Friday, May 9, 2014

Rhubarb Cream Pie

I'm going to do a little bit of confessing as to what type of mother I feel I've started to become now that I have my first school age child. Putting mothers into a box and proclaiming "types" most likely is the best way to get some haters up in here, but I'm asking you to not overanalyze so that I can analyze my own psyche. My mother type has no idea what's expected at school and I always feel two giant steps behind. I mean, really. Field trip day? Is it bag lunch? What time does the bus leave? Where are the kids picked up? Time to construct a tower out of popsicle sticks that resembles a water tower? When is it due? Where do I bring it? Will I remember the due date? So many details and not enough mental capacity to get them all nailed to the ground. May my children not suffer for my lack of detail -oriented-ness, but be forever grateful that their stomachs were always full of pie. Amen.
This fantastic Rhubarb Cream Pie starts with a graham cracker crust. Don't have enough graham crackers? Amass all cookies in the house. The little round guys on the cutting board are amaretti cookies - totally to die for. Shortbread cookies would work fabulously, too. Throw the cookies into a ziploc, seal it and get to pounding. Once you're done pounding the cookies into dust pour them into a pie plate, add some sugar, ground ginger and melted butter. Form that into a beautific crust and bake in the oven until golden and delicious. 
While that's happening chop up your fresh rhubarb, if it's in season, or do like I did and remove from the freezer, pouring it into the pan all frosty and icey. Squeeze in some lime, toss in some sugar, and get to simmering for about 10 minutes. 
Cook. Cook. Cook.
Squeeze. Squeeze. Squeeze.
Boil. Boil. Boil.
Golden delicious juice. You've almost made a pie. Don't forget to take the crust out of the oven!
Throw the golden delicious juice into a blender with a can of sweetened condensed milk and 4 egg yolks and get to whirring.
Pour. Pour. Pour.
Bake. Bake. Bake. (Insert embarrassment here while you spy at the bottom of my nasty oven).
The original recipe comes from Amy Thielen's newest cookbook, The New Midwestern Table, which I highly recommend picking up! The perfectly Minnesota-ish recipes I've adored cooking so far are: Sloppy Joes - made in a Dutch oven slow-roasted in the oven all day (the method will have me forever making sloppy joes in the oven - I'm in love). Crappie Cakes - my husband offered to enroll me in culinary school after I served these to him. Rice Pilaf - which I was told was the best pilaf my guests had ever had the joy of consuming. She has some recipes that involve a lot of tinkering (my joy) and a whole section called "early day baking." Love. Love. Love. 
Top with freshly whipped cream and hear applause. My official mom type is pie. 

What type of mom (or dad) do you think you are? 

Rhubarb Cream Pie
recipe adapted from Amy Thielen's Midwestern Table

1 graham cracker crust, recipe below
2 1/2 cups rhubarb, chopped, fresh or frozen
1/3 cup lime juice, freshly squeezed (about 4 limes)
1/2 cup cane sugar
4 egg yolks
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 teaspooon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325ºF. 

Combine rhubarb, lime juice, and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer over moderate heat, simmer for 10 minutes until rhubarb begins to break down, stirring occasionally. Remove pan from heat and allow to cool slightly. Pour mixture into a blender. 

To the blender, add the egg yolks and sweetened condensed milk with the rhubarb mixture and give it a whir, until throughly combined.

Pour the filling into the cooled graham cracker crust. Bake in preheated oven until completely set in the middle, about 30 minutes. Give it a jiggle after 30 minutes and if the center looks slightly wiggly, return it to the oven for 5 additional minutes. Remove from oven and cool on the countertop for a couple of hours. Move to the refrigerator and chill completely, at least 3 hours. 

Combine heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract in a large bowl and whip with an electric beater until thick and puffy, about 4 minutes. Top the chilled pie with the whipped cream. Get ready to be a really loved chef. Sets nicely in the fridge for several days. 

Graham Cracker Crust
makes one 9" crust

1 sleeve of graham crackers
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter, melted

Place graham crackers in a large zip-top plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin until crackers resemble fine crumbs. Add sugar and cinnamon to bag and combine well. Pour crumb mixture into a 9" pie plate with melted butter and combine thoroughly. Press crumbs firmly with a large spoon into pie plate, pushing crumbs up the side to form a crust. Bake crust at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or freeze for 15 minutes. 


  1. gah, this looks wonderful. why have i never had or tried to bake a cream pie?!


I'd love to hear all about your kitchen adventures! Xo, Becki