Rhubarb Custard Pie (& Secrets to Successful Pie Crust)


Rhubarb Custard Pie is not a common one in circles I’m in, but this was a favorite of Marty’s family, and has become a favorite of ours too.

The recipe is Marty’s mom’s.  She taught me how to make it – and how to make a simple, but tender and flaky pie crust.

Rhubarb Custard Pie was always one of Pap’s (and IS Nick’s) favorite pie I make.  For Marty, it is not complete without a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.

rp slice

Many folks I know like to mix rhubarb with something else sweet, like strawberries.

Not here… sliced chunks of the tart, crimson, tangy rhubarb stalks

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are a perfect contrast to the creamy, sweet, simple custard to make this a dynamite summertime pie.

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We took it to a picnic this weekend, but of course I had to make one for home too.

Here is my recipe in its original form passed on and lovingly stained from my mother-in-law, who taught me so much about baking and cooking and canning… and how sometimes good things are messy.  🙂

rp 17The recipe is short and sweet.

I think it takes me longer to clean up than it does to make it.

You may notice the recipe does not include how to make the pie crust, so here is our “secret family recipe.”

Note that I was making 6 crusts in these photos (for 3 pies), but my recipe will be for one crust.  You simply double or triple or quadruple, etc. as necessary.

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For 1 pie crust, mix 1 cup flour, a heaping 1/3 cup Crisco shortening, and a dash of salt in a bowl blending with a pastry blender till crumbly.

rp 3Add enough cold water to just moisten and be able to form a ball (about 1/3 cup)

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and put on a floured surface to roll out.rp 5Important:  Do not overwork the dough.  This is NOT bread dough.  It shouldn’t be “kneaded.”  The more you work it, the tougher it will become.  The less you play with it, the more tender and flaky it will be.

rp 6If you are doing more than one crust, simply divide the dough into that number of balls and set aside all but one to roll out.

rp 7I like to use a heavy marble rolling pin to gently roll out the pie dough – working it as little as possible and turning over a few times to keep from sticking to the rolling pin and surface.

rp 8Lift it from the surface to your pie pan (I prefer baking stones) by folding it in quarters, placing in the pan,

rp 9then unfolding and pinching edges

rp 10and add filling.

For Rhubarb Custard Pie, I like to make a lattice crust, so simply roll out another ball of dough and cut into 8 strips.

rp 13Place 4 on the pie in one direction, then weave by lifting two alternating and place one the opposite direction, then lifting the other two, and repeating.

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A finishing touch is to brush with some cream (or melted butter)

rp 15and sprinkle with sugar.

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Lastly, cover the edges of the pie with strips of aluminum foil to prevent the edges from getting overbaked or burnt.

rp 18Bake and enjoy!

And with those leftover scraps of dough, Marty always loves with I brush them with a little cream or melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and bake into yummy cinnamon stick treats.

IMG_0061Hope you and yours will enjoy this pie as much as we do!

rp19Cheers and Hugs,



20 thoughts on “Rhubarb Custard Pie (& Secrets to Successful Pie Crust)

  1. Jodi,
    This rhubarb pie looks absolutely delicious! I love rhubarb, it reminds me of my Baba who always grew it, and made compote and pies with it.
    I need to try this, although I’ll have to share with the neighbors, since it’s not Don’s fav, or maybe just eat it all myself!!!! 😉
    Have a great week, see ya,


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    • You know Ilze – I bet you could. I’m not sure why I’ve never tried? I guess because my mother-in-law and grandma always made it with Crisco shortening, but when you think about what is in it, and that butter is much healthier – it is probably worth a try. I’d say make sure the butter is a bit colder so you can make it crumbly flaky. If you try let me know, and if I do, I will also. I wonder if Crisco was always used to save money???


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  9. I made this recipe a few years ago and forget about that!!!! Thank you for reminding it! When I saw that picture with the recipe from your mother-in-law, remembered it was on your blog!

    Liked by 1 person

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