Mom's Rhubarb Pie | My first authentic Canadian food experience:

Mom's rhubarb pie, sweet, tart and almost creamy with a little nutmeg as the secret ingredient.
Mom's rhubarb pie is sweet, a little tart, and almost creamy. The rhubarb mixture contains eggs so the filling has a bit of a sweet custard feel.

In Southern New Brunswick, along the shores of the Kennebecasis River, spring comes slowly. In May we optimistically till our gardens and wait for the tight-fisted leaves of the maples to stretch open. We wait for the freshet to subside and watch for new growth to poke through the dirt as proof that we made it through another winter.

And we watch the local markets for fiddleheads and rhubarb, the first edible signs of spring.
Drive by any old home (and by old, I mean at least 80 years old) and you’ll see a shed-sized patch of rhubarb in some back corner of the lawn with leaves the size of umbrellas. As kids we’d march around the yard sometimes, fanning one another with them.
Mom's rhubarb pie, sweet, tart and almost creamy with a little nutmeg as the secret ingredient.
When I was growing up the rhubarb was piled like wood in our kitchen, waiting for mom to make jam, compote and pie.
I loved it all but my mom’s pie is nothing like you have ever tasted: a little tart with an almost creamy texture and a hint of nutmeg.

Mom's rhubarb pie, sweet, tart and almost creamy with a little nutmeg as the secret ingredient.
The first fruit pie of the season is cause to rejoice. (Although botanically speaking rhubarb is actually a vegetable). Mom would make these pies two at a time so there would often be enough left for a second little piece (I have six siblings).
When the strawberries arrived in late June she’d add them to the mix* and into summer we’d go, chasing each new fruit as it came into season, pie after pie after pie.
Mom's rhubarb pie
 

Mom’s Creamy Rhubarb Pie

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ¾ tsp. nutmeg
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 4 cups rhubarb (1” pieces)
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  1. Combine the sugar, flour and nutmeg.
  2. Add the beaten eggs then fold in the rhubarb.
  3. Prepare pastry as usual.
  4. Add filling to pie and dot rhubarb with the 2 Tbsp. of butter.
  5. Lattice the top, brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar.
  6. Bake at 400 F for about an hour.
*Strawberry rhubarb variation: 2 ½ cups rhubarb and 1 ½ cups sliced strawberries

The Canadian Food Experience Project began June 7 2013. As we (participants) share our collective stories across the vastness of our Canadian landscape through our regional food experiences, we hope to bring global clarity to our Canadian culinary identity through the cadence of our concerted Canadian voice. Please join us.
Mom's rhubarb pie, sweet, tart and almost creamy
 

Comments

  1. I have never had rhubarb pie before, which to me now seems strange as you see it growing in many gardens here in Alberta.

    My auntie used to have some in her garden and I remember as young children we would sneak into the path and steal stems of it. Only the brave would then try and get sugar from the house to dunk it into! Sour as it was we ate every bite of it.

    Great post!

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  2. We used to dunk it in sugar too. I had completely forgotten that until I read your comment. (I never did develop a taste for raw rhubarb.)I hope you get to try rhubarb pie someday.

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  3. Oh yes! We had rhubarb pie as well growing up every summer. As well as jam and crumbles. Its not summer without rhubarb!

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    Replies
    1. I agree! I add it to smoothies now too and there is a local wine maker who adds it to his mead.

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  4. Oh my gosh! I have so many memories of rhubarb growing up - picking it from the garden and dipping it in sugar. Your mom's pie recipe looks wonderful - and I LOVE that old fashioned looking pie plate.

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    1. My mom has the greatest kitchen stuff, and she has such a way with pastry. She can do the fiddly lattice design whereas I always make galettes. I'm so happy to have found other rhubarb fans.

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  5. What a beautifully written post. Concise, but full of imagery and memories.... chasing each new fruit as it came into season, pie after pie after pie. LOVE IT. I realized today - that yours is the only post in the entire lot I had not read, nor commented upon. I had it open many times... and, you saw that I picked this image as our first, as to me, like you - rhubarb represents the onset of a new season. I have always claimed it as a prairie treat... but can see I have been egocentric, there... and clearly, this is a national treasure. Your pie, Bridget, is stunning. Are you going to do the project with the other site, too? If not, I will take it off of the participant list... but, I think it would be fun to work molasses into the mix. A lot of work, but you do it anyway. YOu have motivated me to make a lattice pie. Never have. Grandma always did.
    XO
    Valerie

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