Sunday, May 9, 2010

Rhubarb, my first love (first of the spring that is…)

From the country…

First of all, Happy Mother’s day to all Momma’s out there!

Now let’s talk about Rhubarb, one of my favourite spring treats (there are too many, really). *Rhubarb, also known as pie plant, originated in Asia, is a hardy perennial plant, and is botanically a vegetable but was classified as a fruit by the U.S Customs Court in 1947 (the ruling was important because vegetables were charged a higher duty).

It is a staple for us around here in the spring. It lends itself beautifully to just about any dessert you can come up with (pies, tarts, custards, stewed plain, crisps) I have made (in the past week, I might add…) a rhubarb sour cherry crisp, a rhubarb custard pie and stewed rhubarb in everything from oatmeal to yoghurt to fruit compote. Another nifty fact about rhubarb is it freezes fantastically all you need to do is chop the stalks up, throw in a bag and plop in the freezer- instant rhubarb all winter too!

So as I fiddle with a canker sore on the tip of my tongue and contemplate my next recipe containing rhubarb, I will leave you with this pie recipe. Enjoy!
Rhubarb Custard Pie

Pastry for a 9-inch single-crust pie, crimped and chilled in pie tin,
3 generous cups (1 1/2 pounds) rhubarb cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 3/4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, add the sugar, flour, eggs, butter, and nutmeg and mix just until combined. Spread the cut rhubarb in the chilled uncooked pastry shell and pour the liquid mixture over it. Give it a little jiggle to settle it in evenly.
Bake the pie for 45 minutes, or until the center looks cooked and does not jiggle when the pie is nudged. Cool the pie almost to room temperature before serving.
This pie is really best served on the day it is baked but will keep for 3 days, loosely covered in the refrigherator.

Note: the pie in the photo was a Mother's day treat for my Gran and didn't actually get to taste said pie, it looked really yummy though...

*Information pulled from The Food Encylopedia

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