Rhubarb Pie & Rhubarb Custard Pie

Lattice-top Pie

Lattice-top Pie

By Cat, Jun 2008 (Photo, right, by Cat)

When I first learned how to make pie crust from scratch, I made a plain rhubarb pie, then invited all my friends over for a taste.  They were hooked, but the next time I made a rhubarb custard pie, which everyone liked even better. After that, all I had to do was say “rhubarb,” and they dropped everything to have a piece of my pie. I have come to love the custard version so much that I rarely make the plain version.

A related option would be to make a rhubarb cobbler, using stewed rhubarb and adding a cobbler topping.

Rhubarb Custard Pie

While my fav rhubarb custard pie recipe was locked up in my Portland storage locker, I searched the web for a version that would be similar. This recipe is the best version I found, and is adapted from rhubarbinfo.com (1) and Putman Place, Rhubarb Tips and Recipes (2).  Since I’m avoiding sugar, I use mostly stevia, with a bit of maple syrup or honey.

As it turns out, after adjusting the original recipe per repeated testing (see below the recipe), I love this version so much that I don’t miss my old recipe.


Pie Crust: Before I learned about presoaking flour, I used American Pie Crust (Wheat or Spelt) for 1- or 2-crust pie. But now I use Yogurt Pie Crust II (Wheat or Spelt). See also Assembly Version I – III below for alternative arrangements.

Sweetener: original recipe called for 2 cups (9″ pie ) or 1 ½ cups (8″ pie) Rapadura  or white cane sugar, but I’ve adapted it to use honey and stevia.  As an alternative you could use xylitol.

Custard: for a richer pie, use up to ½ cup (9″) or ⅓ cup (8″) rich milk or cream

Ingredients & Equipment for 8″ or 9″ pie


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Prepare crust, then line pan with the bottom crust.
  3. Beat eggs with fork or whisk.  Add milk (and honey or maple syrup, if using), and mix well.
  4. Sift together flour/starch, sugar and/or stevia, nutmeg, and pinch of salt, then stir into eggs
  5. Add rhubarb, stir.  Let rest about 10 minutes, for the stevia to dissolve.
  6. Pour mixture into pastry-lined pan.
  7. Dot with butter.
  8. If desired, cover with lattice or crumb top (see below), or leave open.  If using lattice or top crust, brush with a bit of milk, then lightly sprinkle a bit of granulated sugar (or cinnamon sugar) over.
  9. Bake in preheated oven until set and nicely browned, about 40 -50 minutes

Serving ideas

  • Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream (French vanilla or caramel swirl).


Testing 5/31/08:  Followed rhubarbinfo.com (1)  to make 9″ pie using 2 cups cut rhubarb.  Substituted ½ tsp stevia extract powder and 1 tsp maple syrup instead of 1 cup sugar.  Crust was 2-crust American Pie Crust (Spelt), chilled  before rolling.  The balls were too stiff to roll, so I had to let them warm a bit.  It does help to use waxed paper when rolling.  I assembled the pie as for Version I below (lattice upper crust).  Result:  The crust was delicious, if it did fall apart and let the juices seep through so it stuck to the pan.  The filling was quite tart, with not enough rhubarb.  I don’t think rhubarb was quite ripe.  Suggestions for next time: use more and riper rhubarb; more sweetener; don’t chill crust.

6/5/08:  Used American Pie Crust (Spelt) 2-crust recipe. Followed Putman Place (2), except used ¾ tsp stevia and 3 Tbsp honey, and used white spelt flour for thickener.  Omitted nutmeg.  Let rest for a few minutes after mixing, for stevia to mix.  This rhubarb was more ripe than for the 5/31 test.  For crust I used same 2-crust whole spelt recipe, but used half white spelt, half whole spelt.  Added 4 Tbsp water (probably would have been better with 3 ½ Tbsp).  Arranged as 2- crust with vents (version II, below), because I was too lazy to weave the lattice.  Result:  crust is flaky and light, and didn’t let the juices seep through (no sticking to pan).  Filling is tart-sweet, just like I like it. I updated recipe with changes. Conclusion/Suggestion:  the Putman Place recipe is much better, but I like the extra cream of the rhubarbinfo.com recipe, so next time I’ll use more cream in the custard as indicated in note.

5/25/10: Tested as written except used Yogurt Pie Crust II (Spelt) for the crust; used whole milk instead of cream; used 4 tsp arrowroot powder instead of 4 Tbsp flour as thickener. Forgot to dot with butter before adding top crust. I forgot to record the result

5/6/12: Tested as written for 9” two-crust pie with vents see below), except used Yogurt Pie Crust II (Spelt) (soaked flour) for the crust, using 1 ½ cup whole spelt, ¾ cup unbleached white wheat flour; used 3 Tbsp cream as written; used maple syrup instead of honey; used only ½ tsp stevia; omitted nutmeg. Sprinkled top crust with Rapadura sugar, but forgot to brush with milk first, so did that after it had baked 25 min. Baked at 400 for 48 min, total. Result: crust is very flavorful & flakey. Filling is a bit tart – I like it that way but I think most people would like it sweeter, which would mean using ¾ tsp stevia as in original recipe.

6/8/12: made 7.5” ceramic pie pan, using ingredients for 8” pie; modified Yogurt Pie Crust II (Spelt) (soaked flour) for smaller pan, but it wouldn’t hold together after rolling & had to patch in pan. I used ⅔ cup whole spelt and ⅓ cup ea barley and kamut flours (total 1⅓ cup); ½ tsp salt, 2½ Tbsp melted butter, 4½ Tbsp cold butter (7 Tbsp total), 1 Tbsp yogurt and 2 Tbsp cold water. It felt good when mixing but I think it needed more butter. Also it soaked 38 hours, which may have been too long. Next time try 3 Tbsp melted and 5 Tbsp cold butter (8 Tbsp total). Oops, forgot to record taste result.

Rhubarb Pie Version I

This is adapted from Pillsbury Dessert Cookbook, copyright 1970 by The Pillsbury Company (3) and is the first rhubarb pie I made. I does not include the custard.

Ingredients & Equipment


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Prepare crust, then line pan with the bottom crust.
  3. Place rhubarb in mixing bowl.
  4. Sift flour, sugar (if using), optional spices and stevia (if using) on top of rhubarb, and toss lightly to mix.
  5. Pour into pastry-lined pan; dot with butter.
  6. Roll out other crust and arrange on top of pie. Cut vents in top crust. Seal and flute edge. Brush with a bit of milk and sprinkle with granulated sugar or cinnamon sugar, if desired. See Pie Assembly, Version II: 2-crust pie with vents, below, for more detail.
  7. Bake 30 – 35 minutes (8″ pie) or 35 – 40 minutes (9″ pie)  in preheated oven.
  8. Remove from oven to cool a bit before serving.

Rhubarb Pie Version II

This recipe is from Putman Place, Rhubarb Tips and Recipes (2).  I have not altered it to use more healthful ingredients; nor have I tested it.

NOTE on PIE CRUST:  See Assembly Version I – III below for alternative arrangements.

Ingredients & Equipment

  • Crust for 2-crust pie:
  • American Pie Crust (Wheat or Spelt) (8 or 9″ version)
  • 8″ pie:
  • 3 cups chopped rhubarb
  • ¾ – 1½ cups sugar
  • ¼ cup unbleached white flour
  • ½ tsp cinnamon, ginger, or cardamom (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 9″ pie:
  • 4 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 1 – 2 cups sugar
  • ⅓ cup unbleached white flour
  • ½ tsp cinnamon, ginger, or cardamom (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • Equipment: 
  • 8″ or 9″ pie pan
  • medium bowl


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Prepare crust for two-crust pie.  Line the pie pan with bottom crust.
  3. Chop rhubarb; set aside.
  4. Mix together flour, sugar and spice.  Add chopped rhubarb and stir well.  Pour into pie shell and dot with 1 Tbsp butter.
  5. Cover with top crust, either as lattice or with slits (see Assembly Options).
  6. Bake in preheated oven 40 – 50 minutes.

Pie Assembly

Version I: Lattice

My favorite way to assemble the custard pie is with a lattice on the top (see photo at top of this post). Roll crust into two circles, one slightly larger than the other.  Fit the larger circle into the pie pan, pressing against edges.  Cut the smaller circle into 1/2″ lattice strips, which are then woven:

  1. Lay one strip across the middle from N to S, and then another across from E to W.
  2. Lay a strip 1/2″ E of the N-S strip, weaving under the E-W strip.
  3. Lay another strip 1/2 ” S of the E-W strip, weaving it over and under the N-S strips.
  4. And so on, approximately 7 strips N-S and 7 strips E-W.

The strips are then brushed with milk and sprinkled with sugar before baking the pie.

Version II: 2-Crust with Vents

This is my favorite way to assemble the rhubarb pie (not the custard pie)

  1. Roll crust into two circles, one slightly larger than the other.
  2. Fit larger circle into the pie pan.
  3. Fold smaller circle twice to make a quarter circle.  Cut into each folded edge diagonally, about 3/4 inch long, about 3 cuts per edge.  Lay this, folded, over pie, matching centers.  Carefully unfold to cover the top of the pie.
  4. Press edge of top crust to bottom (moisten top edge of bottom crust where they will be pressed together, to make them stick).  Trim away excess crust, leaving a 1″ overhang.  Fold the overhang up and crimp into an attractive edge.
  5. Brush milk lightly over the top, then sprinkle with granulated sugar.

Version III: Crumb crust

Press a portion of a crumb crust (for example, my Pâte Brisée (Short or Crumb Crust) recipe) into the bottom and sides of the pan, and then sprinkle the remaining crumb crust over the top before baking.


  1. rhubarbinfo.com (rhubarbinfo.com/recipe-pie.html#index_pie_30
  2. Putman Place, Rhubarb Tips and Recipes: putmanplace.com/rhubarb_tips_and_recipes.htm; this version is originally from Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book 2nd edition, 1956
  3. Pillsbury Dessert Cookbook, copyright 1970 by The Pillsbury Company. See Beloved Cookbooks for more about this book.

About Cat

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