i could make crust like that, with the beautiful lattice topping. you are talented in so many areas! i'm jealous. Happy Weekend.

Mary K. in Rockport says: May 13, 2012 at 05:42 AM

Tried the pie, and it is GOOOOOOOOD!

i am in full agreement re: summer. & i thought i was the only one! summer to me is a) extroverted, b) very noisy, c) lacking in soft subtle lighting, d) glare, e) temperatures that wilt & stifle, f) brazen.

the PNW fall, winter & spring... all delight me ~ that soft diffuse gentle light & lots of tender rain. but summer? has always been a huge challenge.

mouth watering!!! makes me want to throw (my necessary) gluten free to the wind and indulge.

Carmen Wyant says: May 27, 2012 at 10:15 AM

My tree peonies are the same way. Nothing for the first several years but last year I had 3!!!!blooms on one & 2!!! on the other. My third one reverted to a regular peony (what's up with that). Obviously they grafted, which wasn't supposed to be. So now we are 2. Love them.

Just made the pie and it was really really good. Thanks!

Your pie is beautiful, both before and after! I can just taste it. And YES, totally completely, about the awfulness of overhead light, both indoor and outdoor. I never thought of the interrogation angle, and you are absolutely right. Sundown and lamplight forever.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


post a comment

About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com




Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.