Rhubarb Custard Dessert

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Rhubarb Custard Dessert ... or "Rhubarb Crack" as it's lovingly known in our family

Rhubarb Custard Dessert … or “Rhubarb Crack” as it’s lovingly known in our family

I love living in my condominium … no huge yard to tend to but just the right amount of room in my planter boxes for herbs and tomatoes.  That said … every spring when I pass by yards featuring huge, wild patches of rhubarb – it gives me pause. And I have to admit – I get a little jealous.  When my daughter and her family lived in Iowa, her office had a massive clump of wild rhubarb growing outside that we would harvest for days on end, creating countless desserts and sauces and salsas.  Those were the days…

From all this rhubarb madness, I became most enamored of today’s recipe – it’s my all time rhubarb dessert prizewinner. I saved a typed copy of this recipe a while ago and cannot for the life of me remember the origin. But I’ve made it several times since, tweaking it here and there (surprise, surprise).  I do know that it originated back in the day before anyone worried about consuming too many eggs and too much butter and such.

Rhubarb Custard Dessert

Serves 10-12



Crust Ingredients
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (not plain whole wheat, but whole wheat pastry flour.  It makes a difference)
  • 2/3 cup cold salted butter, cut into ½  inch pieces
  • 1 egg
Rhubarb Filling Ingredients
  • 8 cups rhubarb, cut into 1 inch slices
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
Topping Ingredients
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup cold salted butter, sliced into 1/2 inch bits
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar  (add a bit more if you like pretty sweet desserts – I do not and this amount is perfect for my tastebuds)

Use an 11-inch springform pan or a 9 x 12 cake pan.  I like the looks of pieces cut from the springform pan.

Preheat the oven to 350 with a rack in the middle of the oven.  Grease and flour the bottom and sides of the springform pan. I line the bottom with a round piece of parchment paper to fit, then re-grease and flour the paper.

In a food processor pulse together the two cups flour, and ⅔ cup butter until it looks like sand. Stir in the egg.  Dump all of this into the bottom of your pan and firmly press it on the bottom (and up the sides if you are using the springform.  It doesn’t have to be perfect!)

Put the rhubarb on top of the crust.  It will be pretty full, which is OK since the rhubarb cooks down.

Mix together the remaining six eggs and two cups sugar and pour over the rhubarb.

Pulse the topping ingredients (flour, butter and sugar) in the food processor until crumbly and sprinkle over the rhubarb and custard layer.

Bake mid oven for 70-80 minutes or until topping is browned.  Let it cool completely on the counter then put in the fridge and let it get cold before removing the ring of the springform pan.

This is wonderful if you sneak a nibble right out of the oven, or when barely warm or even cold.  I store this in the refrigerator and it stays nice for a week.  I eat it for breakfast straight up, but if using it as a dessert I always serve this with a scoop of good quality vanilla ice cream or even slightly sweetened whipped cream.

Now go harvest that rhubarb!!



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