Rhubarb

Rhubarb is the bright red fruit of spring.  The plants that grow in my garden were transplanted by my mother from her parent’s garden, and considered by my family to be our own heirloom variety.  We’ve eaten rhubarb pie and rhubarb cake, with variations as long as I can remember.  Here are some of my favorite recipes:

Rhubarb Custard Pie

  • Pie crust for bottom and top (recipe follows)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 Tblsp butter
  • 3 Tblsp flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 Tblsp frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 cups Rhubarb diced and a few strawberries

Combine sugar with butter.  Add flour and salt.  Beat in eggs, juice and vanilla until smooth.  Stir Rhubarb in and pour into prepared pie crust.  Put top on pie crust, scallop edges and cut design on top.

Bake @ 350 F for 30 minutes.  Its done with the crust is golden brown and the inside sets.


Pie Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup lard*
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup ice water or cold wine or vodka

Mix flour and salt with lard and butter until it’s crumbly and about the size of peas.  Chill in the fridge for 1/2 hour.  Take out of fridge and dribble in the liquid mixing with a fork until it sticks together and forms two balls.  Roll out the larger ball until it fits the bottom of a pie plate.  Roll out the other ball for the top.  Add filling and top with remaining crust.  Scallop the edges and cut a design on top to let out steam.  Bake as directed.

*If you don’t have lard you can add more butter, but the lard will make a flakier crust.  Lard can be made by rendering pork fat.  To render pork fat, cut it into chunks and heat a large quantity (whatever you have) in a large pot until it starts to melt.  Ladle out the liquid fat, which should be clear, into a jar.  When it cools it will be a smooth white lard.  Keep the heat low as you don’t want to scorch your lard.  You can buy pork fat from us if you’re looking for a source.  It is pastured non-GMO Mulefoot fat and $3/lb.


Rhubarb Cake with oatmeal

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 Tblsp butter
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup oats
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 Tblsp frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 cups Rhubarb diced and a few strawberries

Topping

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tblsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup melted butter

Combine sugar with butter.  Add flour, oats and salt.  Beat in eggs, juice and vanilla until smooth.  Stir Rhubarb in and pour into rectangular cake pan.  Mix the toppings and sprinkle evening over the top.  Bake @ 350 F for 30 minutes.  Its done when the batter is golden brown, set, pulling away from the sides and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.