Exquisite Rhubarb Pie Recipe

Tangy rhubarb, streusel pastry with vanilla cream.

Rhubarb Pie Recipe

Rhubarb Pie

Family recipe based on a streusel-style shortbread pastry and custard cream, well balanced and complex taste.

The rhubarb is prepared the day before to give it time to drain. Make the pie dough the day before or several hours before to give time for the butter to cool and set. The custard cream can also be made in advance or before putting it in the oven. You can pair it with half strawberries and rhubarb or tangy apples and rhubarb or any other sour fruit.

Ingredients, about 8 servings:

Ingredients for rhubarb:

  • 1.1 to 1.2 kg of fresh rhubarb to obtain about 900 g peeled and cut,
  • 90 g blond cane caster sugar (i.e., 10% by weight of rhubarb).

Streusel dough ingredients for a 28 cm pie tin:

  • 200 g all-purpose wheat flour T65 type,
  • 100 g soft butter (at 20°),
  • 70 g blond cane caster sugar,
  • 1 medium egg (about 55 g with its shell) at room temperature,
  • 3 g baking powder (1 level teaspoon) or 30 g almond powder.
  • About 10 g of corn or potato starch or breadcrumbs, or 20 g of fine wheat semolina.

Ingredients for the custard cream:

  • 330 g milk,
  • 16 g corn starch,
  • 16 g wheat flour,
  • 55 g blond cane caster sugar,
  • 40 g egg yolks (2 yolks),
  • 2 g (1/2 teaspoon) powdered vanilla or 7.5 ml (11/2 teaspoon) liquid natural vanilla extract,
  • 5 cl (50 g) reduced rhubarb juice (see recipe below).

Course of the recipe:

Streusel-style shortbread dough:

In a large bowl, mix the flour, caster sugar and baking powder or almond powder (either will weaken the dough cohesion which will not be hard but crumbly). Add the rest of the dough ingredients, egg and soft butter. Mix by hand or with a mixer or a food processor for a smooth consistency. The dough will be lumpy for a few minutes and then quickly change from a crumbly to a homogeneous state.

Shaping this type of crumbly dough is difficult. Here is a simple method. Place a sheet of baking paper about 40 cm square. Using a rolling pin, flour the sheet and form a circle of dough about 32 cm in diameter. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for 20 minutes or more to harden it a bit. The dough will keep for 2 days in the refrigerator.


Clean and peel the rhubarb, cut it into pieces of about 2 cm, place it in a large bowl, pour in the sugar and mix. Then transfer the rhubarb to a drainer and place it in the large bowl to collect the juice. Cover the drainer and leave to drain overnight (or 3 to 12 hours).

Get the water out of the rhubarb. If there is more than 5 cl, pour the juice into a saucepan, bring to a boil and reduce the juice to this amount over medium-high heat (6/10) to obtain a syrup. To reduce the water, about 15 minutes of boiling will be necessary. Be careful, if there is no more water, it will form a caramel (with bigger and thicker bubbles, and a juice that becomes dark), it will be necessary to stop before.

Custard cream:

In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar for less than 1 minute, then stir in the flour and corn starch to blend evenly. Heat the milk over medium heat (5/10). Pour the hot milk gently into the bowl mixture, whisk to blend. Transfer the mixture back into the saucepan and, without stopping whisking, warm over medium-high heat (7/10) until it begins to boil and turn off the heat immediately. When off the heat, continue to stir. The cream thickens quickly in 2 minutes. Stir a few more minutes until the cream texture develops threads. Stir in vanilla and reduced rhubarb juice at the end.

If you prepare the cream in advance, cover a soup plate with plastic wrap of 50 cm long and 30 cm wide, pour the hot cream on top and cover with plastic wrap in contact with the cream (like a pouch) so that it does not cool in the air and does not form a crust. The cream will keep for up to one week in the refrigerator in its airtight pouch.

Assembly and baking:

Pour the pastry cream into the large bowl with the rhubarb and mix thoroughly.

Take the pie dough out of the refrigerator, if it has been left for several hours, leave it out for 5 to 10 minutes so that it can warm up a bit and soften. It should have a medium softness between hard and soft. Place the dough in the mould, giving it its shape. Remove the plastic film. Prick the pie with several strokes of a fork. Sprinkle the bottom of the dough with a thin layer of corn or potato starch or breadcrumbs or fine semolina or flour to absorb the juice of the rhubarb that will bleed during cooking. Finally, pour the rhubarb and custard mixture into the mould.

Preheat the oven. Bake in the oven at 180° in convection mode for about 40 to 45 minutes. The top of the pie and the cream should begin to brown, but no more.

Let the cake cool so that the butter in the dough becomes a little hard again and unmould the cake completely. It can be eaten the same day and kept for 2 days in the refrigerator.

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