Rhubarb pie is not exactly an obsolete dessert, but neither is it as popular as it once was. Here in the upper Midwest, rhubarb remains a very common spring time ingredient. It grows well here, and is probably the first garden produce that can be harvested in the spring. Although it was once called “the pie plant”, now one encounters it more in other sweet forms such as cakes, crisps, muffins, and breads. Many people do not make pies, so rhubarb pie has become less common. Even among those of us who bake pies, rhubarb is most frequently paired with other fruits such as strawberries, blueberries or cherries. Personally, I’m a fan of rhubarb custard or sour cream rhubarb pie. I wondered if just plain old rhubarb could still stand on its own as a delicious dessert. My conclusion is yes! I used Betty Crocker’s “Fresh Rhubarb Pie” recipe from the 1950 edition cook book. The simplicity of the filling lets the rhubarb take center stage. It reminds me of sitting on our back stoop with a little dish of sugar and a stalk of rhubarb- pure June!
Time and Effort: Filling is easy and inexpensive if you grow rhubarb. Pie crust is a consternation to some, but worth the effort in my opinion. 1-2 hour time commitment depending on your experience in pie making.
Worth Adding to your Recipe Repertoire: Cara: Yes! Belle: Yes!
History: Rhubarb was once known as the “pie plant”. While it was grown in ancient Rome, I suspect it was most treasured by the American pioneers for its heartiness.
Double pie crust (See Marjorie Johnson’s Blue Ribbon Pie Crust Recipe)
Filling: 1.5 to 2 Cups of sugar
6 Tablespoons flour
4 cups cut up rhubarb
1 and 1/3 Tablespoons butter.
Mix sugar, flour and rhubarb and place in bottom crust. Dot with butter. Top with remaining crust. Make slits and bake at 425 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes. Crust should be nicely browned.