Friday, June 1, 2012

A Strawberry Rhubarb Custard Pie Worth Brawling Over

Because I grew up listening to baseball on the radio, whenever I heard the word “rhubarb,” I wouldn’t think of something edible and delicious like this amazing Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, I’d think of fights.

Back in the early days of radio, when they wanted to get the sound effect of an angry mob, they’d tell the performers to repeat the word “rhubarb,” over and over. It sounds heated and contentious, yet the listener doesn’t hear any specific words.

Baseball announcers of the same era began to call baseball fights “rhubarbs,” since they sounded so much like those radio effects. I didn’t learn about this until recently, and it made me think of all the games I’d listened to during all those summers, and how never once when I heard “rhubarb,” did I think of pie.

That was until I got this wonderful recipe from my mother Pauline, who I believe got it from my Aunt Angela. As you longtime readers know, both are fantastic bakers and while I love all their pies, this might be my favorite.

So, when Matt Cain drills Matt Kemp in the back this summer, and he charges the mound prompting an ugly benches-clearing brawl, and the play-by-play guy says, “we’ve got ourselves a real rhubarb now,” I will think of this pie. This delicious, rough and tumble pie. Enjoy!


3 cups sliced rhubarb
1 cup quartered strawberries
3 large eggs
pinch of fresh nutmeg
3 tbsp milk
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
*I didn’t mention, but I added a very tiny pinch of salt
1 tbsp butter for "dotting"
pie dough for one 9-inch crust 
For the glaze:
2 tbsp jam with 1/4 tsp water, warmed in microwave

View the complete recipe

55 comments:

Pantalone said...

Some really beautiful images in this one Chef John!

Anonymous said...

looks amazing!
but i cant find rhubarb where i live :(

Anonymous said...

Ole tapa tapa
You really crack me up.

Deej Twombly said...

Wow, I really wanted an idea for the huge rhubarb plant growing in Dad's backyard and whamo!!! Dad always talks about a great rhubarb pie his mother used to make...but we never had the recipe. I think I might score some serious points with this! I know what I will be doing this weekend!
Thanks for your great videos, excellent writing and narration.I just love your site! Thanks from Deborah in Salem, MA

Anonymous said...

Hello Chef John,

Can blueberries or any other fruit work with this recipe?

Chef John said...

sure!

Chef John said...

sure!

Chris said...

BTW: Rhubarb is just about the easiest perennial to take care of if you have the space. Go plant one!!!

MMMM, pie said...

Man, that beat really WAS fresh.

Emerald_Mara85 said...

GAHHH!!!
Just when my place finally has rhubarbs, you torture me with THIS!
Argh...I never get sweet strawberries before (asian country).

On a side note,
It seems your video camera skills is a whole lot better than the last video of yours I've seen (chocolate macaron)
Still have yet to watch your other recipes...

averagebetty said...

Oh the joys of a kitchen remodel... it's like camping at home! Beautiful pie!

Extra Virgin Chef said...

Frutard. Hahaha. Even my teenage daughter enjoyed the video, and she has zero interest in pies.

Kelly said...

You know you watch too many Food Wishes videos when you went "WAIT, why didn't he do the 'ol tappa tappa right after pouring in the custard?! Ahh... there it is." And all was right in the world again. Will try this recipe out for my boyfriend!

Anonymous said...

That's lovely dude.

Anonymous said...

I made this pie and I'm waiting for it to cool down. Looks amazing. I had to make my own pie crust because where I live we have a lot of rhubarb, but no pre-made frozen pie crusts. =) I think we got the better part of the bargain.

Anonymous said...

I have the pie in the oven. I had a bit o a mess because I tried to use all of the custard mix and had overflow. I think this needs a deep dish pie shell. Oh well, it still looks yummy.

JennO said...

Love your recipes! Haven't had a fail yet!! How do you think this pie would freeze/thaw/re-serve chef?

Chef John said...

sorry, never tried freeze/thaw/re-serve!

weeza said...

I made this pie this morning and we just ate it as a late night treat. VERY good! I will make it again this week. I used all the strawberries and some of the rhubarb picked fresh from my garden. I had some stalks already on hand from a produce market from making another dessert. My plant isn't very big, yet. Maybe next year.

Food Junkie said...

I absolutely love strawberry rhubarb pie but have never tried the custard version. As soon as strawberries are available here I will be trying this. The local berries are still at least 3 weeks away and a pie this good deserves local berries and not the tasteless stuff that is in the stores now. Thankfully the rhubarb that is plentiful now freezes very well.

Anonymous said...

Great recipe chef!

I was wondering if you thawed the frozen pie crust prior to adding the ingredients or if it was still frozen?

Dan and Hilary said...

Wow a custard version of a classic. Absolutely can't wait to try!

Could you make this pie with a lattice crust on top, or has your family always done it open face?

Dan and Hilary said...

Wow, a custard version of a classic pie from my childhood, can not wait to try this! Agree like revenge, a dish best served cold.

Can you make this with a lattice crust on top, or has your family always done it open face?

Anonymous said...

dear chef john, first let me say thank you for all your wonderful videos i have been watching for years now and they are the major reason that i have learned to cook. i have been having a problems with this custard (it turns out a little runny) and was wondering if this could be solved by adding 1-2 egg yolks?

Chef John said...

The crust was thawed!

Chef John said...

Not sure about adding yolks as Ive not had this problem. Are you sure your fruit is not wet? Or you didn't cook long enough? Or not let it cool completely?

Anonymous said...

I cooked the pie for 70 min. and it appeared to be set when i wiggled it around. I let it cool for a few hours on the counter and then covered it and put in the fridge overnight. I just took the plastic wrap off and it was mostly liquid in the middle. I was able to break off some of the crust with rhubarb and strawberries attached and it was really good. Do you think the strawberries were over ripe or was it undercooked?

miyuki embree said...

Hi

Love to make the pie.
Does it work the same way with frozen rhubarb?
If so, should the rhubarb thawed before cooking?

I am trying to learn how to make good pie.
Japanese are not baking people...

Love you chef♥

Chef John said...

Yes, thaw and drain well! Enjoy!

Maureen said...

My dad would rise from the grave to eat this! He loved custard, strawberries and rhubarb. LOL

eStomach said...

Mmmm, sweet sweet frustard.....

LP said...

Hi Chef John,
I've been following your blog for a while and this is the first recipe I have tried myself and I LOVED it!!! It was so easy to make and came out perfect. I will be trying more and more off your awesome blog!
Thanks!

Anonymous said...

tried it tonight, AMAZING PIE!

Unknown said...

wow.I'm gonna make this for sure.This one looks to be a keeper.

Grandma Honey said...

I made this last night and loved it! Another winner Chef John. Every single recipe I have tried of yours has been off the charts!

Chef John said...

Thanks!

whitterbug23 said...

Thank you so much for this amazing recipe Chef John! I made this yesterday and my family loved it. We have a ton of rhubarb and strawberries in our garden so strawberry rhubarb pie is a common sight around this time of year. This will definitely replace my old recipe. The sweet custard pairs perfectly with tart rhubarb. Also, thanks for the interesting facts; I have never heard of rhubarb as a baseball term.

Kate Sheehan said...

Chef John- I made this for my dad for Father's day and it was really good! Like others who tried this, the custard was a little soupy, but it was *this* close to holding together. Maybe a little more flour? I did drain the strawberries well. My mom says rhubarb contains a LOT of water so maybe that had something to do with it as well. Well, at any rate, needing to fix the error gives me incentive to use this recipe again! >:-)

Steven said...

I'm a little suspicious of a fruit that needs 1.5 cups of sugar to be edible, but I'm going to try this anyway.

jill said...

I made this last night. Seemed cooked but when it came out of the fridge the morning, the middle was soupy. I'm sure it'll still be tasty! wonder what I did wrong? Maybe I should have cooked it longer.

Anonymous said...

Hey Chef John, can you maybe post a video about a recipe that uses vanilla beans? I'm a huge fan of vanilla flavored desserts and pastries.

Melissa said...

This looks WONDERFUL!! I'm making it tonight for a church party!!
Can you set up a PINTEREST button at the bottom? I would love to add your recipes there & share with others!!!

LOVE YOUR SITE!!! I love the videos! So well done and I feel like I can do a recipe when I see how to really make it! THANKS!!

Anonymous said...

I made this today and have had it in the fridge for 3-4 hours and it's very soupy! I followed the instructions to the letter! :(

Samantha Pelch said...

Love your videos! I'm a celiac though, so do you think I could sub a GF A/P flour or something else fornthe regular flour?? Also, we don't like our rhubarb overly sweet, so if I used a little less sugar would that affect the custard?

Samantha Pelch said...

I love your videos!! I want to make this pie, but I'm a celiac. Do you think I could sub a GF A/P flour for the regular flour in this? Also, we don't like our rhubarb overly sweet, will reducing the amount of sugar in the custard affect the ability to set?

Chef John said...

Sorry, no experience with GF flours! Also, yes, the sugar content does effect the texture.

Samantha Pelch said...

Ok, guess I'll just have to try it and see how it works out! Thanks for the reply!

cvaught said...

Hi Chef John, I made the strawberry Rhubarb today. i followed your recipe exactly and i baked it for 1 hr. it seem to be set when i took it out more like watery so i put it back in the oven for 15 minutes and no change. i let it cool and it didnt thicken. i then put it in the fridge and still no change. Chef John what dio you think went wrong and what can i do to make it right if i can?

Chef John said...

I wish I could help, but no way to know. I would have to watch you make. Did u measure right? I know this works perfectly.

Denis Anderson said...

I made this pie for my niece's birthday party. She loves strawberries and the pie was great surprise. She liked it so much, that we had to clean some strawberry stains from the carpet. :D After all the pie was the hit of the party! Thanks for the recipe!

Miks Jurciks said...

Just as a warning to those of you who are going to use the rhubarb in your backyard: Do not take the big fat ones, take the smaller, newer plants. Rhubarbs have the same acid that their big leaf has, the only difference is that the younger rhubarbs don't have as much of the acid as the older ones. You can use rhubarb all year, well, as long as there's rhubarb, but you have to pluck out the older ones so that new rhubarbs can sprout.

akaase said...

Mine turned out a little soupy as well, and this is several hours after being in the fridge. I think it's because I used frozen (thawed) strawberries. They are extremely juicy, and that extra moisture probably prevented the custard from setting. I might try using cornstarch instead of flour next time! Nevertheless, the pie was FREAKING DELICIOUS. This recipe is amazing.

MC the Emcee said...

If it helps, the posters who suggested that theirs remained soupy or too wet, it may be that your oven is not reaching the temperature it is supposed to. I had an old oven that regularly sat about 20-30 degrees celcius cooler than what was on the dial. This was confirmed with a cheap in-oven thermometer. I adjusted the dial accordingly and my recipes all turned out better. Good luck folks, and Chef John, thanks for the brilliant recipes!

Unknown said...

I made this pie with blackberries and blueberries. Both were frozen and I did not thaw. This added about 35 minutes to the cooking time but it still turned out great. The only difference I would make next time is to cut the sugar when using such sweet berries. The tart rhubarb would need the full amount but my berries were already very sweet!

Michelle said...

I've been making this pie, following the recipe to the letter, for about 2 years. I just popped on here today to get the recipe once again as I'm making 2 of them for a party tomorrow. I'm scratching my head about the comments regarding the custard being soupy. I've easily made about 30 of these now, and not a one has turned out loose. We even did 6 of them in the toaster oven last year when my oven took a powder.
Thanks, Chef John, for a family fav!