Thursday, July 14, 2011

Rhubarb Custard Pie

Time has gotten away from me and nearly a month has passed since I started to work on this post. Initially, my reaction was to scrap the post, but I really want to share this recipe with you because it is a favorite of mine.
I had to work on Father's Day and was unable to spend it with my Dad. Restaurant work is bad for that...these Hallmark holidays become "just another day".  But, later in the week when I had a few days off, I baked him this pie and took him and my Mom to lunch.

The recipe for this pie came from my paternal grandmother, Carol. Grandma was quite the baker and a good cook to boot. A person could always go to her house and expect to savor a piece of pie, a cake or some cookies.  It was an emotional moment the first time I made this pie for my Dad after her passing. He excused himself from the table, only to come back with eyes that had shed a few tears.  We didn't talk about it, (of course!) but I imagine tasting that pie brought back memories and sorrow because she is no longer with us.

I believe we all have an emotional connection to food. Tastes and smells can evoke childhood memories, a special meal your Mom always prepares, or even a romantic evening spent with the one you love. This pie and several other baked goodies remind me of my paternal Grandmother. For my maternal grandmother, its homemade chicken and dumplings and sourcream chocolate cake. This list could go on and on, but you get the point. Be still and think about it...what foods are special to you?

Rhubarb Custard Pie

makes 1 9" baked pie--enough for 6-8 slices

1 single crust unbaked pie shell
4c chopped rhubarb
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs, beaten
1c half and half
fresh ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place chopped rhubarb in pie crust shell.  Mix sugar, eggs and half and half. Pour over rhubarb, then sprinkle with nutmeg.  Place pie in oven and bake at 400 degrees until pie starts to brown, then turn down to 350 degrees and bake until done.  Test custard for doneness. I've included this link that describes testing methods.

Below are a few pictures showing a few of my favorite kitchen gadgets.

A tempered glass bowl complete with a handle, pour spout and plastic lid from Pampered Chef and Mrs. Anderson's aluminum pie crust shields. For years I used to fold long pieces of aluminum foil and wrap the edges of pie.  These shields are easy to use, just place them over the pie and bake. I remove the shield during the last 15 minutes of baking.  I see that they also have silicone baking shields available now.

Another all-time favorite is this whisk, given to me by the Office Manager when I cooked at the Lazy EL Ranch. This whisk is not available available for purchase online, only at Ikea stores.  Here is a link for product information.  This baby is "cheap" and boy can make short work of whisking eggs...much better than the average balloon whisk.

I picked up this jazzy little nutmeg grinder prior to purchasing the classic handheld Microplane grater/zester. I paid $4USD and picked it up from TJ FAVORITE discount store for all things "home". It's also made by Microplane and while you can never be guaranteed of finding another one at TJ Maxx since their stock is always in a state of flux, you can purchase one from Amazon. The top orange compartment is the "house" for whole nutmeg and the bottom of the unit collects the grated nutmeg.

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